Undoing Stereotypes in the Movie, Dances With Wolves Essay examples

Undoing Stereotypes in the Movie, Dances With Wolves Essay examples

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Undoing Stereotypes in the Movie, Dances With Wolves


Hollywood has helped create and perpetuate many different stereotypical images of the different races in the world. Those stereotypes still continue to affect the way we think about each other today and many of those stereotypes have been proven to be historically inaccurate. The movie Dances With Wolves, directed by actor Kevin Costner, does an excellent job in attempting to promote a greater acceptance, understanding, and sympathy towards Native American culture, instead of supporting the typical stereotype of Native Americans being nothing but brutal, blood thirsty savages.

The film Dances With Wolves focuses mainly on one man named Jon Dunbar and his growing relationship with the Lakota Sioux Indian tribe. The Lakota Sioux Indian tribe migrated in the 1700's to different areas in South Dakota. For over one hundred and sixty years, the Lakota tribe held a massive piece of land in the plains to support their numerous herds of bison, which they also hunted in order to survive. They lived in the typical teepees and were exceptional horsemen, hunters, and warriors. They culture contained no written language and their heritage was trusted upon storytellers and drawings made on the bison hides. One bison hide could represent over fifty years of Lakota history.

The film, Dances With Wolves, was very cleverly written in my opinion. For most of the introduction, before John Dunbar begins to get friendly with the Sioux Indians, you are given an emotional expression of hatred and dislike towards the Native American Indians as they are slowly introduced into the script. There were a few scenes of brutality and savagery that triggered these emotions. For example, there was a...


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...ed along with many soldiers of the U.S. 7th cavalry at Wounded Knee, South Dakota, on December 29, 1890. As the years went on, many of the Indian tribes began to die away due to the lack of food, and the harsh winter conditions.

I believe that Dances With Wolves did an excellent job of undoing the stereotypes that have been given to the Indians. Through this movie we realize that they did what they had to do in order to survive and provide for their family. They did what any other person would have done if they were put into the same situations. This movie did help us to understand, accept, and sympathize with the Indians. I hope that we as a people truly learn to observe a culture or a race before they actually start to criticize or stamp stereotypes on them.

Works Cited:

www.cabrillo.com.cc.ca.us
www.wsws.org/arts/1998/jun1998/afi-j18.shtml
 
 

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