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Touching Spirit Bear. Cole’s Conflict with the Spirit Bear Mrs. Oelerich. Characterization: Cole and The Spirit Bear. Cole first hears about the Spirit Bear from Garvey . He tells Cole that Spirit Bears have “ pride, dignity, and honor . More than most people” ( Mickaelson 18).

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touching spirit bear

Touching Spirit Bear

Cole’s Conflict with the Spirit Bear

Mrs. Oelerich

characterization cole and the spirit bear
Characterization: Cole and The Spirit Bear
  • Cole first hears about the Spirit Bear from Garvey. He tells Cole that Spirit Bears have “pride, dignity, and honor. More than most people” (Mickaelson 18).
  • Cole’s initial response is: “If I saw a spirit Bear, I’d kill it” (Mickaelson 18). This shows that he is consumed by anger and ignorant.
characterization continued
Characterization Continued
  • When Cole sees the Spirit Bear for the first time, he wants to kill it because he is frustrated that the Bear does not fear him like Peter and everyone else (Mickaelson 59).
  • Cole confronts the Spirit Bear with a spear and it mauls him within an inch of his life (Mickaelson65-67).
  • Again, this shows Cole is angry and ignorant about nature and himself.
more characterization
More Characterization!
  • Then Cole begins to change: while Cole is helpless and injured, the Spirit Bear returns (Mickaelson92-94).
  • Intriguingly, Cole senses curiosity and trust rather than aggression from the Bear.
    • “Cole forced his hand forward until his fingers touched the bear’s moist white coat. [. . .] With his fingertips he felt warmth. He felt the bear’s breath and heartbeat. And he felt one more thing. He felt trust. But why? Already he had tried to kill the bear. He had spit at it. [. . .] He had hated it with every fiber of his existence” (Mickaelson95).
    • This shows Cole is beginning to realize that his anger does not necessarily make him powerful. He is beginning to see how Peter felt when he was beaten.
final characterization slide
Final Characterization Slide
  • After his rescue, Cole decides to tell Garvey and Edwin the truth from now on.
    • Cole realizes “His life had become filled with lies. [. . .] From now on he would speak the truth, even if it meant going to jail. [. . .] His words would become his only proof” (Mickaelson111-112).
  • This shows that Cole is maturing. He has seen that proving himself is of little importance compared to what he has experienced. Cole realizes that the Spirit Bear will serve as a constant reminder of where his anger can lead him.
conflict
Conflict
  • Cole’s conflict with the Spirit Bear is an external conflict. While it helps him to make important realizations about himself, it is a conflict between Cole and a force of nature making it a person vs. nature conflict.
themes
Themes
  • From Cole’s conflict with the Spirit Bear the reader learns:
    • It is arrogant and self-centered of people to think they can dominate nature and others. The reader learns this when Cole is mauled by the Spirit Bear.
    • People need to realize that they need to be compassionate, a stronger being should not hurt a weaker one just because he can; he is also hurting himself. The reader learns this when Mikaelson puts Cole in Peter’s shoes.
    • A person’s word is only as good as the person who gives it. The reader learns this when Cole finally decides not to lie anymore but instead to become a person worth believing.