Three Day Road

Topics: Kill, Hero, Morphine Pages: 3 (910 words) Published: May 17, 2013
Emma Thomson
Mr. Young
ENG 4U1-04
Wednesday May 6, 2013
Patriotism vs. Terrorism
To take the life of another man is considered to be a great sin, however when placed in a war setting, the inverse is true. When one thinks of a hero, they imagine a man of distinguished courage or ability, admired for his brave deeds and noble qualities. In the eyes of a country during war, these deeds and noble qualities relate directly to the amount of enemy kills a man acquires. War evokes the cruelty and immorality within a man and his country causing the definition of hero to be altered. Although upon their return, soldiers are placed on a pedestal, they are continuously reminded of the pain and suffering that they condemned their enemy to during combat. The novel Three Day Road by Joseph Boyden, is a haunting tale of how different people cope with the horrors of war and how this diversity can drive them apart. The two main characters Elijah Weesageechack (Whiskeyjack) and Xavier Bird, young Cree Indian men, leave their home in the bush to defend their country’s honour. In this story, the reader is able to see how Elijah’s personality evolves from a respectful bush Indian who lives off the land, into a cold-blooded killer. As the novel progresses, it becomes evident to a great extent that the qualities which make Elijah heroic in the eyes of his country, are also the cause of his suffering and destruction. These qualities include his ability to kill, his need for inclusion by his peers, and his addiction to morphine. Had it not been for these qualities, Elijah might have been able to survive the war and remain true to himself maintaining his morals. Elijah’s physical ability to kill has been prominent throughout his life in Northern Ontario providing for his family. His lifestyle in the bush as a hunter leads to his ability to be a great sniper for the Canadian troops during World War I. Elijah’s talent to remain unseen by the enemy along with his stealthy movements, and...
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