A Man Called Horse Symbols, Allegory and Motifs

A Man Called Horse Symbols, Allegory and Motifs

Bathing in the creek (Symbol)

It is not an accident that Horse is bathing, thus he is naked, when he has been captured. Water symbolizes renewal, it cleans a person from all the dirt, literally and metaphorically. When he is captured, he is nothing. It does not matter what he was, who he was, was he wealthy or poor, nothing of this matters. He is naked, and his identity is naked as well. In this way after the bathing he entered a completely new life, he is like a blank sheet of paper.

Approach of winter (Motif)

The motif of winter is repeated within the text for several times. Every time when Horse decides to escape winter in approaching, so he decides to stay for some time more. He does not want to start his way without a horse, or good weapons, seemingly he always finds a reason to stay. But even when he “had what he needed for a secret journey, the grass grew yellow on the plains and the long cold was close”, so he does not leave. It is not accidentally that the author uses winter, which symbolizes cold, to prevent the hero to leave. It in some way corresponds to his inner lack of warmth, meaning that he is still on his search, he still has not achieved what he had come for.

Equality (Allegory)

The main hero leaves his home to find people equal of his. He has been captured by Crows Indians, and was not considered as an equal even by these wild, savage people. But what happens next is that he does not find equals, he finds his identity. The morals lesson stands in the fact that it is not social position or status, but it is feelings, that make all the people equal.

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