Themes Of Indian Horse

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Every Loss Is A Gain In Disguise Life is filled with loss. The loss of people, of familiarity and even the loss of what one thinks one knows. The most difficult, yet the most rewarding loss to undergo is that of oneself. One must be willing to give up everything they have and are in order to gain their true self, which is a sacrifice not many are willing to commit to. In the novel Indian Horse by Richard Wagamese, the main character, Saul is fortunately one of the few people who do accept their defeats for he has to endure the loss of many things he holds dear to his heart in order to gain others. This very fact is depicted through many factors within the book; the most prominent being in the themes of loss of family, youth and identity. …show more content…
The major problem with this is that one cannot simply rid someone of who they are; of their identity. Instead of substituting their identities with new ones, the Residential School leaders are damaging the children and instilling a sense of lacking and self loathing in them instead. “When your people are denigrated, when the family you came from is denounced and your tribal ways and rituals pronounced backward, primitive, savage, you come to see yourself as less than human. That is hell on earth, that sense of unworthiness” (81). After years spent apart from his people, learning the ways of the Christians and being punished whenever he does or says anything of his native culture, Saul Indian Horse is no longer Saul Indian Horse; he is just Saul, confused and unaware of who he is. His identity is stripped from him and he wanders life aimlessly and without purpose. It is not until later on in the novel that Saul realizes what he must do to regain himself and properly heal. After years of alcohol, fury and bottled up trauma, it is a vision of his family that finally awakens Saul from his numb state and shows him what he must do. “I went back to the New Dawn Centre. I hadn’t planned on it. I hadn’t …show more content…
Everyone must experience loss in their life in order to maintain balance and learn to grow and mature. In spite of all the different types of losses and the hurt that comes along with them, the loss of oneself is truly the most difficult, and yet ironically the most rewarding. In the novel Indian Horse by Richard Wagamese, this is proven to be the case through the main character, Saul Indian Horse. It is through the telling of his loss of one family but gain of another, his loss of youth and innocence but gain of strength, and his loss of identity but gain of his purpose in life that the reader is able to understand the value and need for loss. Every single thing that happened in Indian Horse serves a purpose and has some kind of influence on Saul’s future. For every good thing in life, a sacrifice must be made. One cannot live only in peace and happiness; life does not work that way. Every time one loses something or someone and falls into a pit of despair, hope is restored when they are given a reward for surviving the pain, which is exactly what continues to happen to Saul in the book. So maybe it is true; maybe every loss really is a gain in

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