Indian Horse

Indian Horse Chapter 4 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
After Benjamin is taken away, Saul and his family leave and move further away from the river where the Fish Clan people live. John seems calm and quiet, but Saul knows that he’s furious.
The Indian Act rips apart entire communities. Saul’s family is forced to uproot itself to protect Saul from kidnapping.
Themes
Family and Tradition Theme Icon
Cultural Genocide Theme Icon
Both of Saul’s parents begin drinking more spirits. To support themselves, they take on dangerous, miserable work cutting down trees for white businessmen. Through the years, Saul’s parents move the family from one white village to the next in search of work. In 1960, they settle in the town of Redditt, where there is plenty of work. John seems happier, and begins drinking less. The family catches fish and enjoys cooking them together, though Saul still sees the quiet sadness in Mary’s face.
Saul’s parents’ alcoholism pushes them to work harder so they can make enough money to be able to support their drinking habit. (Moreover, their addiction foreshadows Saul’s own struggles with alcoholism in the 1970s.) The family manages to get by and find some happiness, but the loss of two children leaves an indelible mark.
Themes
Family and Tradition Theme Icon
Abuse and Trauma Theme Icon