True Son loves his Indian way of life and considers himself to be Indian; he has been raised to view whites as enemies and cannot imagine living with them. At the start of the story, True Son, a white boy whom Lenni Lenape Indians captured at age four and later adopted as one of their own, is in turmoil. The whites seem to ignore the nature around them and be more interested in financial gain than their own good. He becomes frightened that Gordie may be on the boat and ruins the ambush attempt. The novel begins with the main character, True Son, a white boy raised in an Indian tribe, being taken away from his adoptive family. True Son’s Indian father takes him to the river he must cross in order to go to his white family. Nevertheless, the ambitious white Colonel Bouquet and his troop of 1,500 men march into Indian country and demand the return of whites who have been kidnapped by the Delaware Indians. Learn exactly what happened in this chapter, scene, or section of The Light in the Forest and what it means. Magdalena, Micola. Copyright © 1999 - 2020 GradeSaver LLC. After a few hours, True Son gets out of his bed and sleeps on the floor, covered in the bearskin his Indian father gifted him. An epigraph — a short poem or saying at the beginning of a book — taken from William Wordsworth's poem "Intimations of Immortality" suggests where Richter got his idea for the novel's title. Although Little Crane's family votes to burn True Son for his betrayal, Cuyloga saves his son from death with a very moving speech. The day of the attack True Son lures in a boat by calling out for his white "brothers" to rescue him from starvation. Bejance also tells True Son about an Indian living in the First Mountains who is the only one in those lands who still knows how to speak the Indian language. True Son looked at the clothing with loathing because he saw them as "symbols of all the lies, thefts, and murders by the white man.". The three laugh together and speak of the strange ways of white people until finally True Son must part from his Indian friends and go on to the white settlement. True Son meets then Half Arrow who takes him to Little Crane’s dead body. Uncle Wilse is suspicious of True Son, and the two have a heated argument about whether the Paxton boys had the right to massacre children, an argument which results in Uncle Wilse slapping True Son across the face. These notes were contributed by members of the GradeSaver community. True Son is unsuccessful however and is tied again by Dell. While many soldiers had relatives or acquaintances killed by Indians, they all respect Bouquet’s orders. The next day, True Son is forced to change into more English-looking clothes and meet two of his uncles, George Owens and Wilse. At first, True Son refuses to go into the house but after seeing his younger brother going in without being afraid, he goes too. While at first True Son is happy to be included as well, he soon realizes that all the stories he heard about the Indians are true and that they do indeed kill children and women. When Geordie and True Son are sent in the city to buy some groceries, True Son meets a black man named Bejance who just like True Son was raised by the Indians. True Son is emotionally detached from his father..... there is no longer any kind of bond between them. When the boys go visit him, True Son is warned that he will be slowly assimilated by the white culture just like Bejance was. The Light in the Forest helped me understand this time period better by showing me the distrustful relationship between the white men and the Indians. The food found in True Son’s bag is seen as evidence for his attempt to run away and while it was not true, True Son did not tried to defend himself. It is the fall of 1764, and the relations between white settlers of western Pennsylvania and Indians of the Ohio area are strained. He is saved however by his father and is told to leave and go to his white family. During the march, True Son is very depressed and considers committing suicide by eating the root of a May apple. In order to help translate for the Butlers and protect them from the potentially violent True Son, Del stays with the Butlers for a little while after True Son's return. It is thus decided that the Indians will go avenge the dead boy and that True Son will take part as well. On the trip to Pennsylvania, True Son is placed under the care of Del, a strong white frontiersman who understands the Delaware, or Lenni Lenapi, language since he grew up near Indians. Book Summary. True Son also hears about the Indians lurking around and one night he tries to communicate with them using a secret language used by the Indians. Del, however, sees the stone houses and fences as symbols of the superior white culture. True Son refuses to acknowledge the white man as being his father and so it is decided that Dell will go with True Son to protect his white family from possible violent outburst. will review the submission and either publish your submission or provide feedback. Once the soldiers start marching again with the prisoners, True Son sees his cousin Half Arrow following him from the bushes. True Son has a difficult time adjusting to the white culture that is forced upon him. Use up and down arrows to review and enter to select. Del prevents him from doing so and eventually True Son gives up the idea when his Indian cousin, Half Arrow, meets up with the party and walks along with True Son and their friend, Little Crane, whose wife is also among the white captives. Dell tells True Son that he must say goodbye to his friends and when he tries to push Half Arrow away with his rifle, True Son tries to grab the rifle away from Dell. In comparison with other captains, Bouquet ordered his men to never attack an Indian unless that person attacks first. Our study guide has summaries, insightful analyses, and everything else you need to understand The Light in the Forest. Upstairs, he finds his mother, Myra Butler, who tells him that his real name is John Cameron Butler but True Son refuses to answer to that name. Little Crane's brother, Thitpan, calls for war against the whites, and a war party is formed that includes Cuyloga, Half Arrow, True Son, and Little Crane's family. The Light in the Forest (1953), a work of historical fiction by Conrad Richter, takes place during the American Revolutionary War, following True Son, a young white boy who was captured by the Leni Lenape tribe and assimilated into Native American culture, where he lived happily for eleven years. When True Son sees for the first time the places where the whites live, he is disgusted to see how the trees have been cut down and how they were replaced by stone homes instead. It is decided that Half Arrow and Little Crane must leave the next day and return to their Indian tribe and True Son assures them that he will be ok. That night, they talk about the white men and why they are different from the Indians. That night, they meet another Indian who tells them where they are and the next day they find that the Indian was killed by the soldiers. True Son's stoic Indian father, Cuyloga, whom he idolizes, forces his stubborn and resistant son to leave with the white soldiers. Dell prevents True Son from poisoning himself and True Son vows to kill himself on the way back. Little Crane’s family however is not happy and they demand Little Crane to be avenged. After a while, True Son gets sick and the town physician attributes his sickness to the fact that he was raised by Indians. When True Son is introduced to his white father, Harry Butler, he is repulsed by him and states that the man is not his father. True Son and Half Arrow go to Uncle Wilse's house to demand an explanation, but they end up half-scalping the man and then fleeing into the night. His aunt Kate takes one night all his Indian clothes and so from that point on he is forced to wear the clothes his family provided him with. For example, in a conversation between True Son's white father and his uncle, Uncle Wilse said "You can make an Indian out of a white man, but you can never make a white man out of an Indian." The Light in the Forest Summary. GradeSaver, 28 April 2017 Web. The next day True Son meets more of his relatives, including his Uncle Wilse, who was a leader of the Paxton boys. After eleven years with his Indian family, he is told that he must return to his white family because of a newly signed treaty. We are thankful for their contributions and encourage you to make your own.