The event of deaths allows him to see fully the life the villagers are living. The deaths he encounters actually symbolize his journey towards his own death and towards the acceptance of villagers to include him as a member. The first death he encounters was that of a young boy. The boy died even before he arrived. This shows his separation from the villagers. In every death he encounters, he becomes closer to them as he learns to understand and love their rituals, their practices, and their beliefs. The last death he encounters before his own was that of Keetah’s sister. With her death, he begins to gain acceptance from the villagers because he begins to share sentiments and emotions that they feel. Before his death, he hears the owl call his name, and this symbolizes how he became one with the villagers. He is not a stranger anymore rather a member of the tribe.
The turn of events indicates that Mark Vicar needed to be sent to the village to understand life so he can accept death. He may not have fully known he was sick but since he was encountering different kinds of death within the village, not just physical death but also the death of the tribe’s customs and traditions, he begins to accept that the journey of life to death signifies that you have done what you have to do, like how Mark and Marta interpret the death of the salmons.
One’s concept and perception of things vary because of the personal experiences we have that differ from one another. Essentially, this is the main reason people from the village see things differently from those who live outside of their world. The people in the village have a different perception of the village compared to that of the modern concept because of their non-exposure to the things that make up the modern world, like technology and its workspace. The environment of the villagers is also significantly different than that of the modern world, limiting their perspective to what they have. In addition, since the modern world is not in sync, or even in touch with the villagers’ perspective, they do not view the village the way the rest of the world does.