Essay on The Theme of Ecology in 'Black Elk Speaks' and 'The Crucible'

Essay on The Theme of Ecology in 'Black Elk Speaks' and 'The Crucible'

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Ecology is defined as the interconnections between human and nonhuman beings. Ecology addresses the full scale of life. The theme of ecology is commonly found in American literature. Such is the case of the memoir “Black Elk Speaks” written in 1932. “Black Elk Speaks” tells the story of a member of the Sioux tribe and a relative of Crazy Horse, named Black Elk. Black Elk was a witness to the Battle of Little Big Horn in 1876. Throughout this memoir, Black Elk narrates the horrors he witnessed happening during what was not meant to be a battle. Black Elk portrays his spirituality by standing up to defend his people from the inhumane treatment the American soldiers have inflicted upon them. He puts on what he calls a “sacred shirt” (440). “It has a spotted eagle outstretched on the back of it, and the daybreak star was on the left shoulder. . .” (440). With his vivid and lively descriptions, the reader is able to picture Black Elk’s attire during the battle. The use of descriptive words allows the reader to also identify Black Elk as a very spiritual and very loyal tribe member. The theme of genocide is also presented in the memoir. According to Merriam-Webster, genocide is defined as the deliberate and systematic destruction of a racial, political, or cultural group (merriam-webster.com). The Native Americans were persecuted and attacked because of their beliefs. Although it is not directly stated, it is believed that the American soldiers were disarming the Native Americans because they feared of a riot taking place. Throughout history, many cases of genocide exist; however, some are worse than others. The tension caused by the Native Americans allowed the Americans soldiers to fear them and their beliefs.
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...nto a deep coma. The town begins to suspect witchcraft, and the girls all agree and begin to chime in with the accusations. Their first victim was Tituba, a maid from Barbados, who is believed to be a witch. Several town members are accused of being witches, simply because their style of living was different than the one the town was used to. Because of their beliefs, this group of people was brought to court and was found guilty of witchcraft. During this time, witchcraft was considered a crime, and the punishment was hanging at the gallows. The example of genocide is presented by the “witches” being accused of witchcraft because they chose to live differently than what the norms of society were set to. Also, because of their spirituality, the local town residents were afraid of what might happen if they allow for these “witches” to reside in their Christian town.

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