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Medicine River is the story of a man reflecting on his youth and living as a “outsider” in a small Native town in Canada which he grew up in and has now returned at the urging of his friend. Some of the ironies within this short novel is the differences between how Will sees himself (as an ordinary man who muddles through life as opposed to his brother whom he views as having true talent) and how others see him (his friend Harlen sees a skilled sportsman who can help with the local sports team). Also throughout the story there are comparisons to how Will does not feel adequate or that he is not part of the community while at the same time showing the reader flashbacks to Will’s youth where he grew up in the town of Medicine River. Both Will’s past and current interactions show that he is indeed a part of the community he feels separated from.
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