In Richard Wagamese’s “Indian Horse” the protagonist Saul experiences a lot of discrimination being in a place where being Aboriginal is not accepted in society. Saul goes through severe suffering of accepting how he is treated in society and he goes through this on his own with no help. Saul loses the ability to trust, causing him self-harm, and making him tougher. These are the effects that takes place when Saul’s innocents is taken away.
Saul loses the ability to trust because of his past experiences. Every child needs somebody that they can look up to and trust to be able to succeed in life. Everybody needs some type of guidance, unfortunately at a young age Saul was abandoned and left with his grandmother “Even now when i think back to that day, I can see the shimmer of the wake they left behind them, the vee of it and the divergent lines that lapped at the shoreline. I can still see the bent back of my father paddling, the slumped form of my mother in the bow waving at the water with her oar. I can see the canoe that held my brothers body as it passed the rock cairn and slid out of my view forever.
” (Pg 33). Saul depended and trusted his family to be there for him and they left him breaking his heart, a bond and his trust. When they left Father Leboutiller who was a father figure to Saul sexually abuses him which contributes to his hard on life. Saul played hockey but the only way he was allowed to play was if he let Father Leboutiller exploit him. Saul did not realize how wrong it was until later on in life, when he was younger he thought it was out of love.”you are glory Saul.” those were the words he used instead of love, and he’d given me the job of cleaning the ice to my silence, to guard his secret. He’d told me i could play when I was big enough.
I loved the idea so much that I did what he asked. When i found myself liking it i felt dirty, repulsive, sick.” (Pg 199). This relates back to how he loses his ability to trust because when he gave somebody his trust they took advantage of him and exploited him and made him think the love he had was real when it was all for pleasure.Sauls loss of innocence affects him because it causes him self harm. Saul made decisions which were not smart and affected him in the long run.
He was running away from him problems and pushing them to the side or choosing to ignore them and tried to put them at ease by using alcohol to make everything better. Saul was 18 years old and left Manitouwadge a long time ago. Saul said “I’m not sure when i began to drink myself. I only know when I did the roaring in my belly calmed.
In alcohol I found an antidote to exile.” (180-181). Instead of solving his problems he turned to alcohol and evidently that is a terrible choice because this eventually resulted in him pretending to be a person he was not. If Saul found love instead of drowning in his sorrows of the past he wouldn’t of given into alcohol.Throughput the book, Saul had to learn how to tolerate many difficulties to keep his physical and mental strength, but still was not strong enough to handle how cruel the world was at the time. Before he came to Toronto he had never gotten into a hockey fight because he just kept playing for the enjoyment and and the racism did not affect how he played.
When he arrived in Toronto he started to fight other players and eventually lost his passion for the game. Saul was talking to virgil when he left Toronto and Saul said “it was for shit.” (chap.40 Pg 170). This quote shows how he felt about hockey and this was because the world did not accept him playing the sport.
Saul was not tough enough to handle the racism and gave into it. Saul also grew up without his real parents because the abandoned him and that affected him because he grew up with fear and anger, this took him a long time to recover from and forgive the past. “We’re not responsible for what happened to us. None of us are.
But our healing- that’s up to us. That’s what saved me. Knowing it was my game” (Chap.52, Pg 210). Talking about his past with the kellys helped him toughen up from him past.
Unfortunately the world is a harsh place for a lot of people and races. For Saul he had an extremely hard life filled with heartbreak and bitterness starting from a young age, this is a life that nobody should live. He lost his ability to trust causing him self harm and hardened himself, by seeing that it is evident that these are the primary effects that stripped away his innocents.