Coyote Themes

776 Words 4 Pages
The centralized theme of the novel is the evil of mankind. In the novel, evil is an entity that can possess people against their will – like a spirit. Although that may sound like the run-of-the-mill Webster’s definition of evil, there is a difference, which is that in the novel, evil is personified. The novel uses its events to show how evil works in the real world, in a slightly mellow dramatic, but realistic way. Also, evil in this novel is known as Coyote, and this is because evil is being represented from the Native American point of view: “The thing is, Coyote keeps getting born, over and over,” said Bertha Moses. “He rides on the spirit of a newborn into this world. It don’t have to be a human newborn, it can be an animal, but once …show more content…
Throughout the book Coyote is represented in such a way as something that follows you but is never seen, but in spite of this it can affect you. This reminds me of turning the lights off and going upstairs. Even today my stomach churns and I feel like some dark entity is going to snatch me away. The prime example in the novel is Filthy Billy. From a modern perspective, he is a boy with Tourette’s disease, but from a First Nation’s perspective, he is under Coyote’s influence: “He’s got a (fuck) demon riding him (shit)” (Dargatz 105). Coyote also moves into a boy named Parker, during which time Billy’s swearing had gone away. In the novel Coyote can be racked in this order; Coyote jack is the source, Billy is infected, and parker gets consumed temporarily. Once Coyote Jack dies – Coyote vanishes from all of the …show more content…
Death can be seen numerous times in the novel. Death is seen when the sheep are murdered by coyotes, in the homesteader’s children, and at the funeral of Sarah Kemp. Every death has a common purpose. Death in the novel is symbolic of darkness and misery. Each of the characters copes with their despair in a different way – some write – some bake – some run wild through the woods. Ultimately these deaths build on to the personalities of each character, and causes a change in them. Death is an important tool for Dargatz, as death is the pinnacle of grief and emotion. The countless deaths are instrumental in making the reader understand the gravity of the issues within the novel. Desire is another sinful theme that causes the characters to do things against their rationality. Each character exhibits desires no matter how virtuous they may be. In a novel that focuses on the lives of horny teenagers, there is bound to be recklessness and temptation. Beth is in the midst of a love triangle for the majority of the novel. Nora is infatuated with Beth, and Beth does her best to be content with it, but she really doesn’t understand her own feelings, nor does she think that the kissing is meant in a sexual way. With Dennis on the other hand, she feels her womanly attraction to him, and when they kiss she ignites with lust and want for more, discarding any inhibitions. Furthermore, when Billy comes into the picture,

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