Black Elk Speaks by John Neihardt

1358 Words5 Pages
Black Elk Speaks, a personal narrative, has the features of many different genres. The different genres that I noticed were in the book were, autobiography, testimonial, tribal history, and elegy. Black Elk Speaks is divided into 25 chapters, which portray the early life of Black Elk. The author tells us that Black Elk was a healer and a great holy man. He was said to have this mystical vision since he was young. As a tribal history, it shows the change of the Sioux nation from pre-reservation to reservation culture, including their partaking in the ghost dance, the Battle of Little Big Horn, and Wounded Knee. Black Elk Speaks propositions testament to the price in human grief that the Sioux had to pay for the United States expanding westward. It grieves his cultural misplacement and the age of being innocent and being free.
Black lk Speaks is framed with a preace and Author’s postscript. This reminds the readers of an editing presence. Neihardt explains the circumstances, when he talked to black elk. Initial to the description of the great vision are chapters 1 and 2. The actual great vision is mentioned in chapter 3. Chapter 3 was definidtly the longest and the hardest to understand in the book. Chapter 3 was about Black Elk and his confisence in the author, Neihardt, and it also describes the first couple years in Black Elks younger days. This includes the first time he heard “voices” when he was five. It also describes the vision Black Elk saw when he was 5. Highly
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