In Wind from an Enemy Sky, is Marshall Grant more closely aligned with Rev. Welles or Doc Edwards?

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durbanville eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The legacy of mistrust that remains between cultures when the smallest mis-communication becomes a source of enormous misunderstanding, is evident in Wind from an Enemy Sky as both Indian and white men assume the worst of each other, extending a centuries long rift. It is no secret that Bull does not want the dam on his land and despite the efforts of some, such as Doc Edwards, accusations abound when a white man is killed whilst building the dam. Sid Grant is a United States marshal and Ambrose Whitehead is his deputy. Based on what they think are definitive facts leading them to suspect Bull, they bully and shame Bull. They do not find the incriminating evidence that they are looking for, having found a boot print at the crime scene which they are sure belongs to a Little Elk resident, but a rifle that they find is enough for them to  proceed with their investigation. It seems that, evidence or not, "Every lawman who's ever been in here has been after him." The residents own words also sound incriminating as they do not grasp the concept of justice in the same way and "If he killed that man, he had a reason,"only strengthens the case against Little Elk residents.  

Doc Edwards is mindful of the Indian customs and tries to be respectful and to understand the Little Elk residents, even passing over other opportunities because he believes in what he is doing as the local physician. He is never able to bridge the gap created by the distinct cultures. Reverend Welles, however, uses his position to gain trust but has only his own agenda at the center of his actions. Marshal Grant is more aligned to Reverend Welles as his arrogance and assumption of guilt prevent him from managing the truth to assure justice. Grant's honesty is not in question but his inability to place any importance on the Indian perspective ultimately contributes to the tragedy.