Identify a static character in The Sign of the Beaver.

Saknis is a static character because he represents the ideal of collaboration and partnership between the Native Americans and Whites. He has no need to grow or develop because he already embodies the ideal.

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Saknis would be a static character in The Sign of the Beaver.  He can be seen as a static character because he is the face of cooperation and collaboration between the Whites and the Native Americans throughout the novel.  He never deviates from this position.  He watches over Matt in the beginning of the narrative, rescues him from his painful condition with the bee stings, and introduces himself as a force of benevolence.  This condition is continued when he asks Matt to tutor Attean.  In forging a "treaty" with Matt to teach Attean "white man's signs," Saknis embodies collaboration and partnership with the white child.  When Saknis invites Matt to the village, it is another instant in which the willingness to work with whites becomes a part of Saknis' characterization.  Saknis never breaks from viewing Matt as a child first, and a White second.  

Saknis extends out this trait even at the end of the narrative.  When Saknis says, "White boy and Attean be like brother," it is clear that from the start of the narrative to its conclusion, Saknis has embodied the trait of collaboration, partnership, and loyalty.  Saknis does not need to grow or develop throughout the narrative, as Matt or Attean must.  Saknis is already self- actualized.  He understands his own moral and ethical principles and embodies these throughout the narrative.  It is for this reason that Saknis is a static character.  He embodies the ideal of what Native Americans and Whites can aspire to be.  He is static because he represents an ideal towards which other characters emerge and gravitate.

See eNotes Ad-Free

Start your 48-hour free trial to get access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts.

Get 48 Hours Free Access
Approved by eNotes Editorial Team