Thomas Black Bull In Hal Borland's When The Legends Die

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Change is inevitable. If you think back to when you were just five years old, and how much you’ve changed since then, you may be surprised. The character Thomas Black Bull in When the Legends Die, written by Hal Borland, is going through drastic changes starting when he is five to about thirty years old. Of course, anyone that age and that time period would be going through a lot of changes, but, for Tom, this is slightly different. There are four parts to this book; the first section of this starts out by explaining Tom’s childhood and how his parents die. The second part tells how Tom is pulled away from his Ute ways, while also abandoning his lifestyle he was born to live, and put into public school also being forced to live in town for…show more content…
After his dad kills Frank No Deer, they leave town and live in the wilderness. His dad, George, leaves during the day, and he and his mother leave that night. As they are walking he never ceases to have a grip of either his mom’s hand or her skirt. His mom said “Do not talk. Stay close to me. When I let go your hand, hold my skirt and walk where I walk” (13). During this time he did everything his mom told him to and relied on her to know what she was doing. While living in the wilderness, his dad would hunt for them and his mother would gather berries with Tom. Tom had just recently started hunting rabbits with a snare, and soon would be able to go hunt with his dad. As any young child would most likely do, he followed his parent’s beliefs, because he was too young to establish his own, most likely. Tom became completely devoted to the Ute ways. He sang prayers before eating, sleeping, and after he woke up, and sang many songs with…show more content…
This is especially hard for Tom, because not only does he have to deal with not having anyone to rely on, now he has to deal with constant loneliness and solitude. Being alone in the wilderness changes him a lot, he has to fend for himself and only rely on himself. It isn’t easy living alone and not having anyone there, so one day, Tom befriends a bear cub. This is a good thing for Tom and it improves his mood and cures his loneliness. The bear cub is now his brother and he is friends with the jay birds and squirrels. Of course, things can’t stop changing here; one day, Tom goes into town to trade baskets for a blanket. He brings his brother with him even though he knows not everyone will accept his brother. After having a conversation with Blue Elk and Jim Thatcher he goes back to the lodge. The next day while he is outside, he sees Blue Elk looking for him. Blue Elk says he has come to take Tom to town. Tom is hesitant, but after they both bond and talk of about a lot of things, Tom decides to go. The only reason Tom goes to town is because he thinks he is going to tell stories, tell of the old ways, and sing songs the townspeople, not live there and go to school. Tom absolutely despises living in town and going to public school. His attitude towards everything is poor at this point in the novel. His interactions with humans are not typical of those of a boy his age. Tom is simply not

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