The Scorched-Wood People

by Rudy Wiebe
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What do the words benediction, mercifully, incense, goodness, and glorious most clearly reflect about Riel in The Scorched-Wood People?

The words benediction, mercifully, incense, goodness, and glorious reveal the deep religious and devotional nature of Louis Riel in The Scorched-Wood People by Rudy Wiebe.

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The words benediction, mercifully, incense, goodness, and glorious all reflect the religious devotion of Louis Riel in Rudy Wiebe's The Scorched-Wood People.

As a young man, Riel desires to become a Catholic priest, for he has been educated by French-Canadian priests, and he is...

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The words benediction, mercifully, incense, goodness, and glorious all reflect the religious devotion of Louis Riel in Rudy Wiebe's The Scorched-Wood People.

As a young man, Riel desires to become a Catholic priest, for he has been educated by French-Canadian priests, and he is committed to his faith. But Riel actually ends up called to another life, and he follows that call, believing that it comes from God. He sees how his own people, the Metis (people who are part white and part Native American) are suffering and threatened. He becomes their advocate and their spokesman, leading an army to capture Fort Garry and helping to set up a provisional government for the Metis with himself as president.

Yet even in these activities, Riel maintains his devotion and desires to be led by God through everything. Riel longs to bless his people, to extend mercy and goodness to them, and to continue to worship God and follow His glorious will even as he does what he must to secure his people's political freedom.

Riel, however, is not perfect, and he knows it. He makes a critical mistake when he orders the execution of a white man. He thinks that he is right in doing so, but he fails to take the consequences into consideration. The act lands Riel in exile, labeled as an outlaw. He starts a new life in Montana and even marries and fathers children.

Riel, though, is still open to God's call. In a vision, he learns that God wants him to return to Canada, and he obeys, even though it means that he will eventually be hanged. Riel remains obedient, even when he does not understand, and willing to sacrifice himself for the sake of God and his people.

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