If I am going to be honest, after many months of reading Three Day Road by Joseph Boyden this book has left me with so many questions and thoughts that I have finally taken the time to find an answer. What I initially did not understand is how Elijah could be so impacted and changed by the war. This may have been harder for me to understand because I have never had a significant event in my life that has changed the person I was raised to be. Elijah always felt as though he had to prove himself after joining the war, he wanted that sense of identity. Which brings me to my main point, Many may lose their sense of identity when finding fame, what isn’t always obvious is friendships, family and culture is forgotten about on this journey of escaping reality.
Elijah has had a hard journey throughout this book. He has shown the traits of ‘The Tricker’ archetype, changing into an evil, unsteady, and selfish man throughout his time at war. He has also deceived his culture and his best friend Xavier throughout this journey.” You must listen to me, X. This is war. This is not home.”(350). This quote goes to show that Elijah has taken things too far, killing anything and everyone for attention, and Xavier doesn’t believe in this type of identity, it is not how they were raised. The worst part about this story is the fact that Elijah begins to ignore the advice his best friend Xavier gives him because he is beginning to worry about his well being. In the beginning of the novel Xavier used to be able to say,”I know Eljiah so well that it is just a matter of me closing my eyes so that I can follow him.”(145) Their relationship takes a shift when, Xavier says, “Do you know what I think? I think that you did more than just kill that young soilder yesterday.” Xavier looks at Elijah as he says this to see his eyes , but he remains a shadow.(350). Xavier knows that something is different with Elijah, and it taking the war to an extreme. He is acting unlike the Elijah that Xavier knows and it starts to concern Xavier for what will happen in the future. Ultimately, this character is losing the people who care about him the most so that he can impress those who judge him for who he is.
The sad part about this novel on top of Elijah losing his identity, is the pressure that he felt from being a Cree man in the war. The two boys are clearly dircrimmated from the getgo for being from a cultual backgroud, which ultmately affects Elijah much more than Xavier. Elijah felt as though he had to prove his worth throughout his war journey and always wanted that feeling of acceptance no matter what he had to do. “Elijah has killed more men already than I can count on both hands. It doesn’t seem to bother him.”(98) This is Xavier talking about the fact that Elijah has killed so mnay men when himself has killed barely anyone which begins to bother him a bit. “I can see that Elijah knows exactly what Thompson’s asking. Thompson is asking if Elijah likes killing. Elijah considers it for a moment. ‘It’s in my blood,’ he finally says.” This is an example of the men in charge some of taking advantage of Elijah. They know that he will do anything for attention and if he asks if he likes to kill, than obviously Elijah is going to take this to the extreme. All in all, I think that Elijah makes finding fame more important that being his true self, which in the end leads him down a path that he is unable to overcome. In the end, “We all fight on two fronts, the one facing the enemy, the one facing what we do to the enemy”(326).
Boyden, J. (2005). Three Day Road. Toronto: Penguin Canada.