Tracks

Clarence Morrissey is the son of Bernadette and brother to Sophie. When the rumors spread that Eli has had sex with Sophie, he becomes angry and seeks revenge. He and Boy Lazarre seek to embarrass Margaret in exchange for the way Eli has embarrassed Sophie, and so they kidnap her and cut off her braids. In retaliation for this act, Nanapush sets a snare for Clarence, but when the snare catches, they don’t kill Clarence, instead disfiguring him. Clarence marries a Lazarre, taking over the family farm and causing its decline.

Clarence Morrissey Quotes in Tracks

The Tracks quotes below are all either spoken by Clarence Morrissey or refer to Clarence Morrissey. 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:
Tradition, Assimilation, and Religion Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Harper Perennial edition of Tracks published in 2011.
Chapter 5 Quotes

I didn’t understand until Lazarre slouched and Clarence stood before Margaret, that this had to do with everything. The land purchase. Politics. Eli and Sophie. It was like seeing an ugly design of bruises come clear for a moment and reconstructing the evil blows that made them. Clarence would take revenge for Eli’s treatment of his sister by treating Eli’s mother in similar fashion.

Related Characters: Nanapush (speaker), Margaret Kashpaw, Clarence Morrissey, Boy Lazarre
Page Number: 113
Explanation and Analysis:
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Clarence Morrissey Character Timeline in Tracks

The timeline below shows where the character Clarence Morrissey appears in Tracks. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 4: Winter 1914-Summer 1917, Meen-geezis, Blueberry Sun
Gender Roles Theme Icon
...is well-regarded for having taken in his sister and her children, including her strapping son Clarence. (full context)
Gender Roles Theme Icon
Self-Destruction vs. Outside Influences Theme Icon
...to have sex again. Gossip about them begins immediately, with people laughing at the pair. Clarence tells Pauline that Napoleon has headed south to sell some horses, but Pauline says he’ll... (full context)
Tradition, Assimilation, and Religion Theme Icon
Gender Roles Theme Icon
Self-Destruction vs. Outside Influences Theme Icon
The Importance of Nature in Indigenous Life Theme Icon
...how Eli looks at her. Sophie begins to bring Eli treats. Napoleon teases her, and Clarence vows to kill Eli if he lays a hand on her. (full context)
Tradition, Assimilation, and Religion Theme Icon
Gender Roles Theme Icon
Self-Destruction vs. Outside Influences Theme Icon
...Morrisseys’, Pauline shows Bernadette the evidence of what happened on the dress, and Sophie confirms. Clarence loads his gun, arguing about wanting to go pay a visit to Eli, but eventually... (full context)
Tradition, Assimilation, and Religion Theme Icon
Gender Roles Theme Icon
Birth, Death, and Survival Theme Icon
The Importance of Nature in Indigenous Life Theme Icon
...woods when he realizes that Fleur knows what he’s done. Pauline returns to the Morrisseys’. Clarence slips out and Napoleon approaches Pauline, reaching into her blouse to touch her back. Pauline... (full context)
Tradition, Assimilation, and Religion Theme Icon
Self-Destruction vs. Outside Influences Theme Icon
The Importance of Nature in Indigenous Life Theme Icon
...Fleur’s cabin, aside from Margaret having built a small fire to keep the girl warm. Clarence and Napoleon run to the church, rouse the priest, and Clarence grabs the statue of... (full context)
Tradition, Assimilation, and Religion Theme Icon
Gender Roles Theme Icon
...was meant for Sophie alone. Sophie tries to stand, but falls in the snow and Clarence hauls her up. Napoleon and the priest arrive in the clearing, but no one observes... (full context)
Chapter 5: Fall 1917-Spring 1918, Manitou-geezis, Strong Spirit Sun
Tradition, Assimilation, and Religion Theme Icon
Gender Roles Theme Icon
Self-Destruction vs. Outside Influences Theme Icon
After mass they head home in the dark, and realize that Boy Lazarre and Clarence Morrissey are following them in the snow. The Lazarre and Morrissey families have recently come... (full context)
Tradition, Assimilation, and Religion Theme Icon
Gender Roles Theme Icon
Self-Destruction vs. Outside Influences Theme Icon
Boy and Clarence then jump out to grapple with Margaret and Nanapush, and Lulu runs off. Margaret bites... (full context)
Tradition, Assimilation, and Religion Theme Icon
Gender Roles Theme Icon
Self-Destruction vs. Outside Influences Theme Icon
Birth, Death, and Survival Theme Icon
The Importance of Nature in Indigenous Life Theme Icon
Nanapush realizes that this is not just about land, but about Clarence wanting to humiliate Margaret in the same way that Eli has humiliated his sister Sophie.... (full context)
Tradition, Assimilation, and Religion Theme Icon
Gender Roles Theme Icon
Self-Destruction vs. Outside Influences Theme Icon
...“Come near…Let me teach you how to die!” Margaret then sings a shrill death song. Clarence knocks out Nanapush. When Nanapush wakes up, he sees that Boy has sliced off Margaret’s... (full context)
Tradition, Assimilation, and Religion Theme Icon
Gender Roles Theme Icon
Self-Destruction vs. Outside Influences Theme Icon
Birth, Death, and Survival Theme Icon
The Importance of Nature in Indigenous Life Theme Icon
...then reveals his plan to set snares which kill slowly and will allow Boy and Clarence to consider what they’ve done wrong. Nanapush cuts two of the end wires out of... (full context)
Tradition, Assimilation, and Religion Theme Icon
Gender Roles Theme Icon
Self-Destruction vs. Outside Influences Theme Icon
Birth, Death, and Survival Theme Icon
The Importance of Nature in Indigenous Life Theme Icon
Fleur goes to town with her newly bald head, and Clarence and Boy run from her in fear. Fleur visits the Morrissey house, touching random items... (full context)
Tradition, Assimilation, and Religion Theme Icon
Gender Roles Theme Icon
Birth, Death, and Survival Theme Icon
Nanapush and Nector reveal themselves to Clarence, but Nanapush can’t bring himself to kill him, and he and Nector walk away, leaving... (full context)
Tradition, Assimilation, and Religion Theme Icon
Self-Destruction vs. Outside Influences Theme Icon
...Damien stops him and gives him his penance. Nanapush admits also to the attack on Clarence and tells the priest that he used the wire from the church’s piano to do... (full context)
Chapter 7: Winter 1918-Spring 1919, Paguk Beboon, Skeleton Winter
Tradition, Assimilation, and Religion Theme Icon
Gender Roles Theme Icon
Self-Destruction vs. Outside Influences Theme Icon
News comes from town. Pauline has taken her vows. Sophie and Clarence Morrissey have married their cousins, the Lazarres. Sophie’s Lazarre has six children from a previous... (full context)
Tradition, Assimilation, and Religion Theme Icon
Gender Roles Theme Icon
Self-Destruction vs. Outside Influences Theme Icon
Birth, Death, and Survival Theme Icon
...Nanapush and Nector go to the Morrissey farm as Napoleon is butchering his last cow. Clarence tells them to stand back and they’ll throw them the guts. Nanapush reminds them how... (full context)
Chapter 9: Fall 1919-1924, Minomini-geezis, Wild Rice Sun
Tradition, Assimilation, and Religion Theme Icon
Gender Roles Theme Icon
Birth, Death, and Survival Theme Icon
The Importance of Nature in Indigenous Life Theme Icon
...her to walk without leaving tracks. The ghost of Napoleon supposedly returns to speak to Clarence and accuses Fleur, proof to Clarence of what happened. (full context)