• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

I Heard the Owl Call My Name - summary.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

I Heard the Owl Call My Name Justin Anderson Margaret Craven Rel. 110 Dell Publishing, New York, 1973 Oct. 27, 2003 I Heard the Owl Call My Name, is a book which describes the beliefs and lifestyle of a Pacific Northwest Indian tribe, Kingcome. The people of the Kingcome tribe have lived for centuries practicing the native traditions that have supported their longstanding existence. They live off of the land and river that their village sits on; Mother Nature meets their daily needs and nothing is wasted or taken for granted. However, the modern world is creeping into the tribe's lifestyle and slowly imposing changes which some of the elders are not pleased with. The main story line of the book revolves around a young vicar, Mark Brian, who is sent to the tribe to lead them spiritually through Christianity, which had been introduced to the tribe in years past. While living in the village, slowly learning about the people and gaining their trust Mark learns valuable lessons about life, death and the culture that he has been adopted into. By the end of the book Mark has been accepted by the tribe and in return has accepted the tribe into his life and understands their views regarding the changing world that is encroaching upon their history. ...read more.

Middle

Inanimate parts of nature are also worshiped, as in the case of a nearby mountain to the village that holds significant meaning. In a story of a battle long ago it was said of the mountain, "...the spirit that lives in Whoop-Szu, the Noisy Mountain, that is across the river and towers over the village, heard the enemy coming and sent down a slide and buried it." (p.18) Nature was not only was seen as a provider for the people of Kingcome, but it played important roles in their views of death and the cycle of the human spirit after death. Mark and a younger woman in the tribe explained death to a child, "It is not sad. It is natural. When I was a child and a sea-hunter died, we believed he went to the land of the killer whale, and a land-hunter to the home the wolves, and a slave to the home of the owls." (p.47) This passage shows how human life is often paired with life in nature and how the two are entwined amongst each other in the beliefs of the Native Americans. ...read more.

Conclusion

Throughout the village and burial grounds the tribe has maintained their totems and ancient religious symbols. Even after funeral ceremonies in which Mark gave a Christian service to the dead, after he was done the Chief would then send the soul into the afterlife through a tradition tribal service or ritual. The influence of Christianity is very vivid through the book; however the desire to keep alive ancient traditions not related to modern views comes across just as strongly. On a personal level, I found this book to be an interesting look into the culture of the Native Americans and their outlook on life and the world around us. Granted this is a very general look into their world, being that most of the nature and symbolism did not go into great detail, but encompassed a more general view of most Native American beliefs. A deeper look into a true story tribe would have been more interesting and informative I think. But as a general look at the Native Americans and what is important to them, it did a good job. The book itself is a fairly easy read for an older reader. It seems more geared to early high school students and people with little previous knowledge of the Native American ways. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our University Degree Wordsworth section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related University Degree Wordsworth essays

  1. A Role of Settings In Oliver Goldsmith's poem"The Deserted Village".

    that lowed to meet their young, The noisy geese that gabbled o'er the pool; The playful children just let loose from school; The watchdog's voice that bayed with whisp'ring wind, And the loud laugh that spoke the vacant mind; Filling the scene with various sounds that we know very well, Oliver creates the atmosphere equal to natural.

  2. Coleridge, Samuel Taylor (1772-1834), English poet, critic, and philosopher, who was a leader of ...

    The dead bird is hung around his neck to indicate his cursed status. The ship is adrift in a stagnant sea alive with "slimy things". Dying of thirst, the men are visited by a spectre, the "Night-mare Life-in-Death". Adrift on a ship of dead men, the Mariner is released when,

  1. The Project Paper - The short story.

    Frank O'Connor FrankO'Connor was the pen name that Michael )'Donovan )1903-1966) adopted when he feared that to be known as a writer would hurt his career in civil service. He was born in Cork, Ireland's second city. Desperate poverty forced his parents to take him out of school after he had completed only fourth grade.

  2. Daughter of Kami: Shinto and Christian themes in 'Nausica of the Valley of the ...

    In the first few minutes of the film, Nausica� is shown flying on her aircraft into the Fukai. The toxic jungle is rendered beautifully, with glittering poisonous plants, translucent flying insects and serene music in the background. Here we see the unconditional beauty of nature, be it harmless or poisonous.

  1. NATURE, natural, and the group of words derived from them, or allied to them ...

    contact: and by this simple change of place, natural forces previously dormant are called into action, and produce the desired effect. Even the volition which designs, the intelligence which contrives, and the muscular force which executes these movements, are themselves powers of Nature.

  2. The supernatural in Coleridge's "The Rime of the Ancient mariner" & the uncanny in ...

    "The western wave was all a-flame, The day was well nigh done!, Almost upon the western wave, Rested the broad bright sun; When that strange shape drove suddenly, Betwixt us and the sun,". The supernatural entity is clearly appears in this stanza.

  1. Oetry from other cultures - Woman Work & The Heroines.

    She is a slave to the existence she lives. The first verse of "heroines" has many similarities to women work, they both deal with hard working women and again lacks punctuation which gives the impression of chores faced coming one after another.

  2. Seamus Heany - Death of a Naturalistand The Early Purges

    The harsh "p" sound adds to this. Heany "sadly hung round the yard". This seems similar to the kittens "bobbing" in the bucket, and it shows the same mood, that it was hopeless for the kittens, that they were helpless, and Heany is also helpless; he cannot save the dead kittens.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work