Cash in many ways represents the suffering that so many Native American people experience due to a culture clash with white America. His response to his family tragedies is to prove himself successful in a white man's world. He dreams of new moneymaking schemes that never pan out, and never finds happiness outside the Nation. He is in many ways the victim of Harland's T.V. marketing world. He is lured by the promise of material success and the glitz of a tourist town. Cash changes over the course of the novel. The second suicide in his life seems to call him back to his family's home, and also reminds him of money's failure to provide a fulfilling life.

Cash's life in many ways parallels Alice's life, and their struggles with loneliness mirror one another. Alice still has somewhat of a nuclear family, but lacks communal warmth. Cash has lost his nuclear family, but has a community where he always knows he is welcome. Alice has Taylor and Turtle who will now share Cash's life with him, and Cash has the Cherokee community, which offers Alice a sense of inclusion.