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I Heard the Owl Call My Name Essay

Example 1 – I Heard the Owl Call My Name and the Black Robe – the Indians

Although the Indians in I Heard The Owl Call My Name, and in The Black Robe are primitive in the technological sense, they are neither simple nor emotional people. The Indians in both texts could be classed as primitive people • if we take primitive to mean technologically underdeveloped.

The level of technology possessed by the white man is far superior to that of the Indians, yet the Indians n The Black Robe are happy to accept and use muskets, and in Heard, The Owl Call My Name they are familiar with motors, washing machines and modern building techniques brought by the White man.

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The Indians display their level of ignorance in regard to modern technology in The Black Robe when the enemy tribe believed that muskets could only be fired once and once tired, they are useless. The Indians had little knowledge of modern materials or tools.

When comparing the Indians in The Black Robe to the Indians in Heard The Owl Call My Name, we must take into account that The Black Robe was set two hundred and twenty years earlier than Heard The Owl Call My Name, and white man’s influence on the Indians in I Heard The Owl Call My Name was much greater.

Technology did not play an important role in the Indian’s way of life. Traditionally, the Indians lived off the land taking only what they needed, and their hunting and building methods had served them well for centuries, therefore their need to develop new technology would not have been great.

The Indians are not simple or barbaric people. Their complex belief system and folklore related strongly to the environment and gave reasons for the existence of everything. In my opinion, this often communicates a quality of wisdom about the Indians.

Although the Indians lead a simple natural way of life, it is not fair to say they are simple people. The Indians in The Black Robe can communicate With white man satisfactorily enough, considering they had little or no contact with any other white man. They are just as – if not more intelligent than most others.

 

Example 2

Fatal Learning Mark Brian, the main character in Craven’s, I Heard the Owl Call my Name, undergoes a life-altering change during his stay at the village of Kingcome He Imrns the true meaning of death by experiencing it first and second hand Mark encounters death directly, or indirectly through these people: Caleb and Jim Wallace, the wees-bed, Keetah’s sister, Gordon’s mother, Calamity Bill, and himself.

Mark’s first encounters with death arise from conversations he has with Caleb and Jim Wallace Caleb advises Mark when performing a burial sen. ice, to always ook inside the coffin at the very last minute before burying someone. Caleb tells him he once buried the wrong man.

While on patrol With Jim. Mark hears many stories of death associated with the villages in the area. As they pass Ghost Island, Jim tells Mark, “The Indians of Gilford village once buried their “in low sheds”. (14) In both of these situations, Mark does not experience death directly, He merely hears and learns about death in a detached or somewhat comical way.

The death of the weesa-bedo is much closer to Mark\’s own death than the discussions that surface during his boat ride to Kingcome. Although Mark does not the boy, the body is in the vicarage waiting for the arrival of the RCMP officer, who will clear the burial of the bod\’ß This is the first death Mark experiences in the solemn village of Kingcome. The death is indirect because Mark doesn\’t actually know the weesa-bedo.

During a conversation about the wees-bedo, Jim informs Mark that dead \”2bodies are kept in the vicarage until burial. (24) The death of Keetah\’s sister is dreadfully near to Mark\’s own demise. The RCMP officer claims that the man who Keetah\’s sister was engaged to \”[Ileft her in Vancouver, penniless, and he disappeared. \” (79) Keetah\’s sister eventually dies by succumbing to alcohol, cocaine, and the desire\’s of men, Her death is indirect because she dies far from the village Of Kingcome.

It is also direct however, because Mark had previously been acquainted with her. The death of Keetah\’s sister is important and very near to Mark\’s own death because she dies in the \”white man\’s world\” which is where Mark commences from.

When Mark encounters the death of Gordon\’s mother, it affects him to a greater extent than the two earlier demises, After learning that Gordon\’s mother has had a breeched birth. Mark rushes to her aid. He kneels beside her and “he held her hand until she died. \” (82) This meeting with death is direct because he is able to witness the entire ordeal Sy holding the hand of Cordon\’s mother as she crosses the bar, it is as if Mark is holding death in his palms. In the course of this tragic fatality, Mark continues to close in on his own demise.

Calamity Bill\’s death paralyzes Mark in a much more severe way than any other eath that he undergoes, because of the rigid bond that they share Their family is shown when Bill asks Mark to complete an enormous favour for him immediately before he dies. Bill asks Mark to spread his ashes in a place that is very sacred and dear to him.

