Tayo, in Ceremony, is a lost bibulous soul who, with the help of a Navajo healer, eventually pulls his life together.
At the climax of the novel the hero discovers the identity of his grandfather, the man who kept his grandmother alive during the great Blackfeet famine.
Like House Made of Dawn, Winter in the Blood ends with the funeral of one of the hero's grandparents.
The structure of Momaday's House Made of Dawn is based on Abel's quest to find his place in the tribal community in which he was raised, Walatowa Pueblo.
That place is in question because, although his mother is a member of the tribe, Abel, as an illegitimate child, is an outsider; he does not know who his father is, or even what tribe his father belonged to. When he returns from World War II, he cannot adjust to tribal life.
In the earlier novels the authors were chiefly concerned with depicting the Indian ethnic experience, the texture of tribal life. Census Bureau reported that in 1980--the most pertinent date for the novels under discussion--31 percent of Indians had finished high school, 17 percent had attended college (8 percent graduated), and 28 percent were living below the poverty line.