The Role of Courage in Indian Horse

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The novel Indian Horse by Richard Wagamese tells the story of Saul Indian Horse and his experiences in St. Jerome’s Indian Residential school and his journey through hockey and adulthood. The book highlights the importance of courage in overcoming difficult situations. Saul demonstrates courage by reading to confront his pain and not showing emotions to stay strong. He also shows courage by joining a hockey team and playing against a white team despite past experiences of racism. Later on, he is faced with alcohol addiction and is able to overcome it with the help of his great grandfather’s vision. This book emphasizes the significance of being determined and fearless when facing challenges in life. Courage in today’s society means being able to confront fears and uncertainties and achieve success through one’s actions.

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Having courage gives you the ability to overcome fear and achieve wanted goals. In the novel Indian Horse Richard Wagamese tells about the experiences of Saul Indian Horse based off of historical realities from the late 1950s through the 1960s. This book shows how courage is needed when facing difficult situations.

Saul demonstrates courage in many ways when he was taken away to St. Jerome’s Indian Residential school. In the residential school Saul was isolated and did not like to speak. He showed courage and confronted the pain by reading. Saul tried to hold in and not show any emotion to stay strong and survive in the school. When Saul saw the kids in the school suffering and dying in the school he got his courage up and decided that the school will not break him down. He was determined to never let the nuns and priests see him cry. Later on, Saul discovered hockey. In a hockey scrimmage a boy got hurt so Saul offered to fill in for him. He showed courage this way by not being intimidated by the fact that all the other kids were older than him and it’s his first time in a scrimmage.

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After Saul left the residential school he joined an indigenous hockey team called Moose. He was faced with uncertainty from playing a hockey game with a white team in town because of the past experiences of racism with that but he still decided to play. He said, “My team needed me to play my best and that’s the only reason I decided to play that game.” So he overcame his worries and helped his team. Another example of courage is when racism from other teams encouraged Saul to be better at hockey. He was intimidated through racism but wasn’t affected by that. Following his success in hockey he was faced with many difficulties later on in his life.

When Saul left hockey due to racism and left Manitouwadge to find work he started drinking heavily to cope with the pain of not being to play hockey. Saul is haunted by the memories of his past which caused him to develop an alcohol addiction. At a rehabilitation center, Saul was having difficulty telling about his past. One night he experiences a vision with his great grandfather which gave him the courage to come to terms with his past and fix his problems.

These acts of courage by Saul Indian Horse proves the importance of courage in different circumstances. In Richard Wagamese’s Indian Horse Saul learns that you need to be determined and fearless to confront challenges that appear in life. Courage in today’s society means to not be restricted by your fears and uncertainties and be able to do things freely and find success in the through your actions.

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The Role of Courage in Indian Horse. (2021, May 22). Retrieved from

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