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The Role of Minor Characters in Indian Horse by Richard Wagamese

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Minor characters significantly impact and create a positive influence on the protagonist. In the novel Indian Horse, written by the Canadian writer Richard Wagamese, minor characters turn out to be a positive influence on Saul Indian Horse. These characters encourage Saul to endure in different parts of his life and offer help through emotional strife quite a while later. The help given by minor characters in the novel features their significance for Saul and his mending process.

The Kelly family helps Saul to develop in all aspects of his life, showing the importance they have on his growth. To begin with, Virgil is Saul Indian Horse’s dearest companion in the novel. When Saul meets him, he empowers Saul to play on the hockey team, and in the long run, turns into Saul’s principal associate. Virgil tries to give the best for Saul. Virgil tells Saul, ‘“You’re like a brother to me.”…”I had a brother once, I said…“Maybe someone just gave you a chance to rub the shit off the board once and for all.’” Virgil’s words to Saul recommend that he can detect Saul’s profound and shrouded misery. Virgil assumes that the NHL will offer Saul a chance to proceed onward with his life, rather than ruminating on the past. Virgil furnishes Saul with the unequivocal love, guidance and solace of a brother. In addition, Virgil also portrays his positive influence on the protagonist as he frequently put his shoes in those of Sauls. After hockey practice, Saul and Virgil sit on the bleachers and talk. Virgil asks, ‘“Did you want to hunt that fucker down? Make him feel some of the same pain?”. He still couldn’t turn away from looking at the ice. ‘At first, yeah. Then, the more we got into it at the centre the more I realized it was more than just him. I’d be hunting a long time if I lashed out at everyone. In the end, I learned the only one I could take care of was me.’” At this moment it’s noticeable how Virgil constantly sensed that Saul was abused, or possibly harmed amid his time at St. Jerome’s. Saul’s mature answer helped him realize that it would just make him angrier and progressively grieved. Similarly just as Saul refuses to fight back during his hockey games, now he continues to do the same as he will not look for vengeance of his abuser. Furthermore, Fred Kelly, one of the gentlest and most amiable characters in the novel embraces Saul Indian Horse by liberating him from St. Jerome’s and urges him to play hockey for his team. One day when Saul decided to ask, ‘Did they rape everyone?’ There was a long silence…’It doesn’t have to be sexual to be rape, Saul,’ Martha said. ‘When they invade your spirit, it’s rape too,’ Fred said. Fred Kelly wants to remind Saul that he is never alone. Moreover, Fred Kelly keeps on giving Saul love, nourishment, and consolation, even after Saul has been away for quite a long time and comes back to grapple with his tumultuous past. All in all, the Kelly’s bond spurs Saul to work harder to guarantee achievement.

A long time later, when Saul starts his mending process, these characters greet him wholeheartedly to help diminish the burden of his past. Firstly, Fred Kelly has a discussion of Saul’s grief. Fred Kelly explains how “‘they scooped out our insides. We’re not responsible for that. We’re not responsible for what happened to us. None of us are.” Fred said. “But our healing-that’s up to us. That’s what saved me. Knowing it was my game.”…“Time will take care of itself.” Hence, this proves how significant Fred is in Saul’s life, partially in light of the fact that similar to Saul. Fred was a victim of sexual maltreatment at St. Jerome’s, and therefore has some thought of what Saul is experiencing. Furthermore, Fred Kelly furnishes Saul with emotional strength and solace as he acknowledges his past, and talks about what’s to come.

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The Role Of Minor Characters In Indian Horse By Richard Wagamese. (2020, October 10). GradesFixer. Retrieved June 29, 2022, from
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