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The Three Day Road

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Aly P

on 3 April 2018

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Transcript of The Three Day Road

Theme: Self-Identity

The part of the theme is identity. The quote above is mainly about
taking away Niska’s native tongue and other people taking away part of her culture and part of who she is.

Xavier, Elijah, and Niska are the main characters of the novel.
Xavier was a better hunter than Elijah yet Elijah got the credit and didn't care as he felt need for attention.
Joseph Boyden
Three Day Road
Book Talk
Whereas Xavier finds his identity from his own heritage and culture, Elijah finds his own identity from the war, which drives him to conquer more enemies. First, he wants to prove himself that he could actually accomplish better. Then, he wants Xavier and others people recognize his superior hunting skill, and also his bravery of not fearing the Fritz.
Elijah has a paradox trait, which is having strong pride and inferiority at the same time. His actions, though manifest pride, are rooted in his sense of feeling interior to Xavier. For instance, he uses his British accent and talkative nature to impress other British soldiers that he is a much more special soldier, or even, a person. Also, he recounts and boasts his “hunting” victories with others, which is also related to his psychopathic trait.
Personally, I think Elijah bears many of trait of a psychopath. The most evident aspect of this is that his lack of empathy and his own rationale for killing the enemies. He is innocent and genuine enough that he never feels any sense of guiltiness for killing people. He even collects body parts of the people that he killed as trophies to remember his own victories.
Xavier deals with
culture clash
, identifying it and holding on to his culture. He draws from all his tradition values and experiences and applies them to war.

-“When I was caught speaking my tongue, they’d force lye soap into my mouth and not give me anything else to eat for days.” (pg. 92)
“The other soldiers often ask Elijah about his name too. And he is happy to talk. His Cree name is Wessageechak. But that is something he doesn’t share with the wemistikoshiw” (Boyden 142-143)

Elijah handles his identity by
to the white culture. His self-Identity is lost when it comes to interacting with the other soldiers. He is not proud of the culture he grew up in and decides to become like one of them. Elijah lost grasp of his true identity.

-The movie
can be connected to the theme because both the movie and this book are based on soldiers, recruits, killing, inner conflict, despair, danger, comradery and over all the struggles of war.

-As a child, he resists to change when the nuns tries to eradicate the cultural values his family had, he insists to speak his own language and not believe the claims of evil in the Cree heritage.

-As an adult, he resists to become a war beast.

-When Elijah boasts about his victories, even though most of them were the result of Xavier's contribution, Xavier lets him take all the credit.

-Xavier is hardly capable of surviving on his own-he always relies on Elijah for communicating with English and understanding.

-He just goes with the flow in most situations. (Niska takes him from the residential school to live in the bush, he just accepts; he goes with Elijah to the army.
-Xavier is loyal to himself, he remains ore or less true to his nature throughout the war. He tries to not let the war change him.

-Xavier is loyal to hies Cree heritage, and does not feel the need to assimilate.

-Xavier is loyal to his friend Elijah. In the end, he decides to kill Elijah because he realizes that Elijah is so damaged that he can no longer recover his humanity, even after the war. Being Elijah's closest family, he makes the painful decision to end his life.
Joseph Boyden grew up in Willowdale, North York, Ontario.
-partly irish, scottish, and Anishinabee heritgae.
-Within his school years, Joseph attended the jesuit run Brebeuf College School in Toronto. Afterwards, he worked on his creatie writng degree at York university and New orleans.
-After his school years, he started to teach creative writing at the University of New Orleans and frequently he travels back home to visit his family.
-Other than creative writing, he also spent his time teaching in the Aboriginal student Program at Northern college.

Background story of his book: Three Day Road
Joseph Boyden's father was a medical doctor in WWII. His name is Raymond Wilfred Boyden and was the highest known doctor in WWII. He recieved the distinguished service order although, he had died when Joseph was only eight. After his father's death, Joseph was traumatized that he started searching for his father's identiy throughout his life. Joseph was influenced by his Father's brother Erl, who had more of a traditional lifestyle with nature. Throughout the influence that Joseph had, he combined all of the war stories of his father and created it as his first novel called "Three Day Road."
Group Members
"Niska is a good woman.
She is a good and crazy
woman"(page 220)
Niska is like a mother for both Xavier and Elijah. She leads and teaches them life lessons. For instance, Xavier would think about Niska in order to feel more powerful during the war, which has showed that Xavier relies on Niska like a child relies on his/her mother.

Although Niska was betrayed by her love, she learns the life lesson from the man, and notices that the man disrespecting her is because of her aboriginal heritage.

She is not shy to make any choices when she encounters struggles. She takes care of Niska and Xavier by herself, and becomes a successful medicine women.
While Xavier was fighting in the trenches, he repeatedly brings up his desire to wear moccasins instead of the regular boots, thinking it will be more helpful. He still looks to his culture for ways to aid himself.
Xavier continually speaks to Elijah in Cree, even after knowing how to speak English. The language he holds on to is an important part of his self-identity and how he grew up.
Unlike Elijah, Xavier is hesitant to interact with other soldiers.
"We all fight on two fronts, the one facing the enemy, the one facing what we do to the enemy.
"It has gone too far, hasn't it," he says. "I have gone too far, haven't I."
His words wake my body. Elijah's hands reach for my throat. He squeezes it hard, and the words from that letter come back to me then, Niska. Do what you have to.
“I do not know how to make them understand who I am. To them I am Elijah Whiskeyjack, sniper and scout. Hero.”
“But Elijah is still daring, still talkative.
He still wants to fly.”(page 161)
"'I was good to him' Elijah continues, staring up into the sky. 'He'd suffered enough and I didn't want him to leave violently, so I covered his mouth and nose with my own hand and whispered good things to him till he went'" (page 99)
Joseph Boyden
Full transcript