What is the cultural context of "Blue Winds Dancing"?
"Blue Winds Dancing" touches a recurrent difficulty among Native Americans—whether to assimilate or to separate. The story refers to historical conditions in the 1930s, but many of these circumstances are unchanged today. In the story, the unnamed narrator’s return to the reservation suggests a satisfactory resolution for him. If confinement to a reservation leads to want and boredom, however, and to the imitation by Indians of the worst vices of whites, the narrator’s answer will not promote happiness for Native Americans who retreat from the prevailing economy and culture. There is no easy solution to the issues of how an entire people should respond to the uneasiness and lack of purpose that displacement creates, and of how they should find purposeful roles within their own culture and also within the white culture, but "Blue Winds Dancing," being a well-crafted and penetrating story, should raise consciousness on this issue.