Firekeeper’s Daughter

Firekeeper’s Daughter

by

Angeline Boulley

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Firekeeper’s Daughter: Chapter 46 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Moments later, Daunis and Jamie hear Mike and Levi approaching the trailer. Quietly, Jamie slips his watch onto Daunis’s leg. She must leave with the guys if she has the opportunity. Levi enters the trailer first, avoiding looking at Daunis. As Mike adds a log to the woodstove, Daunis notices the tape lines on the floor delineating how far captives can reach with the chains. Levi empties his backpack of water bottles and protein bars, and Daunis and Jamie chug a bottle each. Then, Daunis asks Levi what’s going on. He says they need Daunis’s help with a business opportunity.
Levi’s body language (refusing to look at Daunis in particular) suggests that he feels guilty about what he’s doing. Still, he doesn’t seem to fully grasp the gravity of the situation or the pain he’s caused—calling the meth cell a “business opportunity” makes it seem benign, when really, it’s killed people. The trailer’s existence in the first place, meanwhile, suggests that Mike and Levi have perhaps done this before—maybe even with Uncle David.
Themes
Justice Theme Icon
When Daunis screeches with rage, Levi says he tried to bring it up on the day the hockey player insulted Daunis. Daunis retorts that she thought Levi was talking about buying a house to rent to college kids, but Levi says that he used to sit outside Uncle David’s classroom while David and Daunis talked about chemicals. He realized just how brilliant Daunis is. Daunis is torn between loving the praise and feeling betrayed. Mike picks up the story and says it all started in Coach Bobby’s business class, when the guys started to wonder why city drug dealers got more money than the locals.
Daunis’s relationship to Levi remains complicated. He has wholly betrayed her in so many ways, such as by kidnapping her and being involved in the meth cell to begin with. But she can’t escape the fact that she still wants to impress her beloved brother and accept his praise. That the local meth cell began in Coach Bobby’s business class should raise some suspicious, as it now seems possible that Coach Bobby himself is involved.
Themes
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Coming of Age Theme Icon
Family and Community Theme Icon
Mike sits and urges Levi to tell Daunis how it all started. Levi says that Angie Flint started dating a guy from Vegas who dealt meth. She started selling to friends, and Travis started using. He said that the meth just made him skate faster. Mike says the guy from Vegas started hitting Angie for not meeting her quotas, and Tribal Police couldn’t do anything about it because he wasn’t Native, and he only hit her on the reservation. The Tribe got rid of him at the end of his probation period, but Travis started helping Angie with the business. Levi says that he and the guys only “invest[ed] in a growing business.” Daunis realizes Levi doesn’t know she knows he did more than invest, and she thinks that he’s behaved like this because he always got special treatment and had Travis to blame for his mistakes.
As Mike and Levi describe the meth cell’s origins, notice how they overwhelmingly downplay meth’s negative effects, as when they describe Travis’s claim that it made him skate faster. While meth probably did make Travis faster, that doesn’t cancel out the fact that it destroyed his health—and ultimately, his life. In this sense, the meth cell is presenting meth in much the same way the government video at the lab did: they don’t acknowledge the real damage that meth does to people and to communities. Daunis now also suspects that TJ and dream Travis were right about Levi. Levi has no understanding that he should take responsibility for his own actions—he relies on others to smooth his way.
Themes
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Generational Trauma and Bigotry Theme Icon
Coming of Age Theme Icon
Family and Community Theme Icon
Mike picks up the story. He says that Travis started using his own product, added psychedelic mushrooms, and then added more “wild stuff” while he was hung up on Lily. Annoyed, Mike says that Levi was bad at using meth—and at pitching the business plan to Daunis last year. He tells Daunis that had she been involved, they could’ve gotten Travis help, and Lily would still be alive. Daunis realizes Mike is in charge, not Levi. Mike says that Daunis isn’t as smart as he thought, but he’s going to follow Grant’s advice and play the long game. As Levi leaves, Mike says Daunis has a choice: she can help Levi and save Jamie, or Jamie will die. Insinuating that he knows that Grant raped Daunis, Mike says they expect an answer tomorrow.
Levi might be used to having others clean up his messes, but Daunis infers in this passage that Mike is actually the most entitled of the boys in the meth cell—it even seems that he’s the one who pressured Levi into getting involved in the first place. Interestingly, Mike then seems to blame Travis and Lily’s deaths on Daunis. Their deaths were, of course, Travis’s fault; it’s not Daunis’s fault that Travis chose to shoot the gun. But by making Daunis feel responsible, Mike seems to expect that he’ll be able to manipulate Daunis in much the same way he’s manipulated Levi.
Themes
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Family and Community Theme Icon
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