Touching Spirit Bear Character Analysis

1269 Words6 Pages
Sometimes people need a certain experience to change their point of view. In Touching Spirit Bear, written by Ben Mikaelsen, a violent teenager named Cole Matthews is sent on a mission to redeem himself, and faces radical experiences that ultimately change his whole mindset. He commits the crime of beating up a fellow peer, then is banished to an island as a punishment for his actions by the Circle Justice; a committee that serves as an alternative form of justice in the Tlingit culture. He then faces difficult and even deadly challenges. As a result of this experience, he changes from his ungovernable, supercilious ways as he comes to strong and sudden realizations of how wrong he was, and he learns how to be an honest and forgiving human being.
At the beginning of the novel, Cole Matthews is a vicious teenager who thinks he is superior to everyone, but is, in fact, hiding behind a shield of anger, the result of being brutally abused by his drunken father. Cole’s father, Mr. Matthews, drinks non stop until he becomes a monster, and then ruthlessly beats Cole up. When talking to Garvey, a proud, Tlingit indian, who is also his parole officer, Cole opens up about his father’s abuse saying, “‘You don’t know what it’s like being hit over and over until you’re so numb you don’t feel anything!” (Mikaelsen 28). When Cole breaks into a hardware store without getting caught, he gloats about it
…show more content…
When Cole is reaches for the white hair, he hesitates and decides not to. This really shows the difference and change he has gone through. The author shows through Cole’s thought process that before, he would have not hesitated, and would have immediately wanted to prove he was right. But his actions show how proving himself is not what he wants anymore. What he wants is to be trusted, and for his words to be enough for people to believe him. The author also shows in the last quote that not only does he know what he needs to do to change and control his anger, but

More about Touching Spirit Bear Character Analysis

Open Document