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The Light In The Forest Essay

3018 words - 13 pages

The Light in the ForestThe Light in the Forest by Conrad Richter is a story of a white boy raised by an Indian tribe during the 1700's. The boy, kidnaped and adopted at a young age, was brought up as True Son. When True Son, now fifteen, is forced back to his white family by a treaty, he has already developed a hatred toward them. True Son's search for identity will lead to his defiance of his new family and end tragically with abandonment from his Indian father. This novel is based upon the aspect of Romanticism in order to show the conflicts between the Indians and the inferior white society during this time period. Romanticism is a concept used by authors which ". . . emphasizes the ...view middle of the document...

"When the time grows near to the camp for the night, they keep their eyes half closed. They don't look for a high and dry place but set themselves down in any wet and dirty place, just so it's under some big trees. They don't even look which way the wind blows before they make their campfire. When the smoke blows on them, they try to hit it with their hands and caps like mosquitos." Not only are the white people inferior to the Indians in the woods, but that the Indians notice their "foolishness" even though the whites don't. Half Arrow is going along with True Son, escorting him to his new white home. While on their way, they make observations about the whites like that " "˜they all talk at once like waterfowl,' Half Arrow declared. "˜How can they understand what is being said? Why don't their elders teach them to keep silent and listen till the speaker's done.' " The bad behavior of the whites isn't just directed toward the Indians, but there own people, who are arrogant themselves. When True Son is reunited with his white family, he is being introduced to them. But his Indian appearance doesn't appeal to his white Uncle Wilse who says, " "˜Well, once an Indian, always an Indian. You can make an Indian out of a white man but you can never make a white man out of an Indian.' " What Uncle Wilse says is not only arrogant and a reflection of what the whites think, but the other meaning is that people would rather be Indian than white. True Son is in a conversation with his new white relatives when they being to insult each other's background, when True Son says that the " "˜Indian only swear like he hears from the white man,' the boy said. "˜My father says when he is a boy he hears white man say God damn. God damn when it rain and God damn if powder don't go off. So my father says God damn too.' " The Indians learn bad behavior through the white people, making the Indians better than the evil ways of the whites. True Son with his white family, is disputing who is the better society when True Son says " "˜My father told me why white people give rum to the Indian,' the boy answered. "˜Get Indian drunk. Buy his furs cheap. Afterward Indian get sober. Has no money, no furs, no nothing.' " The ways the whites use to take advantage of the Indians is wrong and makes them the weaker of the two cultures because they have to resort to such tactics. After being with the white society long enough, True Son is finally changing into what the whites want him to be when Bejance, a black slave, says to True Son, " "˜They got the harness on you, Injun boy,' he said. "˜The straps is buckled and the single-tree lugged.' " Being integrated into the ways of the whites is slowly making True Son a slave, like Bejance. And since the ways of the whites is much like a slave's life, the white society is thus inferior to the Indians. True Son's white family is getting angry at him for just...

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