Throughout this small story there was a recurring sense of depression which was then overshadowed by the jokes of Thomas. If there was a hard time that Victor was going through, Thomas was always taking an optimistic viewpoint. The theme that I was able to extract from this story was that taking an optimistic viewpoint or stance when there are troubling times will help you get through them.
The first display of this theme is when Victor is talking to Thomas in the Trading Post. When Victor asked how Thomas knew that his dad was dead, Thomas said that he had "heard it in the wind... had heard it from the birds and had felt it in the sunlight." Then he makes a comment that was meant to lighten the feeling of depression in Victor. He said, "Also, your mother was just in here crying." I get a sense that he said this sarcastically and that it was said with a purpose: to make Victor laugh.
The next instance in which this theme was displayed was when Victor had got in a fight with Thomas and Norma Many Horses stopped it. After it was over she asked him if he was okay, all he did was gave her a thumbs up. I think he had a smile on his face when he gave this reaction as if he were saying that it was okay. While this may not have been funny, it showed a sense of optimism in that he didn't frown, but showed a sign that portrayed the sense that everything was fine and he didn't need any help.
On the airplane there was a gymnast and Victor and Thomas were talking to her. At the beginning of the flight, Victor was portraying a mood of grumpiness,