I Heard the Owl Call My Name

Margaret Cravers novel, I Heard the Owl Call My Name, is the story of a terminally ill young ordinand, Mark Brian, who is sent by his bishop to Kingcome on patrol of the Indian villages. There, as the Bishop had hoped, he learns enough of the meaning of life to be ready to die. In life people should give and share. Mark learned how to give unselfishly without expecting anything in return. In order to survive the winter no woman said, I am sorry. I have only enough fuel for my own family, and no man said, It is true that I have shot a deer. I am freezing what I do not need now. I cannot share with you, friend. (p. 712) There is no word for thank you in Kwakwala. (p. 665) The Indians thanked each other with their actions and by giving. At the great dance-potlatches the Indians families gave all they had. (p. 687) Jim said, Even when I was a small boy stoves, refrigerators and washing machines were given as gifts. (p. 687) In life it takes time for people to trust and accept you. During the time Mark lived with the Kwakiutl that it takes a while for the Indians to accept outsiders. Mark must earn the Indians trust to get them to help him to build the vicarage. Chief Eddy said, the men have ask me to tell you that when you are ready to build a new vicarage, they will help you. At this point Mark new the Indians had excepted him. The Bishop said, You suffered with them, and now you are theirs, and nothing will ever be the same again. (p. 696) Another truth about life is that death is natural. By watching the swimmer, Mark learns that death is a natural thing. When talking about death Marta said, It is not sad. It is natural. (p. 675) By observing the salmon, Mark learned as did the Indians that The whole life of the swimmer is one of courage and adventure. All of it builds to the climax and t…

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