Touching Spirit Bear

by

Ben Mikaelsen

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Cole Matthews Character Analysis

Cole is the 15-year-old protagonist of the novel. Cole is unspeakably angry, and to deal with his anger, he takes it out on everyone around him. This is why he commits crimes—he’s been getting in trouble with the law for half of his life—and specifically, it’s why he beats Peter Driscal for ratting him out to adults for his latest crime. Though Cole’s goal is to make everyone afraid of him, he only feels this way because he himself is so terrified. As far as he’s concerned, the only way he can trust a person is if they’re afraid of him. Though Cole unfairly tries to blame his anger, fear, and bad choices on others, he does have a good reason to be angry: his dad violently beats him, and Cole believes that neither his dad nor his mom care about him. When he becomes involved with the Circle Justice program and is sent to Alaska for punishment in lieu of going to jail, he views this banishment as just another way for his parents to get rid of him. Cole’s anger hinders his ability to make good decisions: in the Alaskan wilderness, he burns his shelter, attempts to escape the island, and tries to approach and kill a Spirit Bear. The Spirit Bear attacks, however, and in the days that follow, Cole is forced to admit that he’s not powerful—and that he needs help. The experience of being mauled begins to change Cole, as he learns that he cannot continue in such a violent manner. His second foray to the island is far more successful: with the help of Tlingit elder Edwin’s daily rituals, Cole begins to find purpose and peace, as they help him to channel his anger into more useful pursuits. Ultimately, once Cole dances “the dance of anger,” he realizes that the final step to his healing must be to help Peter heal. Given Cole’s new outlook on life, it’s shocking to learn that Peter tried to commit suicide after the assault. However, Peter’s parents agree to send him to the island, and Cole tries to be as welcoming and nonthreatening as possible. Cole even refuses to fight back when Peter tries to hurt him—and following their sighting of the Spirit Bear, Cole and Peter begin a tentative friendship. Cole’s progression thus embodies the novel’s message that overcoming the cycle of violence and making amends for one’s actions is possible through trusting others and accepting personal responsibility.

Cole Matthews Quotes in Touching Spirit Bear

The Touching Spirit Bear quotes below are all either spoken by Cole Matthews or refer to Cole Matthews. 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:
Fear, Power, and Cycles of Violence Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the HarperCollins edition of Touching Spirit Bear published in 2002.
Chapter 1  Quotes

Cole didn’t trust Garvey. He didn’t trust anyone who wasn’t afraid of him.

Related Characters: Cole Matthews, Garvey
Page Number: 3-4
Explanation and Analysis:

“Justice should heal, not punish. If you kill my cat, you need to become more sensitive to animals. You and I need to be friends, and I need to forgive you to get over my anger. That’s Circle Justice. Everybody is a part of the healing, including people from the community—anybody who cares. But healing is much harder than standard punishment. Healing requires taking responsibility for your actions.”

Related Characters: Garvey (speaker), Cole Matthews
Related Symbols: Circles
Page Number: 12
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 2 Quotes

“Other animals come here for water, too,” Edwin said. “How would you feel if a bear made its den beside the stream?”

Cole shrugged. “I’d kill it.”

The potbellied elder nodded with a knowing smile. “Animals feel the same way. Don’t forget that.” [...] “You aren’t the only creature here. You’re part of a much bigger circle. Learn your place or you’ll have a rough time.”

Related Characters: Edwin (speaker), Cole Matthews (speaker)
Related Symbols: Circles, Spirit Bear
Page Number: 17
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 3 Quotes

“Will Peter be there?”

Garvey shrugged. “It’s up to him. He may not be ready to forgive you.”

“I don’t care if he forgives me.”

Garvey rubbed the back of his neck, then glanced up toward the ceiling. “How come everything is always about you? This forgiveness isn’t for you. Unless Peter forgives you, he won’t heal.”

Related Characters: Cole Matthews (speaker), Garvey (speaker), Peter Driscal
Related Symbols: Circles
Page Number: 33
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 4 Quotes

“If the Driscals realize that the Circle allows them to have a voice in decisions, and that forgiveness can help Peter to heal, they may also join the Circle.”

“You mean they might help decide my sentence?”

Garvey nodded. “Maybe.”

“They’ll hang me,” Cole said. “I’m dead.”

“I think you’ve already hung yourself,” Garvey answered.

