The Round House

Nanapush Character Analysis

Nanapush is Akii and Mirage’s son, a hero of Chippewa mythology who reappears in many different Chippewa stories. In the story that Mooshum tells, Nanapush remains loyal to his mother even as his father tries to kill her. Akii sends Nanapush in search of buffalo, and he finds and kills one, saving his village. Nanapush then follows the instructions of the buffalo he kills to build the round house in homage to the buffalo’s body.

Nanapush Quotes in The Round House

The The Round House quotes below are all either spoken by Nanapush or refer to Nanapush. 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:
Women, Bigotry, and Sexual Violence Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Harper Perennial edition of The Round House published in 2013.
Chapter 8 Quotes

As he dragged himself along … Nanapush sang the buffalo song although it made him cry. It broke his heart. He remembered how when he was a small boy the buffalo had filled the world. Once, when he was little, the hunters came down to the river. Nanapush climbed a tree to look back where the buffalo came from. They covered the earth at that time. They were endless. He had seen that glory. Where had they gone? … people had seen white men shoot thousands off a train car, and leave them to rot.

Related Characters: Mooshum (speaker), Joe Coutts, Nanapush
Page Number: 184-185
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation long mobile

Unlock explanations and citation info for this and every other The Round House quote.

Plus so much more...

Get LitCharts A+
Already a LitCharts A+ member? Sign in!
Get the entire The Round House LitChart as a printable PDF.
The round house.pdf.medium

Nanapush Character Timeline in The Round House

The timeline below shows where the character Nanapush appears in The Round House. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter Eight: Hide and Q
Women, Bigotry, and Sexual Violence Theme Icon
Chippewa Tradition vs. Catholicism Theme Icon
Land, the Judicial System, and Justice Theme Icon
...woman took away her children except for her oldest son. The group told the boy, Nanapush, to kill Akiii, but he refused. Instead, Nanapush stabbed one of the men holding Akii. (full context)
Women, Bigotry, and Sexual Violence Theme Icon
Chippewa Tradition vs. Catholicism Theme Icon
Land, the Judicial System, and Justice Theme Icon
...she used to ice fish. After they submerged her in the freezing water, Mirage gave Nanapush a gun to shoot his mother if she emerged again. After the men left, Akii... (full context)
Chippewa Tradition vs. Catholicism Theme Icon
Storytelling, Formality, and Writing Theme Icon
...When he wakes the next morning and sees Mooshum in the kitchen, Joe asks who Nanapush is, and Mooshum tells him that Nanapush was a greedy but good healer to whom... (full context)
Chippewa Tradition vs. Catholicism Theme Icon
Storytelling, Formality, and Writing Theme Icon
Parenthood, Foster Families, and Coming of Age Theme Icon
Mooshum returns to Nanapush, who had just begun his journey to look for the buffalo. Nanapush sang the buffalo... (full context)
Chippewa Tradition vs. Catholicism Theme Icon
Parenthood, Foster Families, and Coming of Age Theme Icon
Land, the Judicial System, and Justice Theme Icon
Nanapush was cleaning out the chest cavity when a blizzard started. Nanapush crawled inside the buffalo... (full context)
Chapter Nine: The Big Good-bye
Chippewa Tradition vs. Catholicism Theme Icon
Land, the Judicial System, and Justice Theme Icon
...left off. Mooshum begins by explaining that wiindigoos can sometimes by cured without murder. After Nanapush saw how easily his relatives would have killed his mother, he resolved to be nothing... (full context)
Chapter Eleven: The Child
Women, Bigotry, and Sexual Violence Theme Icon
Land, the Judicial System, and Justice Theme Icon
...never did. As they drive, Joe thinks about the round house and the story of Nanapush. Joe suggests that they drive all night, so they keep going, switching drivers on and... (full context)