Examining Relationships and Identity in Indian Horse and Only Drunks and Children tell the truth. Saul, Janice and Barb both emphasize the importance of Family and tradition, and show us examples throughout the play and novel. Indian horse and Only Drunks and Children Tell the Truth share similar relationships and identity when it comes to family and tradition.
The title Indian Horse came from Saul Indian Horses family name. The author Richard Wagamese shows that family and traditions are one of the books main themes. Saul is a member of the traditional Fish Clan which is an Indigenous Canadian tribe that is located near Winnipeg River. Sauls family has always been determined in the Fish Clan. The Fish Clan has strong traditions that sometimes have issues with the white Canadian culture.
Over the course of the book, Saul receives advice from his ancestors based on his visions. He has been visioning his distant ancestors while they give him advice from their experiences and lessons. Family and tradition play an important role in Sauls coming of age. He connects to both living and dead family members. His distant ancestors give him a better feeling of purpose and remind him he is not alone in the world. Saul seems to lose touch with his family members which causes him great sadness, loneliness and depressed. Saul starts to regain his confidence following a vision he has near the end of the novel. During his vision, his great grandfather tells him to keep Gods Lake within himself and is a place only Sauls family may live.
This novel takes place during the 1960s and 1970s at the time when Indigenous Canadian traditions were under attack in Canada. Long before that time, the Indian Act of 1876 required Indigenous Canadian Children to attend residential schools. This required Indigenous Canadian children to attend Christian, English-speaking schools, where they were separated from their families and forced to unlearn their traditions. Richard Wagamese shows that Saul Indian horse was struggling to maintain his culture and his relationship with his family even after being taken away from his family and was sent to a residential school. After being taken to a residential school, it became hard for Saul to find his Identity again. He wasn't sure who he was meant to be since the residential schools forces the children to unlearn their traditions. But Saul discovers new customs and cultures and incorporated them into his identity. He played hockey in the morning while cleaning the ice, speaks and reads english, and embraces many other aspects of white canadian culture. This gives Saul the resilience and sense of community that he needs to live a happier life.
Only Drunks and Children tell the truth is a play written by Drew Hayden Taylor. Janice went back to see her mom because they believe that is her real home and she had to pay her respects. Janice felt that she didn't have any reason to go back. Janice chooses to go back to where she came from to learn more about her culture because she was adopted when she was a kid and didn't feel related to her mom. Janice being taken away at a young age makes Annes death very heartbreaking to Janice seeing as they never had the chance to develop a relationship.
Janice leaving causes tension in the family and in the end it was harder for Barb because she was the one that held the family together. If she had the support from Janice her sister, then things would’ve been different. Barb questioned why Janice never came back to visit them at the reserve, and why she never missed her real family. Janice went back to see her mom because they believe thats her real home and she had to pay her respects. Janice wanted to go back to the reserve but felt like she didn’t belong. She missed where she was from. Janice chooses to go back to where she came from to learn more about it. cause she was adopted when she was a kid and didn't feel related to them.
When Janice was drunk she was explaining how she wanted to be part of the reserve and their family so badly, but felt pushed away and like she didn’t belong once she got adopted. She starts to explain why she walked out; You don't realize that she's gone and that i'll never know what kind of woman she was or what could have happened between us. She grew up wanting to hate her mom after she felt because she couldn't face herself actually going back to the reserve.
In the play, 'Amy Hart' lives on the Otter Lake Reserve and her presence represents the true cultural difference between Janice and the others who live on the reserve. Janice is overwhelmed by the fact that Earhart is still alive and wants to make a whole news story about her, as she thinks it's something that should be shared. Barb tells her that Earhart's life shouldn't be shared, as the reserve is a family, and families don't tell each other's secrets. So not only does the existence of Amelia Earhart show the difference between Janice and Barb's lives and thinking, it is also a moment of learning for Janice about the way of the Native people.
This is an example of how welcoming, and different these people are compared to who they’re steariotyped to be. They welcomed Amelia in as family because family is one of the most valuable things in a person's life. The whole time, the play was trying to tell us the importance of family and how strong the unbreakable bond is. Amelia is a symbol of the importance of family demonstrated in the play. Examining Relationships in Indian Horse and Only Drunks and Children tell the truth. Saul and Janice both emphasize the importance and meaning of Family, and shows us examples of true relationships.
Cite this Essay
To export a reference to this article please select a referencing style below