Xavier Bird and Elijah Whiskeyjack on the Three Day Road

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Three Day Road is the debut novel by Canadian author Joseph Boyden. Boyden drew inspiration for the novel from his own family history: his maternal grandfather and his uncle served in the First World War. As a result, he has a deep reservoir of family narratives to draw from. Among these are the stories of Xavier Bird and Elijah Whiskeyjack.

Xavier Bird

Xavier Bird, also known as X, barely speaks English and has very strong hunting instincts. His aunt teaches him about the totem animals and tricksters called windigos, which are dangerous creatures that threaten the tribe. Despite this, he nevertheless remains determined to protect his people, and this is the main focus of the novel.

Niska, Xavier's aunt and the second narrator of Three Day Road, grew up in one of the last bush communities of Northern Ontario Indigenous people. She was raised by a skilled medicine man and often had dreams and visions. As a child, she suffered from convulsions and was plagued with flashes of the future. She also witnessed her father strangle a cannibalistic woman and was arrested for this. This led to the end of the community.

The book begins with a flashback to a time when Xavier was a sniper. He was a Cree Indian and was wounded during the war. He is a great marksman and he teaches Elijah Weesageechak to be a good marksman. Xavier also develops an addiction to morphine. He eventually joins Elijah's group and learns to hate war.

Xavier Bird's best friend, Elijah Weesageechak, is a Cree First Nation. He is a brilliant marksman and a good friend. He even cuts the scalps of those he kills. His talent in sniping helps him like war.

Throughout the novel, the perspective of the three main characters is alternated. Xavier recollects his past as a series of dreams triggered by morphine. His recollections include a childhood with Niska in the bush. Later, he and Elijah become soldiers in Belgium.

Xavier Bird is an Ojibwa from the Moose Cree tribe in northern Ontario. After the war, he returns home to reconnect with his aunt, Niska. However, he is broken and addicted to morphine. As a result, he begins to struggle with his life.

His mother is his mother. After his father dies, she drinks heavily and abandons Xavier at a residential school. After receiving help from Niska, Xavier is rescued by her. The mother, who has a unique way of teaching, heals and guides Xavier.

Elijah Whiskeyjack

In "Elijah Whiskeyjack on the Three-Day Road," Canadian author Joseph Boyden explores the relationship between an Indigenous boy from Moose Factory, Ontario, and a white soldier. The two are friends, but one is a war hero and the other a crack shot. In this novel, Xavier Bird, a quiet indigenous boy, enlists in the army and meets Elijah Whiskeyjack, a sniper who carries a rifle. The two men end up in the trenches of northern France, where they kill hundreds of Fritzes.

Elijah is a Native boy, born into an Indian residential school, who has adopted the European traditions of his white classmates. This makes him obsessed with white culture and abandons his Native identity. He becomes a drug addict and calls Xavier a heathen. In addition to this, he becomes addicted to morphine and demonstrates a lack of respect for his culture through his infamous scalping of his enemies.

Three Day Road is a compelling, harrowing war narrative about the lives of several Cree Indians during World War One. Xavier Bird and Elijah Whiskeyjack are best friends, and Xavier's Aunt Niska has taught them the ways of the bush, but they decide to join the fighting in Europe. The novel illustrates the profound psychological and emotional impact of the war on the Cree people. While Elijah and Xavier attempt to preserve their culture, they become victims of the pressures of assimilation and moral corruption.

Boyden uses the story of Elijah's addiction to morphine and killing to illustrate the gap between aboriginals and settlers. The characters are complex and the author makes them seem real. While some of the characters are stereotypical, most of them seem human.

Elijah is a favorite among his peers, and he boasts about his kills. He even tells his commanding officer that killing is in his blood. As time goes on, his lust for killing increases and he disobeys orders. As a result, he begins to kill, scalping his victims to prove his kill count. Xavier must struggle between his loyalty to Elijah and his desire to confront him.

While the story is a bit gruesome, it is still a worthy read. The ending is quite remarkable, and the characters come to life in an interesting way. As the story progresses, you'll become more aware of the people involved and of the road's tragic history.

October 05, 2022
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Literature

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Books

Subject area:

Three Day Road

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3

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805

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