The Indian and the White Communites in Dances with Wolves and Machimanito

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The Indian and the White Communites in Dances with Wolves and Machimanito

The film Dances with Wolves shares a lot of its content with the story Machimanito. In Dances with Wolves, two nations come to interact with each other. While the white man is dominating the land, the Indians are trying to protect both their land and themselves. In Machimanito, the story describes the epidemic and its effects on the Indians, while describing the ongoing conflict between Indians and the white man. There is a huge cultural difference between the white man and the Indians, which is reflected on their ways of life and communities; each lives a different life style including their interaction with nature and themselves, their authority within this
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The Indians establish their roots in the land and start extracting their needs passively and in rational amounts that are enough for their survival.

The setting of each of the two communities in Dances with Wolves reflects their personality. The Indians live as whole and on a piece of land where all the tents are near each other. This stresses that Indians live collectively rather than individually like the white man. The first time Dunbar rides to the Indians with Stands with a Fist, the camera shows Dunbar as being on the top of the hill; the camera is looking up on Dunbar. Then it moves upwards to give the viewer a panorama of the surroundings of the community. This sight includes: trees, land, mountains and a river. These are the basic elements of nature and the Indians live within these elements. This resembles the bond which the Indians have with nature.

When the camera gives a view of the soldiers’ fort, it is noticeable that there is almost no trees presents, and a logical reason is that the tree have been used to build the post. The buildings in the post emphasize the separation of the white man, as they are built within a considerable distance between each other. These walls separate people from each other; thus emphasizes and explains the individuality of the white man. Also Dunbar builds a fence for his horse to stay in, while in the Indian community all the horses are left to their will.


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