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Blue Winds Dancing

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 “Blue Winds Dancing”, the story of a man’s internal conflict is revealed by Tom Whiteclouds’ telling of the young man’s thoughts while he is at school, his observations during his trip home and his reaction to the people when he arrives home.

In the beginning of the story (paragraphs 1-10) the Indian compares the city to the reservation. He thinks of the city as a captive place, a place “where trees grow in rows and the palms stand stiffly by the road sides.” I think the author is using this to represent the order of city life, the example above is in comparison to the military. He thinks of the reservation as a place of freedom, where “when the winds come whispering through the forests, they carry a smell of rotting leaves,” and the animals roam freely through the forest. In this the author is saying to me that the reservation is a place where there is freedom, the environment is not militant. He uses these phrases to compare the two, city versus the reservation, the city being captive and the reservation being free.

In paragraph 11 the Indian makes the decision to journey back to the reservation and does not care what others think of his leaving.

On the train ride the Indian was struggling to come to terms with who he really is. He wanted to be an Indian but he wondered had he become too much like the white man. He saw some Indian women selling pottery and this angered him. This to me was a sign that he was thinking like a white man. He seemed to be concerned about what people thought about the Indians. Perhaps he was embarrassed by what his people had to do to make a living. Is he white or is he Indian? On the railroad track he sees the deer and does not want to harm the deer, he reaches a realization that he is not like the white men. For he does not wish to harm the deer. When he reaches the reservation boundary and steps into the woods he feels a spiritual change, which he describes when he sees the blue winds dancing. The blue winds dancing could represent a happy, free spirit, and he did not have a happy nor free spirit when he was in the city. The Indian is walking through the woods and notice the simple homes of the Indians and speaks of an Indian named Alex who fixes up his house to meet the standards of white men.

He believes this is because Alex is ashamed of the houses his people (the Indian) live in and knows that he does not think want to think like this. He believes he is thinking more like an Indian. Is he Indian or white? The Indian begins to wonder if the other Indians will accept him. He arrives at home to find his family gathered in front room. He goes in and gives them the gifts he bought, trying not to show his emotions. His father tells him to go to the lodge after he has greeted the family. Upon reaching the lodge door he remembers the myth about the old Indian under the ice and says that his belief in the myth answers the question of whether or not he is Indian; if he was not Indian he would not believe in the myth and his belief says it all.

He opens the door to the lodge and sees the other Indians dancing and celebrating. Once he enters the lodge the dancing stops, the Indians continue to communicate with one another. This leads the Indian to the question of whether or not he would be accepted by his people. At once the Indian thinks the other Indians are talking about him because he is used to this being done in the city. He later remembered that the Indians were not talking about him they were “not sharing words they were sharing a mood. Everyone is happy.” The Indian left the college in the city looking for happiness and freedom. Throughout the story he experienced various emotions loneliness, anger, acceptance, and happiness. “I am happy, it is beautiful, I am home.” This statement leads me to believe the Indian received just what he set out in search of by his last statements.

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