Touching Sprit Bear-Ben Mikaelsen

Faith Farmer


Cole is the main character and the most dynamic character. At first, Cole was very short tempered, hitting whatever got in his way. While in trial for the bad things Cole has done, he pretends that he wants to change, using it as an opportunity to get away from everyone and jail. The first time he goes to the island Cole is a mess. He burns his only food and shelter, then tryst to get away, unsuccessfully. Thankfully he is given a second chance. This time his eyes are open to discover the beauty of life and his anger almost gone. When he is on the island Peter comes so he can be mentally healed. Peter punches and kicks Cole but Cole does not fight back. Cole changed to forgive and apologize to Peter.


Peter was a shy kid who changed dramatically after Cole smashed Peter's head into the sidewalk. Over time Peter becomes suicide and depressed trying to tale his life two times. They decide to send him on the island with Cole to heal them. Peter tries to hurt Cole but after he realizes violence if not the answer.


Garvey is very wise and wants to make sure Cole is safe and protected. Garvey and his companion, Edwin, help Cole change while on the island. They do this because they where once like Cole.


Edwin, like Garvey, is wise and wants to help Cole change, and keep Cole safe. Not only does he help Cole change but he thought Cole the meaning of life: make what you can out of it. He helps Cole change in many different, strange ways.


  • Hotdog- the hotdog Edwin shares with Cole and Garvey represent life because he teaches Cole that who can scarf down the hotdog whole with no meaning, or share it with people you care for and make the best of it.
  • Fire- The fire Cole set on the shelter is a representation of his anger because the fire is something strong and uncontrollable that needed to be let out.
  • Waves-The waves Cole comes across while trying to swim away from the island represent the barrier in life that forces Cole to face his own mentally, which is the island.
  • Cake ingredients- Garvey shows Cole that the cake ingredients are like ingredients for change: you can't get the good product without the other bad ingredients.
  • At.òow- Trust and second chances are represented through the at.òow because Edwin gives it to him showing Cole that he trust him to take care of it. When Cole throws it in the flames, it reappears unharmed, as a way of giving him another chance.

Thematic Quote

"A strange thought occurred to Cole: the world was beautiful. Yes, the world was beautiful... He wondered why he has never noticed this all before. How much beauty has he missed in his life time? How much beauty has he destroyed? (Mikaelsen 114)

I am Cole Matthews

I am hot-tempered and predictable

I wounded if everyone just wants to get rid of me

I hear voices being shout at me

I want everyone to fear me

I am Cole Matthews


I pretend to want to change

I feel regret pulsing through me

I touch the sprit bear's fur

I worry if I will dye in this moment

I cry because the baby sparrows were killed

I am Cole Matthews


I understand that what I did was wrong

I say that I have changed

I dream that all of this will be forgotten

I try to convince everyone that I have changed

I hope they see me as who I am now, a better person

I am Cole Matthews