Little Big Man: Demythologizing the Savage View Point of the Americas

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Sapna Patel
AP Literature
1 November 2010
In Little Big Man, Berger’s point was to demythologize the savage view point of the Native Americas and also to show the New Western Era. Berger uses Characters and Jack’s point of view clearly portray his ideas. Throughout his novel, Berger brings about many characters. The author gives each character a distinctive voice, despite the assumption that Jack narrates the entire story. The use of the fictional editor character allows the author the ability to expand Jack's narrative style, which makes the story more intriguing. Using this, Berger portrays the characters Wild Bill, General Cluster, and Old Lodge Skins. The General is an icon of the Old West, like Buffalo Bill and Wild Bill Hickok. He represents the ambitions of a nation to achieve Manifest Destiny, and his role is to control the Native Americans who stand in the way of his culture's progress. Characters like Old Lodge Skins, show how different native Americans are through the view point of Jack Crabbs’. For Example, “Our people prove themselves brave and enjoy courageous deaths…They are whites not like us” The use of this statement shows the conflicting natures and ideas of both White and Indian society (Both groups considering themselves inferior to the other). This quote also demonstrates how Indians were no less or more savage then the Whites, this idea going back to the idea demythologization of Indians as savages. Enough symbolism and irony exist in the characters and events that the obvious use of the literary elements is not needed. Old Lodge Skins is like an oracle of discovery when he figures out what the White man believe and shares his findings with Jack. When Old Lodge Skins speaks, his language is brief with expansive meanings. Jack's narrative uses a longer style with more exposition, and his meaning is not condensed.
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