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Analysis Of Elijah And Xavier’s Relationship In Three Day Road

June 23, 2022 by Essay Writer

Three Day Road is a very fascinating book written by Joseph Boyden. In this book the true horrors and realities of the war are shown. War is scary and it only ruins relationships and nobody returns home the same way. The characters Elijah and Xavier are an example of this as war has historically proven that even the closest relationships lead to conflict. Elijah and Xavier are best friends and share a great bond of brotherhood, but the war brings the worst of them. They are introduced to a new culture, which is the western culture and they become exposed to new things. For example the worst thing is morphine which causes Elijah to lose his virtue. This then leads to conflict between Elijah and Xavier because of their different beliefs. Xavier is a more traditional individual who avoids the European influence whereas Elijah doesn’t. This cross between them leads to disagreements within them and starting their competitive nature. These to continue to battle to determine who is the more dominant figure throughout the book. The influence of the war and the two different beliefs are clearly shown. Even though Elijah and Xavier share a deep bond, their friendship is slowly torn apart during the war and the use of morphine, their two distinct beliefs and the feelings of jealousy.

The first problem is Elijah’s addiction to morphine. Addiction is like a disease where you become so attached to something you can’t live without it, it ruins one’s sense and judgment. Morphine the drug which Elijah uses acts as a steroid and can be sedative for Elijah , however this drug does come with consequences. Elijah uses this drug to escape from the war and the drug dulls his struggles. For example even if Elijah is not in physical pain and no medicine is necessary his “body screams out for the needle”. He is not able to control his desire for morphine which mistakes his judgment. For example when Elijah shoots the mother and her child without hesitation. Then Xavier gets mad at Elijah for his actions and questions why he did that. But then Elijah responds by saying, “I didn’t know it was a child”. As one can see the morphine has taken control on Elijah’s senses as he doesn’t know that his actions have consequences. This struggle between Xavier and Elijah’s moral beliefs boost the conflict they have between each other. As the plot advances with their inner struggles, readers can understand Xavier is very traditional and Elijah is heavily western minded. As you can see Elijah’s use of morphine and Xavier’s disagreement starts off the conflict between these two.

Conflict starts as one’s cultural beliefs deny the truth of others actions. Elijah and Xavier are in constant conflict with each other because of their difference in heritage. Xavier is raised by Niska in the bush and picked up on aboriginal beliefs. Even though Elijah is also native descent, he is an orphan and was raised in those disgusting residential schools. Elijah cannot tell whether he belongs in the native society or the western society. Europeans value the success of war whereas the native just want peace. Elijah tries so hard to fit in and tries to prove himself to the soldiers by trying to get a lot of kills and cause havoc on the battlefield. Xavier then realizes that Elijah’s actions have led to him becoming “something invisible, something inhuman”. Elijah starts to scalp people after killing them and even collecting their body parts as trophies. His unhuman like actions begin awakening his Windigo spirit. Elijah keeps going on his rampage for the attention and he does receive approval from the others but also builds even more internal conflicts with Xavier. Xavier is known to come from a “line of Windigo killers” and he struggles to keep up his family’s legacy. Although the signs are clear that Elijah has transformed into a Windigo, Xavier doesn’t kill Elijah because of their friendship. Ruthlessly Elijah betrays Xavier by using the Windigo spirit to get the fame within the battalion. These actions identify the theme of how people try so hard to fit in society and try to impress on such little things. Elijah sacrifices everything he has and including his friendship with Xavier to be seen as a cool soldier. As Elijah struggles with his Windigo spirit and Xavier attempts to keep his legacy as a Windigo killer it leads to rivalry and jealousy between them.

Xavier has jealousy towards Elijah because everyone thinks he is the better soldier. Jealousy is an emotion that only harms oneself and brings out the bad side of that person. Although Elijah knows that Xavier is the better soldier, Elijah is able to trick Xavier and make him look like a “useless bush Indian”. Xavier is basically ignored by the rest of the soldiers because of his lack of communication. This makes Elijah present himself as the better individual. Even though Xavier knows what’s happening he sticks to his ethics of not interfering. This action shows that Xavier is so culturally sound and then on the other hand this causes jealousy for Elijah towards Xavier. Elijah had everything stripped from him even his heritage while Xavier didn’t. This will make Elijah do anything to be the best soldier. Elijah’s ambitions to prove himself not only places him in harm but also the others. When Elijah leaves his post without telling anyone simple to get more kills his side explains that he “was out there killing the fritz”. This shows the selfishness in Elijah as he only cares about himself and his gain because he doesn’t have any regard for the soldiers. As we can see throughout the book these two characters conflicts with each other clearly shows their differences. Furthermore the readers see Elijah as a selfish and addictive personality and see Xavier as a person with an identity and not trying to impress others. Xavier’s character development is also shown throughout the jealousy because he matures from his struggles with Elijah and the experiences from the war. Xavier then finally understands the only way to free Elijah from the Windigo spirit and his drive for power is to kill him.

In conclusion Xavier and Elijah share a very powerful bond, eventually the war tears them apart from their addictions, cultural differences, and jealousy. Although Xavier and Elijah were best friends during their childhood everything falls apart. The European way of life ruins Xavier and exposes him to morphine. This drug makes Elijah go crazy and starts the conflicts between him and Xavier. Their disagreements with cultural values doesn’t help them resolve their struggles and furthermore lifts the problems. Xavier is a traditional individual who is against the European beliefs whereas Elijah is not. Elijah takes whatever he can to impress the battalion and this makes the Windigo develop. As their differences in opinions fight with each other it brings out their competitive nature. The impact of the war gets to them. War only ruins one’s most valued relationships and leaves people broken and never the same. Overall this was illustrated well by Joseph Boyden and was a great book. 

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