A Man Called Horse Themes

A Man Called Horse Themes


The main theme of the story is freedom in both literal and metaphorical sense. Horse has been captured, and thus deprived of freedom. He is forced to live in an Indian camp and they treat his at first like a slave. This is literal meaning of freedom, in this case lack of it.

But what has much deeper meaning is freedom of personality, of his thoughts and convictions. One cannot be fully free, especially when he is a captive of social prejudices. When living in Boston, under his grandmother’s loving care and on his father’s wealth the hero is always discontent with this life, and he could not define this discontent. Only after those years lived with Crows he understood what real freedom was. It was to live one’s life being honest to oneself. The need of boasting was keeping him back from being really free, and only after he could have understood those wild people, he had appreciated the life itself.

Equality of people

When living in Boston the hero felt a strong desire to live among equals of his, but he had no idea what these equals should be. When having got in the Crows’ camp he considered those people savages and heathens, he had only one wish to escape. They did not consider him equal, and he had to gain their respect. First he had to gain their trust, and he managed to do this with showing no rebellion against the Crows, and with their trust he received an opportunity to hunt and gained respect by killing a hostile Indian and bringing two horses into the camp. And finally he gained equality by marring Pretty Calf. But he got used to them, he learnt there to love, to be devoted to ones he loves, to respect and be honest. Thus he understood that all the people are equal, and never after felt himself different, or treated another like an unequal of him, and his status in society did not matter.

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