What Is The Theme Of Indian Horse By Richard Wagamese

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Racism has been present in almost every civilization and society throughout history. Even though the world has progressed greatly in the last couple of decades, we cannot forget the long term effects of racism that were afflicted on many people. In the novel Indian Horse by Richard Wagamese, Saul is impacted by racism in many ways. He was mistreated at school, throughout his hockey career, and even receives hate from strangers on the street. This causes Saul to develop severe trust issues, become distant, and resort to alcoholism. Racism strongly impacted Saul's life in a negative manner. Despite Saul eventually finding equanimity, he endured multiple challenges to do with racism that changed his life and forced him to go on an arduous …show more content…

His family begins to spend a large amount of time in hiding, due to the fear of Saul or his siblings being taken by the residential school. Over time, both of his siblings are taken, attributable to the schools need to remove the “Indian” from the Canadian culture. This brings sadness and anger on his entire family. At a young age, he too is seized by members of the school, where he faced sexual, cultural and verbal abuse. “When your innocence is stripped from you, when your people are denigrated, when the family you came from is denounced and your tribal ways and rituals are pronounced backward, primitive, savage, you come to see yourself as less than human. That is hell on earth, that sense of unworthiness. That's what they inflicted on us.” (81) This quote shows that everything the children had ever known was stripped from them, and how severely they were impacted, even into adulthood. The beatings and threats belittled the children and instilled them with continuous fear that would stay with them for the rest of their lives. Saul and many other children became very quiet and distant, trusting nobody because they were scared. All throughout Saul's life, there were many things he believed he could not do because of how he was treated at school. In the future, this stopped Saul from reaching his full potential, which dramatically changed his entire …show more content…

As a result how Saul was treated when he was young, he developed major issues which negatively impacted his adult life. Saul struggled with relationships and trust. He distanced himself from almost everyone that was close to him, and tried to believe he was better off on his own. This brought back the feeling of loneliness he endured at the school which after a childhood of already feeling out of place, lonely, and unwanted caused him to have a hard time believing in himself and finding tranquility. Saul became an alcoholic because living with his pain became unbearable. “I discovered that being someone you are not is often easier than living with the person you are.” (112) This quote demonstrates how Saul had been feeling. He was filled with a darkness that he could not shake. After many years he found only some level of equanimity through drinking. Drinking occupied a lot of Saul’s time, and severely impacted his health. If he was not taken away to the residential school as a child Saul could have pursued his dreams, had successful relationships and lived a healthy life full of happiness with his family by his

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