“Blue Winds Dancing” by Tom Whitecloud is about a Native American College student who is confused about whom he is a person. He has an internal conflict that cause him to struggle with whether or not he is Indian or Caucasian. He doesn’t like “American society” values and he really misses home describing it as: “The land which is my home! Beautiful, calm- where there is no hurry to get anywhere, no driving to keep up in a race that knows no ending goal.” (Whitecloud pg.270) He has a negative perspective of how Caucasian people live their lives in contrast with his people. He decides he wants to go home for Christmas, but again he struggles with an internal conflict of whether or not he will be accepted. He feels that the Native Americans might perceive him as “white” since he has been living around them for some time. He finds himself at the end of the story and realizes what he wants and who he is. His people accepted him and were happy he was home.
The parable of The Prodigal Son is found in the bible: Luke Chapter 15. It is about a young man who asks for his inheritance before his father has even died. His father gives it to him, and he leaves his home. He wastes all his money and ends up very poor and destitute. The son is conflicted on whether or not he should go home because he is ashamed of himself, and of his foolish decisions. He decides he will go back home, and to his surprise he is not only welcomed back by his father, but treated like a prince. His father was so happy to have him home, that he didn’t care about his choices or where he had been. He forgave him, and cared only that he was safe and had learned a valuable lesson in the end. His father gave him robe and a ring to put on.
These stories are alike in a lot of ways. Both of the sons are conflicted on whether or not to go back home. “Afraid of what my father, afraid of being looked on as a stranger by my own people.” (Whitecloud pg. 272) In the end they both choose to go home because they figured out who they were. The prodigal son was living like a homeless person. The pigs ate better than he did, but his father had money and would treat him like a prince. “And when he came to himself he said, How many hired servants of my father have bread enough to spare and I perish with hunger.” (Luke 15:17) His home is who he really is.
In the Story “Blue Winds Dancing,” The son is living among Caucasians whose value are not acceptable to him. He wants to go home because he feels more himself and people value the same way of life he does. They also are alike because both of the fathers welcome their sons back with open arms. In The Prodigal Son, his father sees him from a far distance and is overjoyed. It was like he was waiting for him to come home all along. In Blue Winds Dancing, the father at first didn’t say anything but he came over to him and hugged him making him feel welcomed back. Both sons were lost then found, metaphorically and literally speaking.
Both of these stories are on groups with rich cultural backgrounds. The Prodigal Son is Jewish and Blue Winds Dancing is about a Native American. They both have cultural conflicts. In The Prodigal Son, he is also conflicted because in Jewish culture if he were to go back home after leaving his home like he did, forgiveness might not have come that easy. He would have to start at the bottom and work his way up. “And I am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants.” (Luke 15:19) Also it was a bad thing to them to ask for an inheritance before the father had even passed away.
In the end of both stories they both conquered their inner demons and came back to their civilization. At the end of Blue Winds Dancing he says: “I think to myself, ‘if I am white I will not believe that story; if I am Indian, I will know there is an old woman under the ice.’ I listen for a while, and I know there is an old woman under the ice.” (Whitecloud pg.273)