In "Blue Winds Dancing" by Thomas S. Whitecloud, how does the speaker feel when he first reaches Woodruff? Why does he feel that way?  

In "Blue Winds Dancing" by Thomas S. Whitecloud, how does the speaker feel when he first reaches Woodruff? Why does he feel that way? 

 

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teachsuccess eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The writer is apprehensive and a little afraid of how he will be received when he first arrives in Woodruff.

This is because the writer has presumably been away for a while. He hasn't seen his family since he's been enrolled in college. While he appreciates the opportunity to learn new ways, the young writer misses his home and his people. He reasons that, where he lives, there's no need to listen to lecturers droning on and on about obscure topics just to "hear their own words come back to them from the students." At home, the speaker doesn't need to concern himself with grades or whether he's earned enough academic honors. In short, when he's home, there are no anxieties to plague his peace.

Lonely and homesick, the writer decides that he will return home in time for Christmas. When he gets off the train, he feels great joy in tramping through the woods of his childhood years. Yet, on initially arriving at Woodruff, he's apprehensive and fearful of how his family and village will receive him. He's afraid that they will think him less of an Indian. At the same time, he feels that he has no place among the white people he associates with on a daily basis.

In short, the writer feels alienated from both groups. He even wonders about his identity ("Am I Indian, or am I white?"). However, when he enters the village lodge, he soon finds that his deepest fears have been unfounded. The older people receive him with great joy, and everyone makes him feel at home. At long last, the writer joyously concludes that he's indeed home, where he's yearned to be for a while.