The Snow Walker is a collection of short storiess about the Arctic North and the Eskimo's that inhabit it. All of the stories in the book deal with surivival, whether it be survival from other Eskimo tribes, famen or the Eskimos worste neightmare, White people. The stories speak of the earliest life in the Arctic and the most contempary, sometimes its hard to notice the diffrence. Some of the stories deal with people who are threatened with extinction by white people or by the harshness of nature. At the same time as Mowat describes the hard ships of the Arctic North he also describes the beauty of the North and the human endurance and courage that withstand Earth's most fearful elements.
As one reads the stories one notices the distinct diffrences between our civilization and the Eskimo people. Eskimo's have a total diffrent outlook on life and totally diffrent culture then we do.
Eskimo's are peaceful people that just want to survive. They never fight with one another in their own tribes, and when they fight wars they only kill the men, leaving the woman and children unharmed, in some occasoins even adopting the woman and children into their own tribe. Hate and anger are two things that Eskimos are most fearful of. "Anger is something we fear since an angry man may do foolish and dangerous things. when I saw the anger in the man's face, I backed to the door" (138). Eskimo's are also very kind people. The take in a wondering stranger and treat him as their own. Some of the stories in the book tell of how a white man wonders into an Eskimo camp and ends up spending his whole life there. Eskimo's offer everything to white men, even their women. " The captain took the Eskimo girl as his wife, in the same manner the rest of his crew did the same" (70). This peaceful nature that the Eskimo's have is entirly diffrent from our nature, wich thrives of greed, money and power.
Although the Eskimo people are much more in peace with themselves and are nicer then us they would be considered uncivilized and primitive people that let nature decide their fate. Eskimo's would be considerd uncivilized because of their harsh eating habbits. Eskimo's dont understand the concept of cooking meat, they see it as a source of energy and eat raw straight from the animal they had just killed. This uncivilized manner is seen through one of the stories when an Eskimo kills a dear. " People wept as they sumbled and staggered toward the deer carcass. the first ones to reach it clung to it like flies, sucking the blood that sill bubbled out of its wounds" (141). Eskimos also let nature decide where there going to live. They follow the animals accross the arcitc lands and live where ever the animals are. This is considered primitive in our eyes because of the lack of control over their lives.
The stories in the book also tell of how white people effected the Eskimo's. White people had come and invaded their lands. The diseases that they brought with them wiped out thousands of Eskimo's. They also brought guns and bows to the Eskimo's. They also brought Christianity and had managed to convert a good amount of Eskimo's by making their religions look riduceles. White people had defently effected the lives of the Eskimo's. Some Eskimo's believe that meeting white people was the worste thing that had happend to them, maybe thier right.
The Author's purpose in writing this book was to share his expierences of the Arctic and retell the stories he had hard heard. The book was written to introduce Arctic life to the rest of the world. He introduces their life style because the author feels that Eskimo's are wonderful people that have a very old history. The author also writes the book to describe what effect the white civilization had on the Eskimo people. The author basicaly states that the Eskimo people are decreasing in population and have decreased because of white people moving farther and farther north each year.
After reading the book i found myself totaly shocked. I could not believe that some people in this world are still living the same way they have lived for hundreds of years withought changing much. The book was absultly fantastic. The author describes the lives of these people with great detail. Every story grabs you and steels your heart. It was one of the most powerful books I've read in a long time. The book made me relize that the world is different depending on where you are. Living in this town we are totaly blinded by the rest of the world. This book made me open my eyes and relize that there are other life styles in this world. I would recomend this book to anyone, its the best.