Comparing Black Elk Speaks and The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fist Fight in Heaven
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Comparing Black Elk Speaks and The Lone Ranger and Tonto FistFight in Heaven
Traditionally, Native American Literature has been an oral genre. Although Native American Literature was the first American literature created, it has been the last to be recognized -and, to some extent, is still waiting for full recognition (www.usc.edu). With the Indian being forced to assimilate, their literature was forced to take on a written form. Although the traditional way of storytelling has changed, Native American Literature has survived. In it's written form, it is being shared with a larger population. Black Elk Speaks (Neihardt 1932) and The Lone Ranger and Tonto FistFight in Heaven (Alexie 1993) are two Native American works of…show more content…
In the story "The Trial of Thomas Builds-the-Fire," Thomas is put on trial for unnamed crimes. In his testimony, he assumes several personae, including the voice of one of 800 ponies captured and slaughtered by the U.S. Cavalry. He is also Qualchan and Wild Coyote, telling stories of murder, extermination, and dispossession (Whitson, 132). This shows that the Indian still holds on to the hurt and loss they have suffered. They cannot and will not forget what their ancestors went through to survive.
Another area the two books share is humor. Humor is needed in order to cope with loss and move forward. Although we see more humor in The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven, Black Elk Speaks has some humorous stories. For example, I found the story of "High Horse's Courting" very humorous. High Horse wants to take a young Indian maiden for his wife. He goes to her father and offers him two horses for the girl. The old man waves him off. He goes back and offers four horses. Still, the old man is not impressed. High Horse wants his girl so bad that he goes out and steals about a hundred horses. High Horse proved himself and got the girl. It was not the horses her father wanted, but he wanted a son who was a real man and