John W. Conner

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Last Updated on May 6, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 183

The same volatile active narrative which holds an adolescent reader's interest in Durango Street is apparent in Chief . Again the story concerns an adolescent who is oppressed by an adult society but who does not have direct recourse because his problem is not considered important by a strong segment...

(The entire section contains 183 words.)

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The same volatile active narrative which holds an adolescent reader's interest in Durango Street is apparent in Chief. Again the story concerns an adolescent who is oppressed by an adult society but who does not have direct recourse because his problem is not considered important by a strong segment of adult society.

Sixteen-year-old Henry Crowfoot [or Chief, as he is called by his friends,] is the hereditary chief of a small band of eighty-seven Indians, most of whom reside on a reservation high in the hills above Harbor City…. Chief is the story of the fight to regain [Indian property rights and the court-appointed] derelict lawyer's successful fight to regain confidence in himself.

The action is so swift and the narrative so fascinating that this reader was totally absorbed in Chief. Many of the minor characters are stereotypes, but they appear as such because Chief sees them as stereotypes. (p. 435)

Money and what lengths people will go to get it is a major theme in Chief. (p. 436)

John W. Conner, in English Journal (copyright 1972 by the National Council of Teachers of English), March, 1972.

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