Touching Spirit Bear


Ben Mikaelsen

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Touching Spirit Bear Symbols

Spirit Bear

The Spirit Bear that lives on the Alaskan island where Cole is sent symbolizes the power, beauty, and danger of the natural world—as well as Cole’s changing relationship to the natural world. At first, Cole…

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The blanket (at.óow in the Tlingit language) that Garvey gives to Cole represents trust and friendship. As Garvey explains, according to Alaskan culture, no one truly owns an at.óow; it’s tribal property, and…

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The various circles that Cole notices and encounters throughout the novel symbolize connectedness community, and healing. The organization Circle Justice is the most overt iteration of this: the organization facilitates communication and, hopefully, healing for…

read analysis of Circles