Related Characters: Garvey (speaker), Cole Matthews (speaker), Peter Driscal, Mr. Driscal, Mrs. Driscal
Related Symbols: Circles
Page Number: 35
Explanation and Analysis:

Cole studied Peter. Peter hadn’t sounded like this before. Cole wiped his sweaty hands on his pants. It wasn’t like he had meant to hurt anyone. Besides, this wouldn’t have happened if Peter had kept his mouth shut.

Related Characters: Cole Matthews, Peter Driscal
Page Number: 40
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 5 Quotes

Cole felt no regret for having burned the supplies and the shelter. Nor did he regret hurting Peter. This was all somebody else’s fault. If it weren’t for his parents, Peter, and the stupid Healing Circle, he wouldn’t even be here. Somebody would pay for what was happening. He would get revenge, especially against those who had wanted him in jail. People like Peter’s lady lawyer. He hated her.

Page Number: 45
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 8 Quotes

Cole tried to gather his wits. The mauling didn’t make sense. In the past, everything had always been afraid of him. Why wasn’t the bear scared? A bear with half a brain would have turned tail and run. Instead, this dumb animal had attacked. Now it wandered out in the woods somewhere, the mauling little more than an inconvenience to its morning.

Related Characters: Cole Matthews
Related Symbols: Spirit Bear
Page Number: 69
Explanation and Analysis:

Cole’s gaze wandered in a big circle around him. All of the landscape, the air, the trees, the animals, the water, the rain, all seemed to be part of something bigger. They moved in harmony, bending and flowing, twisting and breathing, as if connected. But Cole felt alone and apart. His soaked clothes chilled his bones. The hard ground pushed at his wounded body like a big hand shoving him away.

Related Characters: Cole Matthews, Edwin
Related Symbols: Circles, Spirit Bear
Page Number: 70
Explanation and Analysis:

Wincing, he wiped at his mouth with his left hand, then stared at the glistening red on his knuckles. It reminded him of the bear’s blood on the knife blade beside him. It also looked like the blood he had seen on the sidewalk after beating up Peter. The blood looked identical. This thought drifted about in his head but failed to gain meaning. Blood might look the same, but Peter was a loser and a jerk.

Related Characters: Cole Matthews, Peter Driscal
Related Symbols: Spirit Bear
Page Number: 72
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 9 Quotes

The storm raged on as Cole lay trembling, his eyes frantic. The explosion had shocked his mind awake. Never in his life had he felt so exposed, so vulnerable, so helpless. He had no control. To this storm, he was as insignificant as a leaf. Cole blinked in stunned realization. He had always been this weak. How could have ever thought he truly controlled anything?

Related Characters: Cole Matthews
Page Number: 78
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 10 Quotes

As Cole stared at the tiny bodies, sadness flooded through him. The sparrows were so frail, helpless, and innocent. They hadn’t deserved to die. Then again, what right did they have to live? This haunted Cole. Did the birds’ insignificant little existences have any meaning at all? Or did his?

Related Characters: Cole Matthews
Related Symbols: Spirit Bear
Page Number: 82
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 12 Quotes

Frantic, Cole struggled to fly, but he couldn’t escape the nest. All he could do was open his beak wide and raise it upward toward the sky, the action a simple admission that he was powerless. There were no conditions, no vices, no lies, no deceit, no manipulation. Only submission and a simple desire to live. He wanted to live, but for that he needed help; otherwise his life would end in the nest.

Related Characters: Cole Matthews, Garvey, Edwin
Related Symbols: Spirit Bear
Page Number: 94
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 13 Quotes

“I did care about you. But helping others is how I help myself.”

“You need help?” Cole asked, surprised.

Garvey nodded. “I see a lot of myself in you. When I was your age, I spent five long years in prison for things I’ll go to my grave regretting. I lived my early years here in Drake, but no one cared enough to take me through Circle Justice.” He shook his head with a sad smile. “Take my word for it, jail scars the soul. And I was never able to help those I hurt.”

Related Characters: Garvey (speaker), Cole Matthews (speaker), Cole’s Dad, Peter Driscal
Related Symbols: Circles
Page Number: 107
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 14 Quotes

“Ever wonder why your dad beats you?”

Cole looked up, surprised. “I’ve never done anything to him.”

“I didn’t say you did.”

“He just whips me ‘cause he’s mad.”

Garvey smiled. “Remind you of anybody we know?”

