Black Elk - BlackElk' .It 19

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Black Elk's story is also a political story of conquest and dispossession that raises questions about  ethics and the use of power and provides an alternative view of the American experience. It  challenged the conventional version of American history prevalent at the time of its publication in  1932 that heroized western expansion and glorified the profit-making motive as the doctrine of  manifest destiny. Black Elk complicates the cultural relativism of the American historical narrative by  observing, for example, that yellow metal (gold) made the white men go crazy; or that the Indians  were forced into square houses that lacked the power of the circle; or that treaties were violated in  the U.S. Government's seizure of Indian territory.  Black Elk Speaks  depicts the great cost, in human  and environmental terms, of such events as the building of the Transcontinental Railroad, the  settlement of the west, and the discovery of gold. It implicitly questions the military strategy of  quelling hostile forces, by contrasting the true genocidal nature of that mission with the general 
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This note was uploaded on 11/29/2011 for the course ENG 101 taught by Professor Staff during the Fall '08 term at Texas State.

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Black Elk - BlackElk' .It 19

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