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Having lost his job in Los Angeles, Abel returns home, and the novel ends on a positive note with his reintegration into his mother's tribe.
When his maternal grandfather dies, Abel buries him in the prescribed Walatowan fashion, then runs in the ritual race for good hunting and harvests that his grandfather had won decades before.
The change from lumpen to haut-bourgeois protagonist represents a shift in focus of the Indian novel from depicting ethnic experience of the tribal group to dealing with problems of personal identity of Indians who have lost or weakened their ties to their tribe because they live their lives primarily among whites.
For instance, Abel in House Made of Dawn is lost and alcoholic after returning from World War II.
He serves eight years for killing an albino Indian before finally adjusting to life in his tribe.
In contemporary Indian literature this means that Trickster is more likely to be a bum than a businessman.
He is found far more often in a bar than in an office; he is traditionally a drifter who is usually out of work and often in jail. This is the Heyoka a character in Native American literature who is also called the “trickster.”In general, the first generation of novels of the Indian Renaissance is about tribal identity.