The Indian in the Cupboard

by Lynne Reid Banks

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What is the main problem in The Indian in the Cupboard?

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In The Indian in the Cupboard, a young boy named Omri finds out that he can bring plastic figurines to life using a magic key and cupboard. At first, Omri thinks that it is magic and that the figure isn’t real, but he soon finds out that he is transporting the character from an actual historical event.

The central conflict in the story is Omri and his friend Patrick recognizing the severity of the situation they are participating in—the figurines they play with are real people that can be hurt or even killed. Omri learns the danger of bringing the figurines to life, but Patrick doesn’t really trust him until he brings back a cowboy, and the two figures—the cowboy and the Indian—fight.

Omri and Patrick have to learn the power they are meddling with the hard way when Boone, the cowboy, is shot by Little Bear, the Indian. They have to work to solve the problem by bringing back other figures to help cure them, but the reality of the situation is impressed on them the hard way. After their ordeal, they resolve not to use the magic of the cupboard again.

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The problem in Indian in the Cupboard is that of , a 9-year-old boy receiving a magic cupboard for his birthday, only he doesn't know it's magic until he puts a toy Indian in it and watches it come to life. Little Bear is a member of the Onondaga nation from a time-set in 1761, when his people are in danger of annihilation. He also places a cowboy from the 1870s - when the modern world is threatening to eliminate the Old West. The problems are many, but the primary problem deals with characters out of their time, not to mention the fact that they were natural enemies during their own times. In addition, you have toys being brought to life, talk about problems! Omri must deal not only with toys coming to life, but he must act as peacemaker as well.

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