After Calamity Bill passes away, Mark \”put on his cassock and said for Calamity a few very simple prayers\”. (135) This is the first time Mark prays for the deceased; by doing it now, it signifies his love for Bill. This death is direct because Mark had a great friendship with gill.

This is the final eath that Mark experiences during his stay in Kingcome. It is now time to close the doors on Mark once and for all. Through these life-altering ordeals, Mark fully understands the meaning of death and realizes that it is not a conclusion, but a part of life.

Mark “heard an owl call once, and again” (149) after scattering the remains of Calamity gill in the This is a sign, Which not even Marta will deny, For Mark, death is now inevitable in the village of Kingcome. Shortly after telling Marta of the owl who calls his name, Mark dies from an avalanche of trees.

After being sent to the village of Kingcome, Mark learns that death is merely a part of lite The diverse experiences he had with many characters elucidate the meaning of life and death, Caleb, lim. and the weesa-bedo simply open Mark\’s mind to the reality of death, while the fatalities of Gordon’s mother and Keetah’s sister shake Mark’s mentality about death due to their severity.

Calamity Bill’s demise allows Mark to truly understand the concept of death due to its enormous impact; consequently, when Mark dies, he comprehends the significance of death and its role.

 

Example 3

What do we learn when put in a situation, where it demands a different way of living? Do we disregard everything we learned before this? Or do we open our minds and learn the most we possibly can. Well in I heard an owl call my name, by Margaret Craven, the main character Mark Brian, must choose either to learn from the Kwacutals or not learn anything at all.

At the beginning of this book, a young vicar named Mark Brian is sent to an Indian village to teach the tribe of Christianity. One of the first things Mark learned is the way the village handles death. This was new to Mark from what his Bishop had told him. He learned when someone dies three mourners take turns sitting at the vicarage to mourn for the person who had passed away.

They would do this until the person was buried. He also learned that he had to clean and fix the vicarage and the church by himself. He hoped that the Indians would help. In summary of the rest of the beginning, he would learn that in order to get something he would have to work very hard to get it.

As we read on towards the middle of the book more lessons are learned. We learn that Mark and the village is getting comfortable with each other. In chapter 7 he realizes that he is finally reaching the people, learning who they are rather than what they are not.

Through this, he also learns that the way the tribe shows their deepest beliefs through dance. During the middle of the book, Mark makes more friends, by helping everyone around town. Towards the end of the middle of the book, an American yacht comes to the village. Even though they are the “white men”, which he knows he is, he was very pleased to see them go. This shows that he is learning new stuff and he likes the village’s ways. He also knows that the “white man” way is not the only way.

 

Example 4

The quote in question 1 reflects Mark’s status in the tribe well. As the quote states Mark eventually became part of the village and the villages became his family.

This however was not an easy accomplishment, for most of Mark’s early period among the villages the villagers were cautious of him and kept their distance from him. This was until one afternoon when returning to the village Mark and Jim stopped the boat to see a run of salmon swimming upriver to spawn in the clear water.

Mark then recited a few lines of prayer about the salmon which the Indians spoke about with great respect to Jim. The salmon in Indian myth is referred to as the swimmer. The salmon prayer is symbolic of the continuous cycle of life and death.

After being in the village for a period Mark begins to realize time has lost its defining contours. When Mark first arrived in the village the future loomed hugely, then the present had consumed him, however toward the end Mark states “.like the raven or bald eagle flying high over the village, must-see part of the river that had passed the village that had not yet reached the village one and the same.” (p 123).

Mark has learnt enough of the meaning of life to be ready to die, he has done this by living in the village where sadness, richness and the tragic poignancy of life’s inevitability were accepted and not hidden behind a smokescreen like the way typical westernized humans deal with lives tragedies.

In the novel, the Indians are not portrayed as emotional people. They do not let their actions become blinded by emotion. The Indians in this novel are logical and rational. This is a parent after the death of the weesa-bedo, the only people showing emotions were professional mourners who wailed in shifts for three days and three nights (p 15).

It is apparent after Marks’s Death that his impact on the village was as much physical as it was emotional. This is proven when Keetah walks in on Jim mourning and crying over Mark’s death.

 

Example 5

The Messiah of Quee In the novel, I Heard The Owl Call My Name, Mark Brian is suffering a severe illness and is sent to a village in British Columbia.

