This story has many themes, but the most common theme would be that of isolation. The setting of the reservation first illustrates this theme. The Native Americans are isolated on the reservation, away from the rest of the society. They do not mingle associate outside their piece of land. This is also illustrated with the protagonist, Junior, who is isolated from the people on the reservation by his intellect and desire to learn. He gets so angry at this situation that he throws a book at his teacher because it was so outdated that it enraged him. He is also isolated by his physical defects. He then goes to Rearden to pursue his education and is isolated because he is the only Native American at the school. He is bullied and picked on for this difference.