Montana 1948


Larry Watson

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Ronnie Tall Bear Character Analysis

Ronnie is Marie Little Soldier’s boyfriend. He is an all-star athlete, but is not accepted to any universities because of his race. He eventually enters the military. David fondly remembers Ronnie and Marie as members of his “real” family, people bound not by the obligations of blood but rather by bonds of friendship and acceptance.

Ronnie Tall Bear Quotes in Montana 1948

The Montana 1948 quotes below are all either spoken by Ronnie Tall Bear or refer to Ronnie Tall Bear. 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:
Law versus Justice Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Milkweed Editions edition of Montana 1948 published in 1993.
Chapter 1 Quotes

I never wondered then, as I do now, why a college didn’t snap up an athlete like Ronnie. Then, I knew, without being told, as if it were knowledge that I drank in the water, that college was not for Indians.

Related Characters: David Hayden (speaker), Ronnie Tall Bear
Page Number: 14
Explanation and Analysis:
Epilogue Quotes

I believe I remembered the incident so fondly not only because I was with Marie and Ronnie, both of whom I loved in my way, but also because I felt, for that brief span, as though I was part of a family, a family that accepted me for myself and not my blood or birthright.

Related Characters: David Hayden (speaker), Marie Little Soldier, Ronnie Tall Bear
Page Number: 167
Explanation and Analysis:
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Ronnie Tall Bear Character Timeline in Montana 1948

The timeline below shows where the character Ronnie Tall Bear appears in Montana 1948. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1
Racism, Prejudice, and the American West Theme Icon
Growing Up Theme Icon
Marie has a boyfriend named Ronnie Tall Bear, whom David worships. Ronnie is perhaps the most accomplished athlete to ever graduate... (full context)
Family and Loyalty Theme Icon
Growing Up Theme Icon
One memory of Marie has stuck with David after 40 years. He, Marie, and Ronnie had been playing football in the yard, and he remembers thinking of them as his... (full context)