Here, he will learn about life from the villagers and teach them too. Jesus taught everybody, including his disciples, how to live their life in the presence of God. Christ died on the cross for the sins we committed. Mark dies not from his illness but from an anomalous landslide. Margret Craven, the author, characterizes Father Mark Brian as a Christ-like figure through Mark sacrifices his life and his customs of life, Mark answering the village’s problems, and the town acting like disciples of Jesus.

Mark was first sent to the village of Kingcome, in Indian its Quee, which means inside the place, by the Bishop. At first, when Mark arrives, the tribe doesn’t accept him but later on, they like him. Mark spends about a year and a half at the village which is how many more years he will live.

Also, he gives up his lavish lifestyle to live in a shack. He has no electricity, no running water, and a slight amount of food to last him a day. To get his food he has to use the traditional method of getting food which is hunting for animals. Jesus went through the same characteristics as Mark. Jesus lived in a time of no electricity, no running water, and especially no type of market to get food. “To keep fed, to keep warm, to keep alive. One woman said, “I am sorry.

I have only enough fuel for my own family,” and one man said, “I cannot share with you, friend” (Craven131). This quote refers to a man who said he could not provide enough food for Mark and he only had enough for him and his family. Jesus and Mark are willing to help everyone in a time of need. Mark sacrifices the rest of his life to help the poor village. Mark helps rebuild the neglected church which means a lot to the village of Quee, which has not been repaired in a long time. He puts a lot of blood, sweat, and tears into the reconstruction of the church. Another characteristic is the town coming to Mark for answers.

People are always coming to Jesus for answers. The village is also encountering problems with the younger generation because they are not caring about old traditions and focusing more on the white man’s ideas. Another problem that the village faces is why a white man wanted to buy the giant mask. Marks tell them that people want to buy it so they can sell it and make lots of money.

One of the villagers said, “What has the white man done to our young “( 73) and Mark tells them why he treated the young girl cajole so he could steal the giant mask along with getting Gordon’s uncle drunk. Jesus is always telling his followers that it isn’t always good in life. Jesus wants people to do the right thing in life but they don’t always do it.

The villagers always came to Mark looking for an answer which they could not solve by themselves. This all adds up to the village acting as Mark’s disciples. The disciples of Jesus came to him and would ask questions or Jesus would come to them and ask, why are you doing this or that. Jesus wanted his disciples to not be afraid but to have faith in him. Mark is the same, too. When he needs a question answered, the village responds and when the village comes to him, Mark responds. Jesus loved everybody and so did Mark.

Jesus and Mark end up dying for a cause in their life. The village becomes melancholy with Mark’s death because he put so much effort into helping everyone in the village In conclusion, Mark soon understands that no matter how simple it may be geese flying over a river, trees swaying in the wind, or ordinands leading a tribe of people, everything has a purpose in life. Mark’s purpose was to help the village of Quee and Jesus’ purpose to spread the word of God. Mark was not able to answer all the towns’ problems but did help them in a formal way.

Jesus dies for us and Mark dies for the village. Mark is a perfect example of resembling a Christ-like figure through him solving just about every problem in the village and willing to help others in a time of crisis.

 

Example 6

“Which was the braver, the one who left, or the one who stayed?” A statement of this nature truly describes all cultures and beliefs. Are those who go off on their own to discover new ground, education, and acceptance the brave or the weak?

Through each dimension of life, we encounter this statement, whether consciously or subconsciously. Craven’s novel, I Heard the Owl Call My Name aids one in finding out why our elders lose their faith in the youth, why our youth are so driven by diversity, and finally the reasons our rituals fade.

Pain can be heard in the voices of the elders as one reads this passage: “We are losing our sons, our young no longer understand the meaning of the totems.” The way of life is slowly deteriorating as the young tribal members become attracted to the enemies of the Indian, the white man. Peter the old carver describes the young returning from their new adventure:

“My people are proud of them, and resent them. They come from a far country. They speak English all the time and forget the words of Kwakwala. They are ashamed to dip their food in the oil of the eulachon which we call gleena. Do they say to their parents, “Don’t do it that way? The white man does it this way. ?They do not remember the myths, and the meanings of the totems.

They want to choose their own wives and husbands.” Peter goes on to say, “Here in the village my people are at home as the fish in the sea, like the eagle in the sky. When the young leave, the world takes them and damages them. They no longer listen when the elders speak. They go and soon the village will go also.”