Related Characters: Garvey (speaker), Cole Matthews (speaker), Cole’s Dad
Page Number: 120
Explanation and Analysis:

“Your father isn’t a bad person, but when he was younger, he had parents who beat him for everything he did. That’s all he ever knew. When I saw him start doing it to you, I kept telling myself things would get better. Drinking helped me ignore reality.” She shook her head. “It took a divorce and you ending up in the hospital to wake me up. I realized I couldn’t change your father, but I could change me. I’m sorry you’ve gone through all you have. Can you ever forgive me?”

Related Characters: Cole’s Mom (speaker), Cole Matthews, Cole’s Dad
Page Number: 120
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 15 Quotes

“I just know that my dad’s not going to ever come back to say he’s sorry. Even if he did, he couldn’t change what he did. He couldn’t take away all the memories.”

“So you think this is all his fault, huh?” asked Edwin.

“No,” said Cole, his voice trembling. “Mom said his parents beat him up, too. I don’t know where the anger all started. All I know is I don’t ever want to have a kid and beat him up.”

Related Characters: Cole Matthews (speaker), Edwin (speaker), Garvey, Cole’s Mom, Cole’s Dad
Page Number: 132
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 17 Quotes

So, unless I go somewhere and freeze every morning, I’ll keep getting mad, huh?”

Edwin smiled but shook his head. “You only look at the left end of the stick and at the cloudy sky now because your experiences in life have made that a habit. Happiness, like anger, is also a habit. You learn to be happy one day at a time. But habits change hard. This pond will help you.”

Related Characters: Cole Matthews (speaker), Edwin (speaker)
Page Number: 146
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 20 Quotes

“I just realized that I’m not a bad person. Nobody is,” he said. “People are just scared and do bad things. Sometimes people hurt each other trying to figure things out.” Cole gazed into the flames. “I hate what Dad does to me, but he must be just as scared as I am. He doesn’t want to be mean; he just doesn’t know any better.”

Related Characters: Cole Matthews (speaker), Edwin, Garvey, Cole’s Dad, Peter Driscal
Page Number: 168
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 22 Quotes

That was the only time the beaver ever came near. Cole regretted betraying the beaver’s trust. He couldn’t help but think how many thousands of times he had done the same to people.

Related Characters: Cole Matthews
Page Number: 186
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 24 Quotes

“There’s still something missing. It isn’t enough to be sorry and forgive. Somehow I have to figure out a way to help Peter. Until then, I’ll never be able to carve anything in the blank space. That’s what I had to discover before I could heal, wasn’t it?”

Edwin smiled slightly and nodded. “How to help Peter heal is something that will haunt you and stay in your thoughts like a sliver under your skin. The harm you did to him will fester and pain you all your life unless you’re able to make up for it.”

Related Characters: Cole Matthews (speaker), Edwin (speaker), Peter Driscal
Page Number: 196
Explanation and Analysis:

“How is Garvey?” Cole asked excitedly.

“He said that last week Peter tried to commit suicide.”

“Suicide!” Cole caught his breath. “Why?”

“If someone is treated as if his life is worthless, he begins to believe it.”

“But his life isn’t worthless,” Cole protested.

Edwin stood, and with one motion opened the door and flung the last of his hot chocolate outside.

“I never told him he was worthless,” Cole argued.

“Smashing his head on a sidewalk is a funny way of telling Peter he’s valuable.”

Related Characters: Cole Matthews (speaker), Edwin (speaker), Peter Driscal
Page Number: 201
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 26 Quotes

The next morning Cole hiked alone to the pond. He soaked as long as he could, his calmness shaken by how terrified Peter was of him. How could he have once wanted someone to feel that way? No matter how deeply he breathed, soaking failed to take away his troubled thoughts.

Related Characters: Cole Matthews, Peter Driscal
Page Number: 216
Explanation and Analysis:

“I think it’s a matter of pride. He thinks he can always get his way and doesn’t want anyone or anything to win out over him.”

Cole traced the eraser of his pencil across the table. “I used to be like that.”

“I know you did.”

“Do you think he’ll win?” asked Cole.

Garvey shook his head. “Over my dead body.”

Related Characters: Garvey (speaker), Cole Matthews (speaker), Cole’s Dad
Page Number: 219
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 28 Quotes

Cole fought back his own tears. “I’m part of some big circle that I don’t understand. And so are you. Life, death, good and bad, everything is part of that circle. When I hurt you, I hurt myself, too. I don’t think I’ll ever heal from what I did to you, but I’m sorry, Peter. I really am sorry.”

