Indian Horse Sparknotes

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“If we want to live at peace with ourselves, we need to tell our stories” (3). In Richard Wagamese’s novel, “Indian Horse”, a man named Saul Indian Horse is introduced and he tells his story. He faces a lot of hardships on his journey, including racism, physical abuse, and sexual abuse. He is exposed to violence multiple times. Saul’s experiences help readers understand what it is like as an Indigenous person growing up in Canada. The acts of violence in the novel emphasize the innocence, prejudice, and suppressed emotions of Indigenous peoples. Throughout the novel, many stories of the deaths of Indigenous students are shared; however, the story of Arden Little Light truly shows the innocence of Indigenous peoples in residential schools because …show more content…

Saul explains the security he felt when he had someone to talk to and love: “When he knelt down and cradled me in his arms, I felt no shame or fear. I only felt love…I thought of my grandmother. The warmth of her arms holding me. I missed that so much” (198). Saul quickly latches onto Father Leboutilier as a guardian, because he is stripped of his family and support and is deprived of love; making Saul an easy victim. To keep Saul quiet, Father Leboutilier uses Saul’s love of hockey to manipulate him: “...he’d given me the job of cleaning the ice to buy my silence, to guard his secret. He’d told me I could play when I was big enough. I loved the idea so much that I kept quiet” (199). Saul uses hockey as an escape from his life at St. Jerome’s, which helps him forget the trauma as he ages: “When I found myself liking it, I felt dirty, repulsive, sick. The secret morning practices…moved me closer to the game…[and] further away from the horror…Later after I was gone, the game kept me from remembering” (199). Saul finds himself liking the feeling of being loved and being disgusted with himself for being used. To cope, he uses his love for hockey to suppress his memories of abuse. Saul’s experience shows how Indigenous peoples suppress their emotions because of insecurity, inability to explain their trauma, and

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