The image of blood that appears in the title of the novel represents passion, life energy, and connection to family, culture and race. Winter in the blood suggests that the blood in the narrator runs thin; he suffers from a kind of spiritual and mental anemia. The blood image returns at a significant moment in part 4, after the narrator's sudden realization that Yellow Calf is his grandfather. This realization was as though it was his blood in my veins that had told me. In other words, Yellow Calf awakens the cultural and family blood that runs within the narrator, suggesting that the winter in the blood may be at an end.