Cultural Differences In The Light In The Forest By Conrad Richter

1080 Words 5 Pages
Cultural discrepancies always play a role when it comes to conflicts. For example, language act as a barrier when trying to get ideas across and are often at the root of all miscommunications. Excluding background differences, all people are human. They feel, they cry, they tend and they’re especially prone to mistakes and hypocrisy. In the novel, The Light in the Forest, by Conrad Richter, a white boy growing up in a Native American tribe is to determine where his true loyalties lie. The protagonist, True Son, comes to acknowledge the different pursuits of happiness and perspective of both whites and Indians, and ultimately becomes the wild card between the two discordant forces, unable to identify himself completely with either party. However, …show more content…
This goes to show, that no matter what civilization, love for one another is a common and coexisting concept whether skin is red or white. Moreover, True Son, in midst of his homesickness, recalls memories of his mother as “a spreading sugar maple providing [his family] all with food and warmth…[and] his Indian father...an oak sheltering them from both the heat of the sun and the fury of the thunderbolt”(Richter, 112). The boy compares his mother to sugar maple, a beautiful and strong tree with vibrant shades of red and orange and his father to a sturdy, dependent oak tree - both nurturing and protecting. True Son has nothing but sincere and honest overplaying thoughts on his Native American family as seen by his heart-felt connotations of familial roles. Then, when True Son falls ill in Paxton, his white father, Harry finds himself guilt-tripping and worrying over his biological son, “[wishing] he could do something... [wishing] he could talk to the boy, expressing these thoughts” (Richter, 101). All his emotions …show more content…
True Son, regards himself a worthy Indian, vowing to never “give up his Indian life” (Richter, 4). His stubborn arrogance further interferes with the Butler family’s attempts to situate their long-lost son back into white communal life. Yet, honor and dignity are taken to the next level when True Son’s contemptible relative, Uncle Wilse, justifies murdering Indians because they are nothing more than “savages” that think “stealing’s a virtue. Lying is an art..[and] butchering and scalping white women and young ones is the master accomplishment”(Richter, 64). On the like hand, Indians consider the white man “beyond Indian reasoning…[and as] a strange creature of the Almighty...hard to fathom...like a spoiled child without instruction…[and] no understanding of good and evil” (Richter, 155). Native Americans and white colonial settlers have immense dislike for each other. They hold their values and customs above all else, dismissing whatever may come off alien and peculiar as inferior and foolish. Both cultures have a firm sense of justice and pride in their people, going as far as to stand by radical extremes such as massacres or wars. While they belittle and insult the opposing race, Indians and whites continue to parallel each other even more than ever. For instance, the Paxton Boys take no standards into account on their little crusade, “blow[ing] heads off of Indian men...kill[ing]

Related Documents