I feel that the old man blindly trust the soldiers but not sure what does it exactly represent. Anyone can give a hand?
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The Old Man is washing one of the soldiers when a "blustery and stupid soldier"throws a carton of milk at him. It cuts the old milk and sprays it everywhere. The old man licks the milk, smiles, and continues washing the soldier. On one level he represents the disrespect some soldiers had for the indigenous population. On a deeper level, the old man seems a Christ-like figure who wishes to help these soldiers despite their ignorance and hate; note the whole Christ washing of feet motif.
Thank you!!! Aslan