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White Man’s Prejudice Against Native Americans In The Film, Dances With Wolves

1127 words - 5 pages

White Man’s Prejudice against Native Americans in the Film, Dances With Wolves

The Movie "Dances With Wolves" shows the stereotypical view of American Indians as uncivilized savages who murder innocent settlers, but most Indians are kind, caring people who were driven from their homes and land as discovered by John Dunbar, the film's main character.

John Dunbar was stationed at a small abandoned fort located in the Great Plains where he was to monitor the activity of wildlife and Indians. He first encountered the Indians attempting to steal his horse while he was bathing, and then later again that evening. But gradually over time he had meetings with the Indians where they tried to ...view middle of the document...

The Indians openly accepted John as a friend after he embraced the ideas and traditions of the Indian tribe. An example of this is after John reports that the buffalo are near and he joins in the hunting party they welcome him into their village to the victory festivities where many times he tells his story of the great hunt. If other whites had simply taken the time to care for the Indians and participated in their rituals they too, might be accepted by the Indians. But many whites had the same preconceptions as John did. They believed Indians to be thieves, savages or even murderers who stalked them in the night and scalped innocent victim's heads. Many of these preconceptions were developed out of fear of change or simply a fear of someone different then themselves. Whites were people who built permanent homes, worked the land, and killed anything that they were afraid of or didn't understand. Indians were so fearful of being overrun by the whites that the result was them raiding and settlers homes, wagons and towns to prevent the inevitable spread of civilization. When the raiding did not drive the whites out eventually some resorted in killing settlers.

Once John had spent time with the Indians he discovered that the Indians were the similar to whites. They had families, friends and enemies. They hunted for food, told fantastic stories, and had homes like any white did. More importantly they were not a lesser form of human being nor a subspecies, but caring, compassionate people who wanted life to remain how it had been for generations. Whites felt that the Indians were impeding their progress. So by two great removals the Indians were forced against their will to vacate their lands and move to reservations.

According to April Summit the first removal sent the southern tribes east of the Mississippi river across the river and into the Great Plains the most famous of these being the "Trail of Tears" where the Cherokee were forced to leave and many died along the way. The second removal collected all of the Indians from the Great Plains and moved them to Oklahoma, a territory that settlers did not want. Despite John understanding that the Indians were a simple,...

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