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House Made of Dawn AP LIT

Terms in this set (56)

The albino, Juan Reyes, is a character, but he is also a symbol. Throughout the novel he is regularly called the "white man" instead of albino or by his name. He is representative of the living ideas of myth made flesh. There was an episode at Jemez the author cites as a source for the novel. In this case an albino was killed because he threatened to turn into a snake and bite a man. If one believes in the shape-shifting ability of albinos—as Abel clearly did—the action of murder makes sense. Moreover, Abel's stance that "a man kills such an enemy if he can" is logical. The murder is not judged by Abel's peers; it is judged by a court that does not understand the threat Abel saw in Juan Reyes. It is symbolic of the difficulty of living between two worlds. Abel was considered to have acted within the realm of acceptable behavior when he took lives during World War II. But here he is considered a killer for eliminating a threat.The albino, Juan Reyes, is a character, but he is also a symbol. Throughout the novel he is regularly called the "white man" instead of albino or by his name. He is representative of the living ideas of myth made flesh. There was an episode at Jemez the author cites as a source for the novel. In this case an albino was killed because he threatened to turn into a snake and bite a man. If one believes in the shape-shifting ability of albinos—as Abel clearly did—the action of murder makes sense. Moreover, Abel's stance that "a man kills such an enemy if he can" is logical. The murder is not judged by Abel's peers; it is judged by a court that does not understand the threat Abel saw in Juan Reyes. It is symbolic of the difficulty of living between two worlds. Abel was considered to have acted within the realm of acceptable behavior when he took lives during World War II. But here he is considered a killer for eliminating a threat.