Black Elk Speaks

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  • Topic: John Neihardt, Black Elk Speaks, Black Elk
  • Pages : 2 (768 words )
  • Download(s) : 222
  • Published : April 2, 2002
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Black Elk Speaks
In the book Black Elk Speaks, being the life story of a Holy Man of the Oglala Sioux as told through John G. Neihardt, an Indian boy then a warrior, and Holy Man describes the life his people had in the lands that belonged to them that were seized by invaders. As a little boy, Black Elk witnessed his village being invaded by Wasichus, a term that was used by Indians to designate the white man, but having no reference to the color of his skin. Black Elk describes the life of Indians, which is very spiritual and could be very unattainable to understand to the naked eye of a regular person who did not know all the Indians' beliefs. While still young, at the age of nine, Black Elk had a vision where he was the leader of all his people. Where he was given a gift from Great Spirits to save the Indian civilization by driving a way the Wasichus from their native land. After the dream, he was courageous and willing to go fight the barbarians. The deep spiritual significance of the dream came to him when he was older and wiser. Growing up Black Elk and his friends were already playing the games of killing the whites and they waited impatiently to kill and scalp the first Wasichu, and bring the scalp to the village showing how strong and brave they were. The book showed that the Indians' destiny was to roam through the world in would do anything to progress in the stages of life aiming for predominance over everything. This gives off the example of the white race over the Indians, not even in the way of whites wanting to destroy Indians, but the possessive feature of the whites wanting to expand to the territory that they believe is theirs. In analyzing the book, I would not say that the author was not persuasive; it was more of him not giving the straight facts that would induce us of real horror. The author was just describing the day-to-day life with all the rituals and traditions it did portray the feeling they had towards the whites. This book...
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