Throughout history mankind has had many social and racial inequalities.Sometimes it's these inequalities that help motivate people to do certain things.In The Wolf and the Buffalo Kelton illustrates the social inequalities that existed in post Civil War Texas and between black and white soldiers and the blacks and whites against the Indians.Kelton also ties in the motives for people interacting with one another in the way that they do. Many characters in the book were motivated differently to do the things they did.However in the case of Gideon his motives changed a few times throughout the book.
Atfirst he was just saving up for a farm of his own, and then when he met Hannah she became his motivation.When she leaves his motivation temporarily checks out too."It don't matter.Everything I was savin' it for is gone" (210).
He doesn't even care that Finley had stolen all of his money that he was saving for his farm because Hannah was out of his life. When the troops get lost in the desert and it looks like they will all die even Hollander loses his motivation to keep looking for water."Hollander extended his silver watch..
..he managed a few clear words."Wife. Give to my wife and baby.
"….Gideon replies, "No! You'll live.
You give it to her"" (358-9).Gideon reminded Hollander that his motivation WAS his wife and child and that they were enough to keep him going.Hollander does not forget Gideon's actions because he later makes Gideon Sergeant for his leadership he showed. Gray Horse is motivated throughout much of the book by revenge because he thinks his wife and child were murdered.
"It seemed for a time that only by talking of revenge could Limping Boy kindle the flame of life in his cousin's eyes.Anger would sometimes bring the heart to a strong beat, for a while" (278).In this case it was revenge that moti.