Indian Horse


Richard Wagamese

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Indian Horse: Chapter 8 Summary & Analysis

Following Benjamin’s death, the family gathers to honor his memory. Naomi says that they’ll carry him to “a high point,” so that his spirit will soar away toward the sun. However, Mary angrily tells Naomi that they’ll be taking Benjamin’s body to a priest. The two women argue over the proper way to honor the child, each one defending their own religious tradition. Mary accuses Naomi of killing her son by forcing him to work hard.
In the aftermath of Benjamin’s death, Naomi and Mary begin to argue. This shows how family tragedies can tear a family apart instead of bringing it together. Mary’s accusation seems misplaced, a product of her understandable grief and frustration.
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John tells Naomi that they’ll be taking Benjamin to a priest. Naomi refuses to accompany Saul’s parents. She agrees to wait with Saul. Saul watches as his parents leave, carrying their child’s body. Strangely, Saul senses that his parents are becoming “strangers” to him. Thinking back on this scene from his childhood, he can vividly recall the way his parents look as they disappear into the distance and leave him “forever.”
Unbeknownst to Saul, this is the last time he’ll ever see his parents. However, he senses that something is about to go wrong, perhaps suggesting that he really does have the gift of “vision.”
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