Curiosity has flooded the minds of the young and left the elders feeling abandoned. Simply thinking of the young departing and not carrying on the traditional ways of life, leaves the elders in disappointment. The world and ways of life are evolving before the eyes of the elders, disbelief has come upon them. The mere thought

of living a separate life disturbs the elders. As in all cultures, the different lives other generations follow sadden the elders, and force them to believe their way is not good enough.

As the young tribal members learn of the white man’s world, an attraction to this unfamiliar, ground intrigues them. Much like all young people, these Indians are on the search for independence and a “modern” way of life. Young people, no matter what culture they come from, have, “regretted going and wanted to go, and the elders wanted to keep them and were relieved when they went.”

Moving towards new phases in life makes this statement so true. College is a step towards a young persons future. The separation the youngsters feel, and the loneliness the elders feel, makes the previous statement true for the Indians as well as any growing culture.

Searching for the perfect place in life and maintaining status in that life are a few of the many thoughts on the minds of the youth of yesterday, today, and even tomorrow. “Gordon was not interested in the past. His mind reached only ahead with that urgent intensity which makes youth seem selfish, and is so necessary to difficult accomplishment.” Youth strive for their independence, yet look back and understand when they leave they are losing their childhood. For some, age plays a part in overall acceptance; the obstacles they leave behind may never be forgotten.

Gordon’s story illustrates this idea, he may never forget Marta yet he is still drawn to the new world life. On the contrary, one may feel a need to return and end up losing to the new world in the end; we witness this with Keetah’s sister who was betrayed and died just trying to survive.

A youth’s mind is interested in succeeding higher than the elders, young minds believe in the obvious power in front of them, the power which comes across with ease. For many generations, we have noticed a greater acceptance of the fast-paced life, one which looks powerful, rewarding, and new. Cultures experience this situation in many fashions, yet the concept and results remain the same.

When a person moves on, do they really block out the pastor is the future so bright they must move away from the rituals? “They are all alike, the old, tied by a common bond. “We are the only ones left who remember the old ways and if we do not speak now, they will be forgotten.” Thinking of “losing” traditional ways hurt the elders?, they are narrow-minded towards change. Keetah’s sister may have ventured to the new world to follow her “love,” but when betrayed, she felt as though she would be shunned and disgraced by her people.

Abandonment is felt by all when change occurs; we feel like failures when we disappoint ourselves and the ones we love. How we approach our changing lives makes these feelings subside. A person’s strength in their culture helps to remind them of the place they came from, the trials their elders have gone through to get the culture where it is at that time, and finally, the security in oneself helps to ease the new transition.

“What have you done to us? What has the white man done to our young?” No matter what culture a person came from, when separation and growth occur, the elders always feel betrayed by their youth, the youth will always look for the “other” way, and the rituals that were once strong will slowly fade away. As cultures mature, so does society, and as we enter new phases, we also enter conflict and pain.

 

Example 7

The quote in question 1 reflects Mark’s status in the tribe well. As the quote states Mark eventually became part of the village and the villages became his family.

This however was not an easy accomplishment, for most of Mark’s early period among the villages the villagers were cautious of him and kept their distance from him. This was until one afternoon when returning to the village Mark and Jim stopped the boat to see a run of salmon swimming upriver to spawn in the clear water.

Mark then recited a few lines of prayer about the salmon which the Indians spoke about with great respect to Jim. The salmon in Indian myth is referred to as the swimmer. The salmon prayer is symbolic of the continuous cycle of life and death.

After being in the village for a period Mark begins to realize time has lost its defining contours. When Mark first arrived in the village the future loomed hugely, then the present had consumed him, however toward the end Mark states “…like the raven or bald eagle flying high over the village, must see part of the river that had passed the village that had not yet reached the village one and the same.”(p 123).

Mark has learnt enough of the meaning of life to be ready to die, he has done this by living in the village where sadness, richness and the tragic poignancy of life’s inevitability were accepted and not hidden behind a smoke screen like the way typical westernized humans deal with lives tragedies.

In the novel, the Indians are not portrayed as emotional people. They do not let their actions become blinded by emotion. The Indians in this novel are logical and rational. This is apparent after the death of the weesa-bedó, the only people showing emotions were professional mourners who wailed in shifts for three days and three nights (p 15).

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