Green Grass, Running Water has been hailed as a merger between oral and written tradition, as well as between Aboriginal and European-American cultures. The story has a dualism that is present throughout, starting with Coyote and Dog. In Green Grass, Running Water, Coyote is the Trickster of Aboriginal tradition, specifically Plains/Prairie tradition, whereas Dog thinks that he is "GOD," but is merely Coyote's dream.
Each of the four escaped Aboriginal men originally starts as a mythical figure from Aboriginal oral tradition. They then encounter Dog posing as "GOD," and a Biblical character and situation. They also each come across a western literary figure and take new names after them. First Woman becomes Lone Ranger, Changing Woman becomes Ishmael, Thought Woman becomes Robinson Crusoe, and Old Woman becomes Hawkeye. This constant merger between oral and literary traditions indicates "Green Grass, Running Water"'s constant disruption of western narrative tradition. By using satire and humor, King is comparing and contrasting the two traditions, highlighting faults as well as strengths.