In the novel When the Legends Die and in the film Dances with Wolves symbolism is very important. Throughout both of them the used symbols are very similar but have very different meanings. In the movie, Dances with Wolves the wolf, Two Socks, and the horse, Cisco, are animal symbols, like the bear in When the Legends Die.
Two Socks and Cisco are the main two symbols in Dances with Wolves. Two Socks, is the wolf that befriends John Dunbar symbolizing the Sioux Indians who start trying to also befriend John. Then, when he takes the meat from John's hand the wolf continues to symbolize the tribe, that will now accept John to come and be one of them. After, when Two Socks is shot by soldiers it symbolizes the fate of the Indians, later to come. Cisco, John Dunbar's favorite horse is a symbol of John's faithfulness to the Sioux Indian tribe, although they have tried to take the horse away many times he has always found a way to return to his master. Later in the story, when John is being shot at by the army the horse finds a way to make those shots hit him instead of John and separates from John in death, symbolizes that John will have to leave the Indians, to protect them.
In When the Legends Die the Bear cub who grows up with bears brother is a symbol, of hope, love, meaning, direction, and most importantly the heritage of Tom Black Bull. The bear symbolizes the Tom's heritage because he came around just as Tom, started learning the old ways, his heritage, and he was separated from Tom when he, Tom, went to the new ways of life. In the new ways of life Tom's difficulty is that he cannot find a place to run from his past. Then, he realizes that bear symbolizes his past, so Tom sets out to kill it. As Tom reaches the bear he pulls out the rifle and prepares to shoot the bear, but than he realizes that the bear not only symbolizes his past but all the good in his life because that is where he had the life in the old ways and was the happiest time in...
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