Little Big Man Essay, Research Paper
Living Two Lives
My heart soars like a hawk . Little Big Man was a man of many traits, of many backgrounds. At a young age his life as he knew it came a drastic halt when he and his family we attacked by Indians. He was drug from the tattered wagon by a human being and put on his horse. The Indian had taken Jack back to the others, and not long after, he fell into the tribe like he was one of the human beings. His Aunt had escaped during the night, leading jack to believe that she would return for help. Years passed and Jack grew with the human beings, becoming one of them to most extreme. He even painted his skin a darker color to match the rest of the tribe. Jack had grown strong for wandering into the tribe, and adapting their ways, however, he was always small for his size, and was constantly teased. His Grandfather had once told him the story of Big Man, and surely enough Jack became known as Little Big Man. He incorporated many of the teachings of a white man into his way of life as a human being. He would get into fistfights with other tribe members, and they would be stunned because they had never seen this type of fighting before. He learned to be part of the tribe, though discipline, and determination he rose up to be respected member of the group. Although hated by some of his peers, I think it might have been because some felt that he was part of the white man s cause. After saving one member s life this did not even change, he knew he must repay Little Big Man, but never accepted him as one of them. Time flowed like the waters of the river, and Little Big Man grew older. The white man had come to attack, and the Indians were going to teach them a lesson. Little Big Man had joined them, but as they were out, a friend of his was shot and Little Big Man tried to help him. As this went on another white man attacked Little Big Man, and knocked him to the ground. He was captured and almost killed, until he blurted out that he was a white man too. These were the words that saved his life several times.
Now living with a White family as their son Jack was back to the white ways of swearing, cheating, and disrespect. I m so proud. The woman that Jack was staying with was a very religious, and told Jack to ignore the urges he feels. At a soda shop that they had gone to, Jack was drinking from the fountain, while she had left. He went down to the basement to find the man and her having sexual relations. I think that at that moment Jack realized the truth about the white people, he realized at that time that the whites are not all that they appear to be. We live in disguise, hiding from the truth, in fear of what others will think. The lowest of the low.
When I think of Jack I think of a chameleon, being able to adapt with the ever-changing environment. Once he was a white man, then a human being, then back t a white man. He made use of his past and claimed part of both groups. Some would call him a coward, but I think he did the smartest thing he could have. He like many people did not know where he belonged. He tried to be part of the Indians and tried to fit in as a white man, but he found himself bouncing back and forth only making him dizzy and confused. I think there were a couple of times that he really knew where he belonged, like when he saw his friends daughter giving birth (Sunshine), or when he saw her and his child being killed by the white man. All of which contributed to his final decision to stay with the human beings.
A couple of cases in the movie portrayed the white man as the savage, instead of the Native American. As a breakthrough point in film making, Little Big Man took a varying viewpoint when compared to the old westerns that can before it. These Westerns would often suggest that Indians were nothing more than wagon attacking, savages. Little Big Man takes another step toward clarifying the fact that it was not the Indians, but rather the whites that were the savages. The Human Beings were peaceful, and respectful of one another, but as the movie progresses you see that the whites are often caught cheating, lying, and scamming their way to get by. This does not even touch on the wealthy class, which I m sure, would be worse.
The most memorable characters to me, were that of the gay Indian, and General Custer. Although they do not seem like the largest roles, they do play a vital part in the movie. The gay Indian is very important, in that he symbolizes many things. One thing that he seems to show is how not even the Indians are perfect. They realize that there are things in life that you cant explain, but unlike others they except this difference, and consider him another human being. Also it shows that these are people too, and it breaks the stereotype of the male Indian as the strong hunter type. General Custer is a strong character, because he sums up all that is wrong with the whites in himself. He is the soul of the devil himself, or so the movie advocates. At the end of the movie during the Battle of Little Horn, it seemed like Custer had lost it completely, and had flipped. I do not know if this is truly historically accurate, but he was portrayed as a nut and it really made him look bad. In the movie, they never did mention anything about them going in to scout for a good location of a fort; they just attacked the Indians.
The film, although entertaining, was lacking some important facts, and I think that is what kind of led the viewer to being bias. If all the facts were included along with the humor, we would have had a good movie, however, a very long one at that. But then again look at Dances With Wolves.