Dance Hall of the Dead Characters

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Lieutenant Joe Leaphorn is a highly sympathetic protagonist. As a Navajo, he is a traditionalist. Leaphorn values the Navajo way of life, which he was fortunate enough to learn from his wise grandfather. As a detective, Leaphorn finds the Navajo belief-system useful in uncovering the culprits of the various crimes he must solve. The Navajos believe that nature and man are wholly interdependent and that nothing ever happens in isolation. For Navajos, beauty is found in the perfect patterns and symmetry of nature. As solving crimes is a matter of figuring out patterns as well, Leaphorn's ability to "walk in beauty," as the Navajo say, contributes greatly to his success as a detective.

Leaphorn solves the case of Ernesto Cata's murder by examining the patterns and incongruities that the evidence reveals. He does some of his best thinking while sitting in nature. The natural world is...

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This section contains 2,186 words
(approx. 6 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Dance Hall of the Dead Study Guide
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