The story "A Man Called Horse," by Dorothy M. Johnson, vividly depicts a character called Horse. He is originally from Boston but decides to travel west in search of men that are equal to him. On his journey he encounters a big surprise; the Crow Indians. Throughout his captivity in the tribe, Horse displays the Human Spirit through the characteristics of dissatisfaction, determination, and compassion. .
Along with being unhappy in Boston, Horse is also dissatisfied with what he finds in the west. Even though he is with the Crow tribe, and among people of a lesser civilization, he still does not feel as though he is equal to them. He finds that, ". . . in the West, as in Boston, the men he respected were still his superiors, even if they could not read, and those he did not respect weren't worth talking to." To the people of the Crow tribe Horse is a foreigner. Because he is looked upon by them like this he is put to work as a slave/work horse. The Indians tied a ". . . rawhide thong around his neck, as though he was a horse- Being a slave to these people they had no respect for him. As a thank you for the moccasins he received he gave his master, Greasy Hands, some picked flowers. Instead of appreciably taking them, "She stared at the flowers, knocked them out of his hand, and went running to the next teepee, squalling the story." As you can see Horse is dissatisfied with the way things are and wants to change it.
Because Horse is so dissatisfied, he is determined. Horse's main reason for determination is to be free; to escape this world of captivity. In order to become free from his situation, Horse asks Pretty Calf, Greasy Hand's fifteen year old daughter, to take his courtship. She accepted, "He was no more a horse, but a kind of man, a half-Indian, still poor and unskilled but laden with honor." Horse is also determined to gain respect. He knows that the number of horses you own signifies your status and wealth.