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A book report on margaret cravens i heard the owl call my name

SuperSummary, a modern alternative to SparkNotes and CliffsNotes, offers high-quality study guides for challenging works of literature. Featured content includes commentary on major characters, 25 important quotes, essay topics, and key themes like The Ordinariness of Death and The Importance of Place to Individual Identity. Mark Brian is a 27-year-old Anglican vicar sent by his bishop to the coastal village of Kingcome to live among the Kwakiutl Indians and patrol neighboring villages by boat.

I Heard The Owl Call My Name Summary and Study Guide

Mark has an unnamed terminal illness and no more than three years to live, a fact that the bishop conceals from him. An Indian named Jim Wallace, who is about the same age as Mark, accompanies him on his patrols and helms the boat until Mark passes his licensing exam. Throughout the novel, Mark is exposed to the visceral reality of death, beginning with his first day in the village, when he finds that the body of a drowned boy was being kept in the vicarage awaiting a burial permit.

Mark recognizes the beauty and dignity in this process, which will later mirror his own narrative arc.

I Heard the Owl Call my Name by Margaret Craven

Gradually, he comes to realize that the village itself is dying as the language and customs are forgotten, and some of the younger generation, typified by a young man named Gordon, leave and integrate into white society. By respecting the customs of the Kwakiutl, Mark earns their trust and their help in building a new vicarage.

Mark continues to become enmeshed in the customs and values of the village, to the extent that when he visits Vancouver, he can no longer relate to old college friends. When he arrived, Mark believed that every man in the village relied on himself alone, but he comes to realize that the people of Kingcome rely on each other for their fundamental survival.

  • Mark is about to be recalled by his bishop when he hears the owl call his name, which foretells imminent death according to Kwakwaka'wakw belief;
  • The difficulty in getting the organ from the boat onto the canoes that they had lashed together was indeed a feat.

After living and working in a mill town for a year, Jim, seemingly unchanged, has chosen to return to the village. Keetah herself likewise leaves the village for a love interest, Gordon, but unlike her sister returns to the village when she realizes it is integral to her identity.

I Heard the Owl Call My Name - Chapter 1 Summary & Analysis

However, she does admire some aspects of white society and feels changed upon her return to the village. Before she leaves, she ensures that she conceives a child with Gordon so that she can bring a part of him back to the village as well.

One night as Mark is returning from scattering the ashes of a Kwakiutl friend, he hears an owl call his name—which in Kwakiutl lore means that he will die.

He tells her about the owl, and she confirms that he is dying. Mark is grief-stricken at the thought of having to leave Kingcome, which he now thinks of as his home, to die in a land that has become strange to him.

Sensing this, the villagers ask him to stay and write the Bishop, who agrees.

Chapter 1 Summary

However, soon after Mark and Jim are caught in a landslide while out on patrol, which kills Mark. Knowing about the landslide and waiting for news, Keetah realizes that she loves both Mark and Jim equally. When she finds that only Jim has survived, Jim promises to compromise in their marriage for the sake of her happiness.