Mariusz Jakimik Jakimik 1
Miss Rende
English ENG3A-05
March 11, 1997

From the time people are born, until they die, it is only a natural thing to want to
keep learning about their life and to figure out why they were put on this earth. From the
very beginning of life, babies want to touch and experience everything around them.
Throughout the novel, Who Has Seen the Wind by W.O. Mitchell, Brian O\'Connal has
found himself with a tremendous hunger to discover the real meaning of life.
Clearly, then, Brian always searches for new ways to learn about the world he lives
in. One of the things that Brian shows an interest in is God. Brian really wants to meet
Him, not knowing that God is something that cannot be seen, for He is a spirit. Brian
would say "Lets go over 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
vacuum cleaner"(31). Brian learns the truth about God from different people like his
parents, Saint Sammy, Mr. Hislop, his grandma, and his friends. He discovers that 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 always thought 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 it happened. Brian had a very
uncomfortable conversation with his dad, Gerald O\'Connal, about where babies come
from:
Remember I told you the pigeon grows inside the egg, the mother lays the egg,

and it hatches?...They don\'t with rabbits. Rabbits are different. The father
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plants a seed in the mother and the baby 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. Death is an
unavoidable fact of life, and cannot be escaped. The deaths in the novel start out from not
very significant, to the very shocking ones. Brian was becoming aware of death but was
not influenced very much from such deaths like the 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 dad suddenly died. Brian did not know what to feel. It was as if
Brian\'s life was over, and he felt lost and lonely without his father. Brian learned that
"People were forever born, people forever died, and never were again. Fathers died, and
sons were born. The prairie was forever, with its wind whispering for man, but for Brian\'s
father-never."(239)
Thus, Brian begins to realize that the world is full of strange and unexplained things.
Brian does not know why the two headed calf was born, so he concluded that it must have
been God\'s mistake. The runt pig was another abnormal experience for Brian. He felt
sorry for it and wondered why such things are born, and he did not want Ab to kill it.
"You can\'t kill my runt pig"(216), he said. Furthermore, Brian wanted to get to know the
Young Ben better, because he felt a special connection to him. It was as though they had
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something in common. Brian felt that he could learn something from the Young Ben,
something nobody else could teach him. Saint Sammy was another mysterious buy to
Brian that teaches him about God. Saint Sammy was an outcast in town because he
claimed that he knew God personally and had a special connection with Him.
Throughout the novel, Brian satisfies his need to understand life more by
experiencing many different situations. He learns that life is very complicated 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 seen the circle of life turn right before him, and life
and death were now familiar to 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 keep learning about life and what