This personal conflict of John Dunbar is mirrored by the dichotomy between Victor and Thomas which is a persistent feature throughout the film. Victor perceives this very idealism as an irritation while Thomas continues to view Victor as a source of immense interest and fascination.
The way the medicine man, seeks to resolve ht language barrier of Jon Dunbar, the same way Thomas tries to shed some light on the reasons for the way Arnold was in order to help Victor understand the man his father was. (McMurty 1999)
While Victor and Thomas are both Indians who have never lost the sense of their native identity-John as a white man has to struggle to create an Indian identity. He has to face the difficulties experienced by the same Natives who have to face the new white man culture overcoming all other cultures including ; their own. John Dunbar is therefore , an irony, as it portrays a white man’s plight when in reality this was the scenario with many Native Americans who has to struggle hard to maintain tier cultural values in a an alien setting.