When the Legends Die

When the Legends Die Literary Essay
Tyler Mallison
Bessie was a huge influence on Tom’s life. “Now you are the man” (Borland 21), Tom was told by Bessie. This statement had great meaning. From then until the death of Bessie, Tom has to support himself and his mom. He had to hunt for food to help him and his mom survive. In a way, Bessie was a negative influence on Tom’s life. She taught him the old songs, how to cook, and do things in the old way when everybody else in the story was adapting to the new ways. She didn’t teach Tom anything about the new ways. She was also a positive influence because Tom enjoyed life by the old ways.
Blue Elk was another major influence on Tom’s life, a man who brought out Tom’s angry and aggressive behavior. He tricked Tom into attending a reservation school by promising Tom that he could share the old ways of life with others. When Tom realised that he had been tricked, he became very angry. He picked fights at school and got into trouble. Tom was also angered because he was separated from his bear. Blue Elk tricked Tom into believing that he is being taken back home, but really just has to release the bear and Tom was taken back to town. Blue Elk threatened Tom that he will chain the bear to a tree and let it starve to death if Tom doesn’t go back to school. Blue Elk also ransacked Tom’s old cabin, taking everything he could use or sell and burned everything else. Tom found this out when he escaped the room that he was locked in and went back to his cabin. All of the things that Blue Elk did to Tom angered him and brought out his aggressive behavior.
Red Dillon was another major influence on Tom’s life. He introdued Tom to Meo. Tom became good friends with the two men. Red Dillon also introduced rodeo riding to Tom, which was a major part of Tom’s life. Red also taught Tom life lessons and helps him when he injured his shoulder. Red Dillon was an overall positive influence on Tom’s life.
Positive or negative,...