Religious Studies 12
February 4, 2010
Black Elk Speaks
Black Elk Speaks is about a Native American boy that has visions and these visions help him with the religious aspects of live. He has these visions that tell him what to do and shows him the path to righteousness. These visions can also be seen as myths, which are stories that try to explain something. Every culture has their own collection of myths. Black Elk Speaks is also a very symbolic book, because it has the use of many objects or people that represent other things. In the American culture, as well as other cultures around the world, are also very symbolic.
The American culture is very diverse in that there are many different cultures that have mixed and created the American culture. The American culture is not something that is easily explained, because it is so mixed with many other cultures from around the world. At first there were American Indians and they brought along their tribes and myths and rituals. Then came the British and over time the Chinese because of the California gold rush. In time America was in habited with many different nationalities and ideas. These ideas were slowly but surely blended together. As for example, when the British shared their meal with the Indians they were also sharing their culture and food. The exchange of food and other ideas brought the two distant worlds closer. The more important ideas are what does all this exchanging of food and ideas symbolize? “A symbol is something such as an object, picture, written word, sound, or particular mark that represents something else by association, resemblance, or convention”(Wikipedia, 1). The object used in Black Elk Speaks is a pipe, given to them by a “young and very beautiful” woman, which symbolizes trust and companionship. “Now, my friend, let us smoke together so that there may be only good between us” (Black Elk Speaks, 5). Black Elk and Neihardt have a smoke together to share their...