1. Why do men and animals congregate in the tree groves on the Great Plains in Chapter 1?
The tree groves were the best places to escape the worst of the weather on the Plains. The weather included heat, heavy rains, strong winds, heavy snowfall, and tornadoes.
2. Who is Francis Parkman, and why is he significant in the beginning chapters?
Francis Parkman was a young man who, after graduating from Harvard, lived among the Oglala for a time. He wrote of his observations, thus providing an insider's view of how the Oglala lived. However, as a white man, his view was by his upbringing.
3. Chapter 2 speaks of the 19th century attitude of "getting rid of it." What does this refer to?
In the Ohio Valley and probably other areas as well, "getting rid of it" referred to clearing the land for farming. The people who supported this view felt like clearing forests for farm land and cities was progress.
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