Related Characters: Cole Matthews (speaker), Peter Driscal
Related Symbols: Circles
Page Number: 237
Explanation and Analysis:
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Touching Spirit Bear PDF

Cole Matthews Character Timeline in Touching Spirit Bear

The timeline below shows where the character Cole Matthews appears in Touching Spirit Bear. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1 
Fear, Power, and Cycles of Violence Theme Icon
Cole kneels in the boat. He strains at his handcuffs, even though he agreed to wear... (full context)
Justice and Responsibility Theme Icon
Feeling a sudden wave of anger at Edwin, Cole spits so that the wind carries it back and it lands squarely on Edwin’s chest.... (full context)
Fear, Power, and Cycles of Violence Theme Icon
Justice and Responsibility Theme Icon
Last year, Cole robbed and trashed a hardware store. A week later, when he bragged about it at... (full context)
Fear, Power, and Cycles of Violence Theme Icon
Cole thinks that his mom never stands up to anyone, while his dad drinks and blames... (full context)
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Justice and Responsibility Theme Icon
Cole is dismissive and doesn’t know why he’d do this, but Garvey points out that Cole... (full context)
Chapter 2
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Cole looks at the boxes filled with supplies—food, rain gear, and even schoolwork. A few weeks... (full context)
Fear, Power, and Cycles of Violence Theme Icon
Man vs. Nature Theme Icon
Back in Minneapolis, Circle Justice had seemed like a joke. Garvey told Cole to plead guilty and assured him that he can withdraw it at any time. Cole... (full context)
Fear, Power, and Cycles of Violence Theme Icon
Man vs. Nature Theme Icon
...spiny, dangerous plant that will cause infection if touched. He points to the stream where Cole can get water and says it’s so far away because other animals use it for... (full context)
Fear, Power, and Cycles of Violence Theme Icon
Man vs. Nature Theme Icon
Cole insists that Edwin is crazy, but Edwin continues unperturbed. He says that there’s a book... (full context)
Fear, Power, and Cycles of Violence Theme Icon
Ritual Theme Icon
Justice and Responsibility Theme Icon
Cole asks if this means that Garvey trusts him. Garvey says that if Cole promises, he’ll... (full context)
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Man vs. Nature Theme Icon
Justice and Responsibility Theme Icon
In Minneapolis, Garvey told Cole that he had bigger issues than getting out of detention—like finding a sponsor for Circle... (full context)
Chapter 3
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Cole stares at the fire; it doesn’t make him happy. He notices eagles and a mother... (full context)
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Cole laughs hysterically as everything burns. His laughter seems to mock everyone who has ever bullied... (full context)
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As Cole swims, he thinks about Garvey’s “stupid cake demonstration” and his application to Circle Justice. When... (full context)
Chapter 4
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Cole pauses his swimming to catch his breath. He’s outside the bay now and angles for... (full context)
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Judge Tanner arrives, along with Nathaniel Blackwood and Cole’s dad. They’re both dressed in suits and look out of place. Cole’s dad sits on... (full context)
Fear, Power, and Cycles of Violence Theme Icon
Justice and Responsibility Theme Icon
The Keeper looks at Cole and points out that he has a history of anger and violence. Peter is still... (full context)
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Justice and Responsibility Theme Icon
When Peter introduces himself, he speaks slowly and haltingly. He didn’t sound like this before. Cole’s hands sweat. He didn’t mean to hurt Peter, but this wouldn’t have happened if Peter... (full context)
Chapter 5
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Cole swims as hard as he can and pauses to look back. He can’t believe it—he... (full context)
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Cole wakes before dawn. Everything hurts. He can almost remember burning everything and swimming away. He... (full context)
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Justice and Responsibility Theme Icon
Cole catches sight of the at.óow when he turns back around. It’s still not burnt. Cole... (full context)
Chapter 6
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Ritual Theme Icon
Cole puts on his damp clothes and laughs about people’s reactions when he called his dad... (full context)
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Justice and Responsibility Theme Icon
Garvey takes the feather and asks the group what caused Cole’s anger—and what they might have done had they grown up in Cole’s situation. Garvey admits... (full context)
Fear, Power, and Cycles of Violence Theme Icon
...and holds it for a long time. When prompted, he slurs that someone should hit Cole’s head against the sidewalk so that he can learn what it feels like. The Keeper... (full context)
Fear, Power, and Cycles of Violence Theme Icon
Man vs. Nature Theme Icon
Back in the present, on the island, Cole gets angry just thinking about Circle Justice meetings. He hikes to the stream for a... (full context)
Fear, Power, and Cycles of Violence Theme Icon
Cole also wishes he could see his dad’s reaction, as he knows that his dad hates... (full context)
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Ritual Theme Icon
Man vs. Nature Theme Icon
Justice and Responsibility Theme Icon
It’s all Garvey’s fault that Cole is on the island in the first place. After the fifth Circle meeting, Cole asked... (full context)
Chapter 7
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Man vs. Nature Theme Icon
