The Only Good Indians Characters

Stephen Graham Jones
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The Elk Spirit

The one character whose presence is consistent throughout the novel (although in different incarnations) is a vengeful elk spirit. Its exact nature and origins are mysterious, but it seems to be the spirit of one (or multiple) of the elk that the hunting group illegally shot. The main narrative takes place ten years after this hunting incident, and the elk spirit is determined to take revenge against the hunters: Ricky, Lewis, Cassidy, and Gabe. The spirit takes various incarnations, such as a human woman, and an elk-headed woman.

The spirit uses various methods of attack, such as manipulating its victims and causing hallucinations. Primarily, the elk indirectly incites violence, utilizing the general social hostility towards Native Americans as a weapon against its four Native victims. At the end of the book, as Denorah’s stepfather shoots and kills the elk-headed woman, Denorah shows compassion and respect...

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This section contains 1,356 words
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