Textual Rhetorical Analysis
John Fire Lame Deer was a Sioux Indian tribal leader, medicine man, rodeo clown, and storyteller amongst other things. A selection from his autobiography Seeker Of Visions: The Life Of A Sioux Medicine Man titled “Talking to the Owls and Butterflies” is a short piece regarding nature and man’s relationship with it. The piece was intended to make an impression on white people in order to help salvage what is remaining in the environment. Lame Deer reprimands the “white world” for its negative outlook towards nature and the treatment of animals, he converses how man has changed and reshaped nature in order to make it more profitable. Stating that Caucasians have gone and altered animals in order to create profit through food, often eliminating species viewed as pests such as the coyote. Lame Deer argues that people do not know what life is; that white people have become less wild through the use of pre-packaged food and household products. He repeatedly states that death is spread through use of commercial products that ruin human odor and that reality has become a fear of many. Lame Deer’s main argument can be deciphered in several different ways, mainly focusing on lack of contact with nature.
His excerpt begins with background on the Indian lifestyle, immediately making it clear that the white people have ruined nature. Lame Deer accuses white folk of raping and violating the land through use of bombing ranges and national parks. His insight into the Indian background, through his work as a medicine man, indicates that natives are in touch with nature and animals. They can feel the power, the same power that white people have taken away from the animals. Almost as though they share a connection with nature, a connection that the white people lack. The tone Lame Deer uses through out this article suggests that the Sioux Culture in general is far superior to that of white people. The article references lack of knowledge and...
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