Who Has Seen the Wind

by W. O. Mitchell

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Themes and Meanings

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Last Updated on May 5, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 188

The central meaning or theme of the work is fairly clear: man must accept the enigmatic force that allows for elation in a world full of death, deception, and hypocrisy. Underlying everything is a force which, like the wind, can never be seen directly, but which is, nevertheless, there. Much of the comedy in the novel, in fact, stresses the irrepressible energy which bursts into life repeatedly.

As the title Who Has Seen the Wind suggests, the force that gives life is like God, always invisible, but ever present. The anomalies of human experience may never be fully understood or explained, but their presence should not blind one to the greater force that sweeps across the prairies. The reader, like the protagonist, must learn that the bleak, the negative, and the destructive are part of a larger cycle which takes life as generously as it gives it. Through Brian, the reader is invited to take part in this vision of the prairies as a source of energy and rebirth, a vision which offers consolation because it allows a merging of the seemingly irreconcilable opposites of death and life.

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