Response to I Heard the Owl Call My Name

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We are challenged by the issue of adapting to change in the novel I heard an Owl Call my Name. Through Mark, the main character we see the affects of change in the Native American Indian village of Kingcome. Not only do we see the westernisation of the village, but also the change in culture and way of living mark experiences when he arrives in the village from the western world. The changes the village and Mark go through are shown to us through characters, symbols and dialogue. The idea of change is much more common in today’s society as people travel around the world and constantly experience new things, Craven shows us how native American villages dealt with the change to the western ways during the 1960’s. This gives us a better understanding of cultures in history adapting to the changes brought on by the western world.

Through mark we see the idea of change as he has been sent to Kingcome village. He experiences the change of living in a different world to the western world. Mark has no other choice but to accept this change and adapt to the ways of the Native American villagers of Kingcome. We are told how the priest does this in part one through events such as his first funeral he conducts for the village the day he arrives for a boy who has died, where the village people have been waiting for the constable to arrive to give permission to bury the boy. Mark Brian conducts the ceremony and at the end he takes his first step to understanding the Kwakiutl people by leaving them to add their own ritual to the burial. Through third person omniscient narration we are told this with the line ‘he sensed there was something yet unfinished of which he had no part’ the narrator tells us what the priest is thinking in this situation which shows that the priest is trying to understand the Kwakiutl culture and is adapting to the change.

Change is represented by symbols of nature in the novel. There is a constant parallel with nature as the Native American tribes...
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