Character Analysis The Indians


Like Nuflo, the Indians whom Abel meets during his residence in the "green mansions" are realistic characters without any idealized features. In fact, Hudson's — or Abel's — feelings toward the natives are apparent throughout the book. Fundamentally, Hudson never shows any positive features of the natives. The Parahuaris symbolize, in Hudson's allegory, brute force and the ugly side of nature because they are the immediate cause of Rima's death and thus destroy Abel's paradise.

However, Hudson has shaped in a very real fashion his individual portraits of the Indians. Three natives occupy a place of minor importance: Runi, Kua-kó, and Cla-cla. Runi, the chief of the Parahuaris, is the spokesman during all the debates with Abel; his arguments are cunning and skillful in their primitive logic. Despite the reader's sympathy for Abel, the complaints that Runi lodges have some merit despite the repetitious insistence: The Indians sheltered and befriended the young man in his dire need, and he has not behaved as a friend or an appreciative guest toward them. Kua-kó, one of the bravest and most promising warriors of the tribe, lacks the wily intelligence and guile of Runi. Kua-kó is obviously a foil for Abel, and the latter's superiority in all their encounters is always noted by Hudson. In the dramatic account of Rima's death, Kua-kó is the narrator; Abel symbolically slays Kua-kó as the immediate culprit for the merciless deed. Cla-cla is the only Indian whom Abel accepts as a decent and sympathetic human being; she provides the young man with several amusing moments, especially during the evening when they sing around the campfire. Although the old Parahuari woman appears only briefly in the story, she has an important part in Abel's redemption. The sight of the murdered Cla-cla, a crime instigated by Abel's desire for revenge against the Parahuaris, restores him to his humanity. If Hudson's attitude toward the Indians is severe, he has somewhat tempered this hostility in the character of Cla-cla. He has sharply and effectively countered the presentation of deceitful savages by a warm, humorous member of the tribe. In some ways, Cla-cla provides a balanced picture to the scene just as Nuflo contrasts with his realism to the romanticism of Rima and Abel.

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