Cole breaks branches off trees to feed his fire. He notices an orca and her calf... (full context)
Man vs. Nature Theme Icon
At dawn, it starts to drizzle. Cole knows he needs food and energy to swim, so he stokes his fire and heads... (full context)
Fear, Power, and Cycles of Violence Theme Icon
Man vs. Nature Theme Icon
When Cole looks up, the Spirit Bear is standing at the bay, staring straight at Cole. Cole... (full context)
Chapter 8
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Justice and Responsibility Theme Icon
Ten feet from the Spirit Bear, Cole flings the spear. The bear swats it away and then leaps, knocking Cole down and... (full context)
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Justice and Responsibility Theme Icon
Cole can’t move anything except his head and his left arm, and everything hurts. Blood drips... (full context)
Ritual Theme Icon
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Cole tries to move, but he can’t. His arm is useless, and his hand points the... (full context)
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Man vs. Nature Theme Icon
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Cole’s stomach cramps, causing him to vomits. He’s in excruciating pain, and he blacks out. Hours... (full context)
Chapter 9
Fear, Power, and Cycles of Violence Theme Icon
Man vs. Nature Theme Icon
The rain and gray sky make it difficult to mark time, but Cole knows that he’s going to die. He tries not to think about it as he... (full context)
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Man vs. Nature Theme Icon
Cole wakes in the middle of the night to thunder and lightning. When lightning flashes, Cole... (full context)
Fear, Power, and Cycles of Violence Theme Icon
Man vs. Nature Theme Icon
When Cole wakes up, he confusedly looks around and sees that lightning hit a nearby spruce tree.... (full context)
Chapter 10
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Cole thinks about the sparrows as he struggles to stay alive. By dawn, he’s hanging on... (full context)
Man vs. Nature Theme Icon
Cole watches birds flit around the downed tree and remembers the nest. He spots it and... (full context)
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Ritual Theme Icon
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Tears well in Cole’s eyes. He wonders if the baby birds suffered as they died, and though he thinks... (full context)
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The image of a baby sparrow in a nest flits into Cole’s mind. The bird isn’t angry; it’s just helpless and wants food and life. Cole realizes... (full context)
Chapter 11
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The mouse struggles in Cole’s clamped hand. Cole feels awful for the animal, but he forces it into his mouth.... (full context)
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Cole looks out to the bay and sees the mother sea with her pups. He snags... (full context)
Chapter 12
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As the Spirit Bear approaches Cole’s saliva, Cole wonders if he’s strong enough to put up any defense. The bear, however,... (full context)
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Man vs. Nature Theme Icon
When the storm loses its power, Cole wakes up. He can smell a harsh animal smell and opens his eyes to find... (full context)
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The Spirit Bear wades right into the water and swims away. Cole takes a breath and notices that the world around him seems to have come alive.... (full context)
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Justice and Responsibility Theme Icon
Cole begins to hear a buzzing noise and seagulls. This is annoying—he wants to die in... (full context)
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Finally, the boat slows and bumps against something. Cole opens his eyes to see lots of people. He cries out in pain as the... (full context)
Chapter 13
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A strange man announces that they can’t get a plane out to take Cole to Ketchikan until morning due to the weather. Edwin introduces the Tlingit nurse as Rosey,... (full context)
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Garvey remarks that the bear did a lot of damage and apologizes to Cole, but Cole whispers that it was his fault. Garvey and Edwin exchange a glance, and... (full context)
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Cole wakes and reaches out, calling hoarsely for Garvey. Garvey turns on the light, and Rosey... (full context)
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When Cole insists that people want to hurt him, Rosey assures Cole that those people need his... (full context)
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Garvey incredulously says that he also let a bear maul Cole, and now, Cole still has to deal with his parents and jail time. Cole says... (full context)
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Cole starts to argue and reaches for his pants to pull out the hair, but then... (full context)
Chapter 14
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Six months later, Cole limps slowly out of the hospital. Garvey is next to him; Cole’s mom and a... (full context)
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Lots of people from the Circle visited Cole during his hospitalization. His mom came often and assured Cole that she loves and cares... (full context)
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Cole glances back at the hospital, glad to leave. He knows he has a lot of... (full context)
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The next afternoon, Garvey shares that the Justice Circle will meet with Cole again—but they’ll probably send his case back to the courts. This means jail. Cole says... (full context)
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Cole settles in. His dad never visits, but Garvey and Cole’s mom stop by every day.... (full context)
