Indian Horse

Fred Kelly Character Analysis

Fred Kelly is one of the gentlest and most likeable characters in the novel. He adopts Saul Indian Horse, freeing Saul from St. Jerome’s, and encourages him to play hockey for his local team. He continues to provide Saul with love, food, and encouragement, even after Saul has been away for years and returns to wrestle with his tumultuous past. Fred is an important character in Saul’s life, in part because, like Saul, Fred was a victim of sexual abuse at St. Jerome’s, and therefore has some idea of what Saul is going through.

Fred Kelly Quotes in Indian Horse

The Indian Horse quotes below are all either spoken by Fred Kelly or refer to Fred Kelly. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Family and Tradition Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Douglas & McIntyre edition of Indian Horse published in 2012.
Chapter 52 Quotes

"Did they rape everyone?" I asked.
There was a long silence. In the distance I could hear the sounds of the mill and a train. I waited and they both looked at the floor.
"It doesn't have to be sexual to be rape, Saul," Martha said.
"When they invade your spirit, it's rape too," Fred said.

Related Characters: Saul Indian Horse (speaker), Fred Kelly (speaker), Martha Kelly (speaker)
Page Number: 210
Explanation and Analysis:

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"They scooped out our insides, Saul. We're not responsible for that. We're not responsible for what happened to us. None of us are." Fred said. "But our healing-that's up to us. That's what saved me. Knowing it was my game."
"Could be a long game," I said.
"So what if it is?" he said. "Just keep your stick on the ice and your feet moving. Time will take care of itself."

Related Characters: Saul Indian Horse (speaker), Fred Kelly (speaker)
Related Symbols: Hockey
Page Number: 210
Explanation and Analysis:

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Fred Kelly Character Timeline in Indian Horse

The timeline below shows where the character Fred Kelly appears in Indian Horse. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 24
Family and Tradition Theme Icon
Abuse and Trauma Theme Icon
Transcendence Theme Icon
One day, a man named Fred Kelly comes to watch Saul and the other players practice. Father Leboutilier explains that Kelly... (full context)
Family and Tradition Theme Icon
Transcendence Theme Icon
Father Leboutilier explains that Fred Kelly has come to make Saul an incredible offer. Saul will live with Kelly and... (full context)
Family and Tradition Theme Icon
Abuse and Trauma Theme Icon
Transcendence Theme Icon
When Father Leboutilier mentions Fred Kelly’s idea to Sister Ignacia, Ignacia is disgusted. She claims that hockey is a “soulless... (full context)
Family and Tradition Theme Icon
Abuse and Trauma Theme Icon
Transcendence Theme Icon
...to leave St. Jerome’s. He gathers his few belongings and then walks outside to where Fred Kelly is waiting. Before he leaves, he embraces Father Leboutilier, who whispers, “Go with God.” (full context)
Chapter 25
Family and Tradition Theme Icon
Saul and Fred Kelly arrive in Manitouwadge, a mining town. The community where Saul lives is informally known... (full context)
Family and Tradition Theme Icon
...Moose, Saul notices that his teammates are very serious and mature. Nobody talks to him. Fred Kelly pulls Saul aside and encourages him to take it easy during his first scrimmage. (full context)
Family and Tradition Theme Icon
After practice, Fred Kelly smiles and tells Saul, “Welcome to the Moose.” Virgil hands him a soda, and... (full context)
Chapter 27
Family and Tradition Theme Icon
Saul also likes his adopted parents, Fred Kelly and Martha Kelly. He gets along with his brother, Virgil, who becomes his “closest... (full context)
Chapter 30
Family and Tradition Theme Icon
Racism and Prejudice Theme Icon
Transcendence Theme Icon
...from previous years. Saul can sense that his teammates are intimidated by the arena. Furthermore, Fred Kelly was unable to make the trip. Shortly before the game starts, a man comes... (full context)
Chapter 43
Family and Tradition Theme Icon
Abuse and Trauma Theme Icon
Racism and Prejudice Theme Icon
Saul leaves the town of Manitouwadge at the age of eighteen. Fred Kelly warns Saul that it’ll be hard for him to find work elsewhere, and suggests... (full context)
Chapter 52
Family and Tradition Theme Icon
Abuse and Trauma Theme Icon
After talking with Moses, Saul decides to visit Fred Kelly and Martha Kelly. He drives to their town, and when he knocks on their... (full context)
Family and Tradition Theme Icon
Abuse and Trauma Theme Icon
Fred gives Saul some advice: “Keep your stick on the ice and your feet moving. Time... (full context)
Chapter 53
Family and Tradition Theme Icon
Abuse and Trauma Theme Icon
Fred Kelly informs Saul that Virgil now works in a mine and has three children. Saul... (full context)
Chapter 56
Family and Tradition Theme Icon
Cultural Genocide Theme Icon
Abuse and Trauma Theme Icon
Racism and Prejudice Theme Icon
Transcendence Theme Icon
In the midst of the game, Saul turns and sees that Virgil, Fred, and Martha have been watching him play. Behind Virgil stand several of the original Moose... (full context)