Dances With Wolves Essay

990 words - 4 pages

Benn Yorke-Westcott
Prof. T Norris
REL 3308 UO4
Dances With Wolves
Dances with Wolves is the story of a Union Army Lieutenant who travels to the American frontier to find an army post and his dealings with the native Lakota Indians. Throughout the duration of the film certain religious themes are present and essential towards the development of the storyline. In addition to this the rituals and spiritual traditions of the Lakota Indians were especially interesting to someone with little or no knowledge on the subject. Themes such as racial tension, friendship and self-discovery were also explored throughout. As an individual who is deeply interested in spirituality and ...view middle of the document...

During this time he begins to record his thoughts in a red journal that later becomes one of his most prized possessions. This scene affected me greatly as the character Dunbar began to revel in his solitude and become more in touch with his thoughts and his surroundings. It was appealing to me because possibly sometime in my future I may look to seek solitude from the bustle of civilisation and discover more about myself.
After this period of solitude, the main character comes into contact with a tribe of Sioux Indians and the film progresses into what I like to think of as the rebirth of John. J Dunbar. As Dunbar interacts with the Indians we witness some of their rituals and practices such as dancing around the fire in order for buffalo to come to the frontier as well as the smoking of the peace pipe. It also becomes clear to me that the Indians did not worship one sole God and that by contrast their style of worship was more a mix of pantheism and being animistic. They worshipped the land and gave thanks to it for what they were able to reap.
After mentioning the buffalo and the Indians affinity towards them, it is important to mention that at this time they were experiencing what can be called a drought and no buffalo were to be found. However as Dunbar arrives a great abundance of the creatures appear for the Sioux to hunt. This further strengthens my theory that Dunbar was blessed and also makes me think that they came because of him. It is also important to note that Dunbar was the only white man in the entire film that appeared to appreciate the buffalo and that they were a part of nature. This is seen by the slaughtering of the buffalo by white hunters for the use...

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