Three Day Road Character Analysis

1024 Words 5 Pages
The horrors of war can be life changing both spiritually and physically. The novel “Three Day Road” by Joseph Boyden chronicles the lives of two Cree men, Xavier Bird and Elijah Whiskeyjack, during the First World War. The war has a devastating effect on them emotionally and psychologically. For Elijah, it stripped him of his cultural identity and moral compass, while for Xavier, he tried to maintain his cultural values in what is an appalling experience. The author contrasts the two characters in their loss of cultural values, the pressure of assimilation on their identity, and moral corruption.
For Xavier and Elijah, going into the army tested the cultural values of their Cree heritage. Both exceled in hunting and survival skills they were
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Elijah says “I am trained not to hesitate in situations of danger he answers coldly.” Xavier on the other hand didn’t kill for the joy of killing but only to survive the war and felt remorse when he did kill. Xavier was hesitant when he killed a German sniper but needed to do it in order to survive. Not only Xavier killed for survival and forced to, he wanted to go home from the war and stop fighting. From that point on, the environment of war was too much for Xavier and was horrified by the sights and experiences he went …show more content…
Even though Elijah and Xavier were childhood friends, they grew up with different values in their lives with one at a residential school and one growing up within the Cree culture. Elijah turned his back on Cree and moral values. With the forced assimilation of the residential school, he felt he should assimilate to fit in with the army. These two factors combined, turned Elijah into an emotionless cold blooded killer. Xavier faced the same challenges but strived to maintain his cultural and moral values as a Cree. Maintaining his values saved him from becoming what Elijah had

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