What is the main "message" in "The Winnebago Trickster Cycle?"

Expert Answers
Noelle Thompson eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In my opinion, the main message of "The Winnebago Trickster Cycle" is that humans should be wary of considering themselves above the natural world.  These are all simple stories to teach valuable lessons.  It has value for young and old, alike. 

Of course, Trickster is the "cultural hero" of all of the stories who always lives up to his name.  The myths chronicle his adventures while spirits enter the world to save humanity from their enemies.  Humans are not indestructible, and nature has a way of always reminding people of this:  natural disasters, herbal poisons, biting insects, you name it.  Trickster often doesn't heed the messages of nature and learns from it (such as in the case of eating the bulb that promises defecation).  In another situation Trickster thinks that people aren't paying attention to him, so he engages them in competition.  Ironically, the "people" aren't really people at all, but are plants and other forms of vegetation.  Trickster, therefore, acquires more wisdom through trial and error.

The world is going to be a difficult place to live in and I am trying to find some clean place in which to dwell.

Thus remains the perfect mini-explanation of Trickster's journeys.

rareynolds eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The Trickster is always getting into fantastic scrapes, usually because of his over-inflated opinion of himself, or of his physical prowess. He is a kind of creation God, but often creation is the one playing tricks on him, as in the story of the chipmunk that tricks him into losing most of his penis. In this way, he comes across as a kind of comic figure, someone who is able to talk to animals and trees, but often is victimized by them in outrageous ways (as in the story of his epic defecation). I think the main idea or common theme behind these stories has to do with the relationship of man to nature; the Trickster is never one to subdue or exploit nature; nature is not a “thing” but a community which (at best) tolerates the Trickster and his immature flights of fancy.