From the time people are born, until they die, it is only a natural thing towant to keep learning about their life and to figure out why they were put onthis earth. From the very beginning of life, babies want to touch andexperience everything around them. Throughout the novel, Who Has Seen the Windby W. O. Mitchell, Brian O’Connal has found himself with a tremendous hunger todiscover the real meaning of life.
Clearly, then, Brian always searches for newways to learn about the world he lives in. One of the things that Brian showsan interest in is God. Brian really wants to meet Him, not knowing that God issomething that cannot be seen, for He is a spirit. Brian would say “Lets goover to his place”(7).
Throughout the novel, Brian seems to be looking for God. He has his own image of God in his mind, thinking that “God rides the vacuumcleaner”(31). Brian learns the truth about God from different people like hisparents, Saint Sammy, Mr. Hislop, his grandma, and his friends. He discoversthat God is everywhere and in everyone, but He cannot be seen.
Furthermore, Brian is very much interested, like many other children his age,about where living things come from. Being as young as he was, he alwaysthought that God delivered babies. After Brian witnessed his very first birth,that of a rabbit, he became very confused and curious about what and how ithappened. Brian had a very uncomfortable conversation with his dad, GeraldO’Connal, about where babies come from:Remember I told you the pigeon grows inside the egg, the motherlays the egg, and it hatches?.
. . They don’t with rabbits. Rabbitsare different. The father plants a seed in the mother and thebaby grows from it.
When it’s time, they come out. Is that what he is doing when. . . Yes Spalpeen, that’s what he is doing. (161-162)This fascinated Brian very much.
Unquestionably, everything that is born and lives, must eventually die. Deathis an unavoidable fact of life, and cannot be escaped. The deaths in the novelstart out from not very significant, to the very shocking ones. Brian wasbecoming aware of death but was not influenced very much from such deaths likethe gopher, the rabbits and Mr. and Mrs.
Wong. After his dog Jappy’s death,Brian realizes how fragile life is. It was a complete shock to him when his dadsuddenly died. Brian did not know what to feel. It was as if Brian’s life wasover, and he felt lost and lonely without his father.
Brian learned that”People were forever born, people forever died, and never were again. Fathersdied, and sons were born. The prairie was forever, with its wind whispering forman, but for Brian’s father-never. “(239)Thus, Brian begins to realize that the world is full of strange and unexplainedthings. Brian does not know why the two headed calf was born, so he concludedthat it must have been God’s mistake. The runt pig was another abnormalexperience for Brian.
He felt sorry for it and wondered why such things areborn, and he did not want Ab to kill it. “You can’t kill my runt pig”(216), hesaid. Furthermore, Brian wanted to get to know the Young Ben better, because hefelt a special connection to him. It was as though they had something incommon. Brian felt that he could learn something from the Young Ben,something nobody else could teach him. Saint Sammy was another mysterious buyto Brian that teaches him about God.
Saint Sammy was an outcast in town becausehe claimed that he knew God personally and had a special connection with Him. Throughout the novel, Brian satisfies his need to understand life more byexperiencing many different situations. He learns that life is verycomplicated and hard to comprehend. He becomes aware of God looking over us,he also learned how wonderful birth is, and how sudden and tragic death is. Brian really understood that birth is the exact opposite of death.
He had seenthe circle of life turn right before him, and life and death were now familiarto him. Life is full of unexplained events, but everything happens for a reason.Even though Brian witnessed all this, it is only human nature to want to keeplearning about life and what it .