Green Grass, Running Water Essay

1256 words - 5 pages

Green Grass, Running WaterThe novel Green Grass, Running Water is a multifaceted work of art in the literal sense. The plot circles around an Indian tribe i.e. the Blackfoots, while interweaving myths and the stereotypical attitude towards Native Americans into the macro picture. It takes an extremely sensitive topic and makes sense of it through a comical way. Through the book King raises a voice against the treatment of the Native culture and way of life at the hands of the 'white,' through humorous and witty settings, plots and dialogues. One can easily spot the shots that have taken against the government that went onto cheat the Natives in the name of friendship, the idea of religion, the social stigma that plagues the Natives and a whole lot more.The discord created by Coyote is a very integral part of the novel. In the story Coyote is the Trickster, and along with him the four Indians namely Lone Ranger, Ishmael, Robin son Crusoe, and Hawkeye set their course towards the Blackfoot reservation so they can find things to 'fix' (133). When they come onto the reservation everything goes topsy-turvy. Through the re-telling of old Native American legends King puts things into a different perspective for the reader. On top of the Native legends one will be amused by the many references to biblical stories as well.When it comes to the role of Coyote we know that he is one force that is present long before the world really exists. In the start where there was nothing but "just the water" even then the trickster was present, "but Coyote was asleep". This in itself can be taken as a testimonial for Coyote's strength and importance. Whenever Coyote enters the plot he manages to wreak havoc by influencing the events and people around him. He does this on more than one occasion by simply making a joke or performing a ritual. It is important to note though that Coyote never indulges in direct violence, his idea of wreaking havoc comes from a very passive stance so to speak. His actions are based on what the others say and how he can manipulate their words. In the length of the novel Coyote assists in 'fixing the world' through interconnecting European tales with Native ones. He distorts the stories that were brought in by the early settlers by adding the Native flavor to them, thereby coming up with completely new stories altogether.One instance where Coyote and the four Indians try to 'fix' the world is the dam. The thing to note here is that the damn is not going to bring any good to the Natives. The government has ignored many things, such as the fault lines, while making the damn. In effect it would bring great problems to the people living around the area if it were to break. Coyote possesses mystical powers and can manipulate the environment around him. In one of the scenes from the book Ishmael and Robinson Crusoe ask him whether he has been dancing or singing to which he replies "Just a little" (341) on both counts. At that point a great...

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