Firekeeper’s Daughter

Firekeeper’s Daughter

by

Angeline Boulley

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Firekeeper’s Daughter: Chapter 43 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
It’s Dana, not Levi. Waylon barks and a squirrel in the windowsill scolds Daunis—and then leaps into the room, exciting Waylon even more. Daunis is so scared that she knocks over a lidded basket. Inside is Dad’s scarf. Levi has been lying to her. Daunis pockets the scarf and can hear Dana calling 911. Daunis exits through the garage just as Dana breaks into Levi’s room and shrieks at the squirrel. Once Daunis gets home, she locks herself in the bathroom and vomits. Remembering a word Auntie taught her, which translates to “To be wise is to live with an abundance of sight,” Daunis realizes she knows now that she didn’t realize how hard it would be to be a strong Nish kwe. She’s been searching for Levi this whole time. He’s hurt so many people, and knowing this hurts her.
Discovering Dad’s scarf in this tense moment seems to be almost more damning in Daunis’s eyes than discovering that Levi has implicated her in the meth ring. It suggests that he doesn’t care as much as she thought he did about her emotional wellbeing and her connection to Dad, as he selfishly kept the scarf for himself. Once she’s back home, Daunis must confront that being an adult isn’t as easy as she once thought. It’s not just about being a certain age. It’s about accepting the information she now has and doing the right thing with it—which is making sure that Levi isn’t able to hurt more people.
Themes
Justice Theme Icon
Coming of Age Theme Icon
Quotes
When Mom gets home, Daunis tries to hide the sound of her retching. But Mom offers Daunis some Gatorade and asks if Daunis is pregnant. When Daunis says she’s on birth control, Mom says she’s glad Daunis has Auntie, but Daunis can also come to her for help. Daunis lets Mom in and leans on her shoulder. She desperately wants to tell Mom her secrets, but she decides instead to say that she doesn’t want to tell Mom things because she doesn’t want to cause Mom even more pain. Mom is surprised, and Daunis says that it’s her fault for being born that Mom is “stuck in limbo.” Mom assures Daunis that children are never at fault for their parents’ choices. Hugging Daunis, Mom says that she’s making choices about her life, and nothing is Daunis’s fault.
In this passage, Daunis reveals the extent to which she takes responsibility for what she perceives as her mom’s unhappiness. If she hadn’t been born, she reasons, Mom would be happier and healthier than she is now. Being born, of course, isn’t something that Daunis had any say in—it was Mom’s choice, as Mom makes clear later in the passage. This helps Daunis see that she doesn’t need to baby her mom or take on so much emotional weight when it comes to her mom. Her mom may be somewhat unwell, but it’s still up to her to make her own choices, not Daunis.
Themes
Coming of Age Theme Icon
Family and Community Theme Icon
Mom runs Daunis a bath. Afterward, Daunis dresses in a sports bra that will hide the bruise on her shoulder. As she pulls a shirt on, she hears Grant telling her that the security cameras will show that she went with him willingly. Will she ever be able to forget that night? Mom approaches Daunis’s room to ask about Shagala and the gift Levi left for Daunis. Daunis says she and Jamie had a fight and then shows Mom the photo. Mom smiles; she’s clearly still in love with Dad. Then, she asks what else Levi left. He had two boxes. Daunis shrugs and Mom leaves for EverCare. Then, Daunis searches for the second box.
As Daunis allows Mom to run her the bath and otherwise cares for her, she steps into a more childish role and allows Mom to be a caring parent. This represents a rebalancing of Mom and Daunis’s relationship. Still, Daunis can’t escape the trauma Grant has caused her by raping her last night—and the trauma that seems yet to come, as Mom reveals that Levi left a second, mysterious box in Daunis’s room.
Themes
Generational Trauma and Bigotry Theme Icon
Coming of Age Theme Icon
Under her hockey gear bag, Daunis finds a box of hockey pucks. They’re the smeared dream catcher pucks, and Daunis finds them enraging—both because of the bad printing and because they’re not regulation weight. Then, she realizes the puck in her hand has a lid. Inside is poor-quality crystal meth. This is how Levi has been distributing meth in other communities, but why would Levi leave a box of pucks in Daunis’s bedroom?
Discovering the hidden box of pucks, at least one of which contains meth, suggests that Levi is trying to frame Daunis. This again indicates that Levi isn’t the protector and idol that Daunis has always seen him as. Instead, just as he made Travis take the fall for shooting the BB gun, he’s seemingly prepared to let Daunis get in trouble for the meth cell.
Themes
Justice Theme Icon
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Daunis sits with Dad’s scarf around her shoulders and inventories what she knows. She realizes that Uncle David intended the FBI to continue on a wild goose chase after discovering the meth wasn’t hallucinogenic. He went missing after visiting Angie Flint, Travis’s mom, so Angie needs to be questioned. Grant is involved if he’s donating the pucks, and Levi is trying to set Daunis up by planting the pucks here.
When Daunis sits with Dad’s scarf and thinks of Uncle David and his logical, scientific method, she is symbolically connecting with her ancestors and drawing on their wisdom. This highlights the major role the deceased play in Daunis’s culture: they’re the ones to help guide her to what seems to be the correct conclusion.
Themes
Ceremony, Pride, and Healing Theme Icon
Family and Community Theme Icon
Just as Daunis wonders what Levi will do next, her BlackBerry buzzes and someone knocks on the door. Hiding Dad’s scarf and the puck, Daunis reads a text from Ron asking if she’s seen Jamie since last night. Daunis figures Ron is at the door, but why would he be texting if he’s here? Dana is on the doorstep, but she’s not angry to have caught Daunis breaking in. She’s afraid and says that she thinks Levi is in trouble.
It’s worth keeping in mind that Daunis is frazzled here and afraid of getting in trouble for breaking into Levi’s room. So, she’s not totally thinking logically—as she notes, Ron wouldn’t text her if he was already standing on her doorstep. This raises the possibility that Daunis (and perhaps Jamie, too) is in trouble—and that she might not be able to trust Dana.
Themes
Justice Theme Icon