1. What do you learn in the first section of the story about the conflict in the attitudes of the narrator? What is his attitude toward civilization? If he is the protagonist, who or what is the antagonist?
At the first part of the story, a conflict can be seen in the attitude of the narrator. The conflict occurs both internally and externally. This clearly shows that the narrator is searching for self identity while at the same time wants to cope with the white society. The conflict arises from the opposing views of the two societies that the narrator finds himself in. It is only through reconciliation of the two views that can help him to solve his conflict. He looks at civilization as a subject that obliterates the unity and peace in society. His view is that, for civilization to occur, one has to do thing he does not desire and fail to do what one desires. The protagonist is the main character in the story. He has conflicting perceptions about himself and the societies that he is a part of. Nevertheless, the story has no antagonist. As an alternative, there are numerous opposing forces that shape his viewpoint and manipulate his decision about the culture of preference (Whitecloud 6).
2. What does the narrator mean by saying, "I am alone; alone but not nearly so lonely as I was back on campus at school?
When the narrator says, “I am alone; alone but not nearly as lonely as I was back on the campus at school,” (Whitecloud, 3) he refers to the interaction he has with the white society and its influence upon him. He is not precisely alike with the people at home, in the Indian society but has a sense of belonging. When he was in campus, he felt secluded because of the diverse culture and ways of doing things, referred to as civilization. He was forlorn because he could not interact with anyone freely; in addition, his fellow students criticized his ideologies and culture. Irrespective of the fact that education and exposure to the white culture imparted a change upon him, he shared a similar culture and beliefs with his people. Therefore, he feels alone but positively not lonely when in campus (Whitecloud 8).
3. What do you think is meant by the blue winds dancing - what kind of wisdom?
The author has used ‘Blues Winds Dancing’ figuratively in the story (Whitecloud 1). He has used ‘blue winds dancing’ to represent the life as it exists in his homeland. The expression points to the differentiation between the Indian society, which is his home and the White Society where he went to campus. From the expression, the narrator depicts his values for his own society. Through Blue Winds, the narrator demonstrates that his society lives in harmony and shares their contentment as a unit. ‘Blue winds’ means the society or a group of people who form the society. Dancing describes the way the people enjoy the type of life they lead irrespective of the fact that the white society envisions them as inferior and backward (Whitecloud, 3).
The wisdom in the ‘Blue Winds Dancing’ is that it describes the distinction between the white society that prefers civilization and the Indian society that prefers life as they see it (Whitecloud 3). In the entire story, the narrator uses the expression to refer to the Indian society where he grew up. He depicts his love for his society through equating it to the richness of its environment. He describes his land as calm and beautiful. The people, the blue winds, interact and carry out their activities freely. They are not pressurized by issues of civilization. He sees the environment is unpolluted; thus, one can smell of the rotting leaves originating from the forest. One can hear birds sing, as opposed to Wisconsin where silence is. He admits that there is wind blowing in his heart meaning that he loves and cherishes his people, the blue winds and the Indian society. Therefore, the blue wind has been used to describe how the values he has for his Indian society, as opposed to the white society (Whitecloud 4).