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A week later, Garvey announces that the Justice Circle meets the next night. Both of Cole’s parents know about the meeting, and Garvey has a surprise. The next night, Cole accompanies... (full context)
Chapter 15
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Nervously, Cole tells the Circle that he was mad and didn’t understand that they were trying to... (full context)
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Edwin asks Cole to help him with a demonstration. He points out a line in the linoleum floor... (full context)
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The Keeper asks how they can be sure and mentions Cole’s claim that he saw a white bear. Edwin asks Cole if he saw a Spirit... (full context)
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Over the next few weeks, Cole prepares himself mentally for jail. He starts working out and realizes that he can exercise... (full context)
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Cole admits he’s not sure how this changes anything, but he knows now that his dad... (full context)
Chapter 16
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Cole shudders as the island comes into view. He wonders if the Spirit Bear is out... (full context)
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Annoyed, Cole eyes the boat, but he decides to stay. When Edwin and Garvey return two hours... (full context)
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Garvey says that the hot dog did what Cole asked of it—it fed him. Garvey asks Cole to pass him one, and he and... (full context)
Chapter 17
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Edwin shows Cole how to suspend their coolers of food so the bears can’t get it and announces... (full context)
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Almost as soon as Cole falls asleep, Edwin shakes him awake. It’s still dark, but Cole stumbles into his clothes... (full context)
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Cole strips and wades into the pond. He sits on rocks next to Edwin and notices... (full context)
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When Cole then asks why bother trying, Edwin asks Cole if the sky is sunny or stormy.... (full context)
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...what to focus on. He explains that happiness and anger are habits; with the pond, Cole can learn to make happiness a habit. He admits that the winter will be hard... (full context)
Chapter 18
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When Cole and Edwin get back to camp, Garvey is sipping coffee. He points out whales, and... (full context)
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Cole pulls out hamburger for dinner, irritated that Garvey is smiling. Cole’s hands are blistered. Annoyed,... (full context)
Man vs. Nature Theme Icon
...Garvey jumps, imitating a whale breaching. Aware that he has no choice but to dance, Cole bends at the waist and pretends he’s gliding through the water. He thinks he looks... (full context)
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Garvey stands and announces that it’s time for bed. He gives Cole ointment for his blisters. Cole asks Edwin what a dance of anger is like and... (full context)
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Cole asks how long they have to sit, and Edwin says they sit until Cole can... (full context)
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Cole looks back after several hundred feet, but Edwin tells him to pretend the rock is... (full context)
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Cole scoffs that he’s not doing this every day, but Edwin reminds Cole that it’s his... (full context)
Chapter 19
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As Cole smears lotion on his blisters, he points across the bay to something. Edwin says it’s... (full context)
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Cole is certain that Garvey is bluffing, but it’s not worth it to test if he’s... (full context)
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Edwin and Garvey head for the tent. When Cole asks about the wolf dance, Garvey tells Cole to do what he usually does and... (full context)
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As Cole hikes, he wonders if Garvey and Edwin will really take him back to Minneapolis. He’s... (full context)
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Cole locates the ancestor rock. He’s stiff from the cold, but his joints don’t ache. Cole... (full context)
Chapter 20
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Cole wonders if he really just saw the Spirit Bear. He wonders if he should tell... (full context)
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Cole works hard all day, and by evening, all that’s left is to install the stove.... (full context)
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...felt painfully lonely at first, but eventually he felt peaceful. When it’s dark, Edwin asks Cole to dance first and offers to keep a rhythm. He finds two chunks of driftwood... (full context)
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Cole sleeps well, and in the morning, both Edwin and Garvey get up with him. Cole... (full context)
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Edwin shows Cole how to install the stove, and then he and Garvey pack up. Garvey gives Cole... (full context)
Chapter 21
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Every morning, Cole soaks in the pond and carries the ancestor rock. In the afternoons, he works on... (full context)
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Cole uses rope to get the log to the water and then lets it float while... (full context)
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Cole takes a deep breath and hacks a groove around the center of the log. Then,... (full context)
