Touching Spirit Bear

By Ben Mikaelsen


Cole- Cole is main character in the novel. At the beginning he was a jerk that was always getting himself in trouble. During the novel , Cole got him self into serious trouble by beating up another boy. Throughout the book he changed from a self-centered jerk to a respectful young man.

Peter- Peter is the boy that Cole beat up. He was scared after Cole beat him up until they finally had to spend time together. After they settled their problems Peter became stronger and more confident.

Garvey- Garvey is the reason Cole had the chance to change. He was Cole's parole officer from Minneapolis. His determined spirit caused Cole to get admitted into a program that ultimately got him to become a better person.

Edwin- Edwin is the Tlingit elder that helped Cole get settled on the island. He was quiet but he was wise. HIs knowledge played a key part the throughout he whole novel.

Symbolism and Motifs

Many symbols and motifs appear throughout the novel. For example, the idea of a mother and child are constantly appearing in the story. It represents the affection Cole wishes he had from his parents. Another motif is the picturing of a circle. Circles are in the book everywhere. It symbolizes that nothing has a beginning or end. You live, you die, and then something else is born. Another symbol is the stick. One side represents anger Cole has and the other side represents the happiness. He tries to break off the side with the anger, but that side will always be there. It showed Cole that you can not get rid of your anger. Another reoccurring symbol is the ancestor rock. It represents Cole's ancestors. Everyday he has to carry them up a hill then roll them down, but when he rolls them down the rock now represents his anger. When he rolls his anger down it is supposed to help control it.

I Am Poem

I am Cole Mathews

I am stubborn and selfish

I wonder if I will ever change

I hear that change is difficult

I see change everyday

I want to change

I am stubborn and selfish

I pretend that I will someday change

I feel determined

I touch water and feel its pureness

I cry when I think of changed

I am stubborn and selfish

I understand change does not happen over night

I say that I can change

I dream that someday I will be a better person

I try to change

I hope that will change for the better

I am stubborn and selfish


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