hist 110 book report - fools crow

hist 110 book report - fools crow - Connor Blair 713966879...

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Connor Blair 713966879 p. 1 Fools Crow by James Welch Fools Crow , a historical novel by James Welch, portrays the struggle of western plains Indians during the time of white westward expansion during the late nineteenth century. Uniquely, the novel is told from the Indian American perspective. The main theme of acting for individual gain versus acting for community welfare is relevant and central throughout the entire novel. This theme is demonstrated most explicitly through the novel’s two main characters, Fast Horse and Fools Crow. Because the story is told from Indian point of view, the reader accurately learns each character’s reasoning behind their actions and the subsequent consequences their actions have not only on themselves, but their entire community. By dedicating a large portion of the book to the development of each character, Welch makes the theme of acting for individual gain versus acting for community welfare extremely apparent through the characters Fools Crow and Fast Horse. It is through this development that the reader learns of each character’s reasons and motivations for acting in the manner in which they do. Fools Crow acts non- selfishly and is always motivated by bringing fortune and honor not to himself, but to his tribe, the Lone Eaters band of the Pikuni. Both characters learn to act based on consequences they inherited from the horse raid of the Crow tribe. Fools Crow leads several youths during the raid and acts responsibly and within the virtues of the Lone Eaters which are: respect, humility, pride, and group responsibility; Welch describes them as “let the Lone Eaters be known as men of wisdom who put the good of their people before their individual honor.” i During the raid of the Crow, Fools Crow never acted for personal gain, everything he did, including killing a Crow, praying to spirits, and displaying humility, were solely motivated for group success. Fools Crow experiences great personal success and is honored for the raid. It is because of this positive reinforcement that Fools Crow lives his life as an embodiment of how a Lone Eater should act.
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Connor Blair 713966879 p. 2 On the contrary, during the horse raid Fast Horse acted against Lone Eater virtues and the motivation to further go against the community came from the punishment he received as a consequence of his innately selfish ways. During the raid Fast Horse was boastful, selfishly crying out, "Oh, you Crows are puny, your horses are puny and your women make me sick! If I had time I would ride among you and cut off your puny woman heads, you cowardly Crows," ii and acted solely for personal gain. It was his boasting, which he did so the Crows would know it was him (an individual), that led to the capturing of Yellow Kidney, the band’s leader. Subsequently, Fast Horse is severely scorned for his actions and it is this scorning which pushes
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This note was uploaded on 03/24/2008 for the course HIST 110 taught by Professor Perdue during the Fall '07 term at UNC.

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hist 110 book report - fools crow - Connor Blair 713966879...

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