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A Raven Flies South

This study guide will help you analyze the short story “A Raven Flies South” by Gord Bruyere. You can also find a summary of the text, as well as inspiration for interpreting it. 

Presentation of the text

Title: “A Raven Flies South"
Author: Gord Bruyere
Genre: Short story

Gord Bruyere is an Anishnaabe poet, musician, and educator, who lives in Ontario, Canada. He is a Professor in the Health Science Department at the University of Lethbridge. He also works as a curriculum developer as an indigenous curriculum specialist. He is one of the authors of the book Wicihitowin: Aboriginal Social Work in Canada. 

Extract

Below, you can read an extract from our study guide:

Symbols

The house is a symbol of the adult world and domestic responsibilities. In Raven’s mind, it is associated with the tasks he has to do (p. 24, ll. 3-7). Raven escapes the house early in the morning to enjoy one last moment of freedom. However, at the end, he has to return to it. He does so with “one last sigh” (p. 24, l. 12), before he turns to open the door. 

The river is a symbol of freedom. When he stands by the river, Raven feels connected with the nature around him: “it’s like I’m inside that snake or salmon” (p. 23, l. 30). The river is also the place where the boy draws his strength from: “the slow-moving river (…) is sleepy too and that makes him feel more awake than the river (…) that makes him feel strong" (p. 23, ll. 4-6). This suggests that Raven draws his strength from feeling free and without constraints. 

The raven is a very important symbol in the story. It is also the name of the main character, which strengthens the connection between them. The parallels between them are drawn from the beginning: they both enjoy the feeling of freedom which comes with being awake early (p. 21, ll. 12-15), and roaming far and wide (p. 22, ll. 1-3). This shows that the raven is meant to symbolize the main character’s carefree nature. It is worth noting that ...

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A Raven Flies South

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