What did Matt's father say to him that confirms the fact that Matt also found his manitou in The Sign of the Beaver? When you read the book you discover that Matt also found his manitou.  What did Matt's father say to him that confirms this fact?

Expert Answers

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

When Matt's father returns with their family and sees how well Matt has taken care of things in his absence, he tells him,

"You've done a grown man's job, son...I'm right proud of you".

These words of highest praise from his father momentarily take Matt's breath away.  He realizes that,...

Unlock
This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial

When Matt's father returns with their family and sees how well Matt has taken care of things in his absence, he tells him,

"You've done a grown man's job, son...I'm right proud of you".

These words of highest praise from his father momentarily take Matt's breath away.  He realizes that, had he given up hope of their return and gone away with the Indians, he would never have heard these words.  Matt recognizes that

"this was how Attean had felt...when he had found his manitou and become a hunter".

Attean had told Matt that

"...every Indian boy must have a manitou...before he could take his place as one of the men of his family.  He had to find it for himself.  No one could help him.  His grandfather had been training him for many days.  He had had to learn many things.  Now he must make the test".

The test that Attean had to pass bears a lot of similarities with the one Matt had just passed, which earned his father's praise.  Attean had had to go into the forest alone and wait, without food or companionship, in a wigwam for many days -

"...if he waited faithfully, one day his manitou would come to him...(then) he would be a man and a hunter".

Although Attean's test was largely ceremonial and Matt's was not, the principle is the same.  Both boys had to use what they had learned during their formative years and show patience and endurance, surviving on their own.  Attean's wait had been for perhaps several days, while Matt's had been for several months; both boys proved themselves faithful, and emerged from their experience changed, no longer children, but ready to take on the yoke of manhood (Chapters 21 and 25).

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team