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When Edwin visits next, Cole asks why he hasn’t seen the Spirit Bear. Edwin suggests that the bear was curious... (full context)
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...tapered end, and he says sternly that it looks like the start of a canoe. Cole whispers that he started to carve one, but he cut the groove so he couldn’t... (full context)
Chapter 22
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Cole carves all afternoon after Edwin leaves, even stretching a tarp so that he can escape... (full context)
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The weather gets warmer, but the drizzle continues. Cole busies himself with chores and schoolwork. He looks for the Spirit Bear and tries to... (full context)
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Cole still feels angry most days for no reason he can identify. Despite this, he still... (full context)
Chapter 23
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Cole realizes that being invisible means clearing his mind. In the pond, he feels like he’s... (full context)
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Cole blinks, and the Spirit Bear disappears. That night, he builds a huge outdoor fire, cooks... (full context)
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Cole shouts into the ocean that he didn’t mean to hurt Peter and that he’s sorry... (full context)
Chapter 24
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Cole goes to his totem pole the next morning to carve something to symbolize his anger.... (full context)
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...infrequently and never stays long. He acts as though something bothers him. Though he checks Cole’s totem pole, Edwin focuses on the blank spot for Cole’s anger carving. In September, as... (full context)
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Cole eventually stops performing his morning ritual when it becomes too dangerous to hike with the... (full context)
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Near the end of March, Edwin arrives and acts like something is wrong. Cole helps carries supplies to the cabin and makes them cocoa. Edwin finally shares that Garvey... (full context)
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Cole returns to his cabin and thinks about Peter’s suicide attempt. He understands that Peter’s parents... (full context)
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Cole races back to camp as fast as he can, slipping in the stream. He finds... (full context)
Chapter 25
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Edwin immediately shoots down Cole’s insistence that Peter come to the island. Cole argues that Peter needs to see the... (full context)
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Before Edwin leaves, he asks if Cole would stay on the island longer in order to help Peter. Cole insists he’ll stay... (full context)
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...sit by himself. When the fire is blazing, Edwin explains that Garvey will stay with Cole and Peter. Mr. Driscal tells Cole forcefully that he and Mrs. Driscal are staying long... (full context)
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Cole tells everyone his entire story, from the Spirit Bear mauling him to his his return... (full context)
Chapter 26
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Cole prepares his favorite meal for everyone that night and explains how Garvey taught him that... (full context)
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Cole remarks sadly that Peter is very afraid, so Edwin advises Cole to be patient. Mr.... (full context)
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Garvey returns to the cabin. Cole pulls out a Snickers bar and walks down to Peter. Peter gets up and moves... (full context)
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Peter refuses to come back to the cabin until Cole is in his tent, 100 yards away. Garvey brings Cole supper later, and when Cole... (full context)
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Back at camp, Cole suggests they gather more firewood. Garvey invites Peter to help, but Peter walks away without... (full context)
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Not long after this, Peter bumps Cole while they’re walking along the stream and sends Cole flying into the water. Cole announces... (full context)
Chapter 27
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Cole races into the cabin. Garvey winks at him as Cole heats water for hot chocolate.... (full context)
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One day, Cole discovers that someone destroyed the bear carving on his totem pole. He feels enraged, but... (full context)
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Peter refuses to come out of the cabin until supper is ready. After they eat, Cole adds more wood to the fire and dances first. When he’s done, he says that... (full context)
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Cole is amazed at how real Peter’s mouse carving looks. Peter smirks that his mouse is... (full context)
Chapter 28
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Cole, Garvey, and Peter go to the pond together through the summer until one morning, Peter... (full context)
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Peter shouts that Cole hasn’t changed. Cole slowly insists that he’s not going to beat Peter up again and... (full context)
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Fighting back his own tears, Cole insists that they’re both part of a big circle of life and death. Cole understands... (full context)
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Cole and Peter soak in silence and then find a second ancestor rock. They both roll... (full context)