Indian Horse

Good Essays
April 15, 2014
English 30-1 Indian Horse
“Adversity is like a strong wind. It tears away from us all but the things that cannot be torn, so that we see ourselves as we really are.” Adversity implies difficulties, trouble and misfortune as it tests the potential of man and strengthens his spirit of self confidence. In the novel Indian Horse written by Richard Wagamese there are many circumstances where the main character Saul is forced to overcome the adversity in which once shattered his human spirit and made him feel worthless. The ideas of adversity such as being beaten at residential schools and the racism he faced while playing hockey, demonstrates Saul’s constant inner struggle and his desire to become a more powerful individual.
Throughout the novel Saul is exposed to many painful experiences that leave him little to no identity and an unimaginable outlook on life. We quickly learn that when Saul was a child, he was taken away from his family and forced into an Indian Residential School where he witnessed and experienced abuses at the hands of the school’s educators. “They called it a school but it was never that....There were no tests or examinations. The only test was our ability to survive.”(Pg.79) The emotions present in the quote represent the pain and agony he endured when being forcibly taught the ways of the white people. The school he is referring to is St. Jerome’s Indian Residential School; which many described as “Hell on earth”. Saul is rapidly thrown into a world of extreme emotional and physical abuse brought on by the hands of the nuns and priests that are assimilating the children. “They took me to St. Jerome’s Indian Residential School. I read once that there are holes in the universe that swallow all light, all bodies. St. Jerome’s took all the light from my world. Everything I knew vanished behind me with an audible swish, like the sound a moose makes disappearing into spruce.”(Pg.43) The vivid detail of

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