Fools Crow

Fools Crow


James Welch

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Themes and Colors
The Individual vs. the Collective Good  Theme Icon
Colonialism and Western Expansion Theme Icon
Dreams, Visions, and Storytelling Theme Icon
War Theme Icon
Spirituality and the Natural World Theme Icon
LitCharts assigns a color and icon to each theme in Fools Crow, which you can use to track the themes throughout the work.

The Individual vs. the Collective Good

Fools Crow chronicles the coming of age of White Man’s Dog, later Fools Crow, a member of the Blackfeet tribe of Indians during the 1860s. As they live and hunt along the western plains of the Montana Territory, the Pikuni people face harsh conditions and daily challenges, and each individual decision must be weighed against the good of the tribe. The communal nature of Pikuni life leaves little room for self-interest or greed, and…

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Colonialism and Western Expansion

As White Man’s Dog and the other Pikuni Indians live, hunt, and war on the western plains of the Montana Territory, they are surrounded by signs of encroaching white settlers. The white man, or Napikwan, first appeared on Pikuni lands years earlier—even Rides-at-the-door, White Man’s Dog’s father, “picked up [English] from a missionary” as a child—but by White Man’s Dog’s eighteenth winter, the white presence has increased considerably and presents new dangers. The…

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Dreams, Visions, and Storytelling

As White Man’s Dog hunts and wars his way to becoming Fools Crow, an honored and respected member of the Lone Eaters, his journey is guided, and at times complicated, by numerous dreams and visions. Other Pikunis also experience dreams and visions, which hold great significance within their native culture. Although their meanings are usually obscure and understood only in hindsight, dreams and visions are often harbingers of death. They also serve as a connection…

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