1. In my opinion, Elijah interprits the message as being told to kill all enemies and lose himself. In his dream, Elijah is told, “Don’t fight it,” which essentially refers to the urge to kill people. This makes it seem as though the urge is a seperate entity that is taking over Elijah and his consiousness. When he is told “There is nothing sacred anymore in a place such as this,” this means that there is nothing worth fighting for, but “Do what you can” somewhat indicates that there is. Therefore, I think that “Do what you can” is a cleverly disguised way of saying “Do what you desire” in Elijah’s mind. The word “can” makes it seem to trick Elijah into thinking that his deeds are good. Elijah then actually starts killing anyone who gets in his way with little thought, including allies, because he liked killing.
I think that the French trapper and Elijah became similar because Elijah and the trapper both thought that they were doing things for good, when in actuality they were not. I believe that the trapper was less aware that he was bad than Elijah. The trapper believed that he was doing God’s work, while Elijah knew that he liked to kill.
2. Xavier seems to become jealous of Elijah, because Xavier was the source of Elijah’s skill, but Xavier did not receive any credit for this, or for his own skill. I honestly do not know how Xavier killing Elijah and receiving his identity is ironic, I just know that it is. If I were to state that it is because he becomes the man he kills, I would only be stating the obvious.
3. I think that the French trapper believed that having sex with Niska would take her spirit was because he thought that Niska was bad and that he was good. Also, he believed that when doing this in a church, he would have the power of God to assist him, and God would take Niska’s power away. I don’t know exactly why the trapper chose sex, but I think it has to do with the fact that he and Niska are different genders. I believe that the trapper would have used prayer against a male shaman.
I think that the French trapper feared Niska’s power, and that he believed she was a witch. Christians, Catholics, etcetera, believed that someone who practiced things that were “anti-Christian,” or someone with powers, such as a psychic, a magician, or probably even a hypnotist, was a witch who served Satan, the Devil, and that witches were usually women. Niska was considered to be a witch by the trapper was because she was a shaman/psychic. Even though the terms “witch,” “servant of Satan,” or terms similar to them were not used, I think the witch idea is highly likely because of similar events in other media where the word “witch” was used.
4. Betrayal is not a story about sex; it is rather a story revealing the French trapper’s true intentions, and how he actually felt about Niska. In a way, he did her what seemed like betrayal. I do not believe this is true betrayal, though, because to betray someone, you must actually be on someone’s side first, and I don’t think that the French trapper was ever on Niska’s side.
5. Grey Eyes: He was basically the equivalent of the “shady man” often seen in media. The man usually makes deals and can often be a loan shark, a member of the mafia, or a man who gets someone addicted to something. The term “hook you up” is often used by this man, especially when he is associated with drugs. Anyway, Grey Eyes is the cause of Elijah’s (and later Xavier’s) morphine addiction, which helps change Elijah in the book.
Fire: If I am correct, the fire symbolizes Xavier and Elijah’s friendship and teamwork. Whenever a fire occurred, the two would help eachother to escape it and show some of their care toward eachother.
Flying: I am not so sure of this motif, but I feel that it represents the time when Elijah’s character changes, where he has no emotions and starts killing mindlessly.
Morphine: I think morphine is what actually affects Elijah’s mind and lessens his care for that which is around him.
6. “Assimilation” is the word used for when a native child is taken and put into a residential school. Rabbit actually choosing to go represents a successful residential school transformation and the effects it can have on the child’s family members, such as grief. I think Rabbit’s mother interprited Rabbit’s choice as dislike toward her family and culture.
7. While Xavier did not actually inherit Niska’s psychic gifts, he gained the same morals as she did. Elijah took on the behaviour of the windigo in the book, as the windigo in the book personifies madness, and Elijah became crazed and evil-esque. So, Xavier felt he had to kill Elijah, thanks to his morals, the morals of a windigo killer. In the sense of morals, Xavier has become a windigo killer.
8. The ending was okay, and I even somewhat think that it was appropriate for this type of novel, or at least I felt, as I was reading, that the ending might be an unresolved one. My questions are, will Xavier spend more time around white people now that the war is over, and would they react the same way as the French trapper if Xavier became a true windigo killer? I feel that the author may have ended the book this way to make the readers think about what could happen after the book’s events, or that because what would happen after the book wouldn’t be as exiting or meaningful as the book itself.