Literary Analysis of Power by Linda Hogan
The brief preface to the novel “Mystery is a form of power.” presents the reader with an overall theme before the first page is even read. Although with a different meaning, Hogan uses power throughout the entire novel and in each facet of the narrative. The novel begins with a demonstration of the vast power that, in both its beauty and its destruction, nature demands. Power was transferred between nature and the Taiga people. A stern refusal of power by Omishto presents itself continually throughout the whole story as she recognizes, cultivates, and obtains her true soul and being.
The god of the people was called Oni, which meant wind and air in the people’s language. The people called their god such because of the power behind what Oni meant. The narrator further illustrates such meaning by saying that “It is a power every bit as strong as gravity, as strong as a sun you can’t look at but know is there. It tells a story. Through air, words and voices are created” (Hogan 178). The Oni is compared to other gods as being omnipotent when the narrator says “It is a breathing, ceaseless God, a power known and watched over by the panther people. It passes through us, breathed and spoken and immortal. It is what brings us to life” (Hogan 178). Oni causes individuality among people by supply them their individual power, but yet at the same time fuses the people as a single unit. Omishto was born with a quite strong awareness of Oni but she denied it fervently. She rejected it until she finally accepted that this power was gifted to her and was part of her soul. While Omishto would initially refuse her power, gifted by the Oni, Ama throws herself completely at the Oni. Ama asks the wind,
“What do you want? I ask the wind that closes me in, but I fear that what it wants is more than I have to give. I’ve fallen into this creature of air. It is stronger than I am and I will do its bidding whether I want to or not because...
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