When the Legends Die Short Essay - Answer Key

Hal Borland
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Short Essay Questions Key

1. What does the introductory poem to "When the Legends Die" summarize?

The introductory poem provides the title for "When the Legends Die." It summarizes the piteous passing of the American Indian in general. It specifically encapsulates the path Tom Black Bull takes in this tale.

2. How does the Black Bull family face the opening crisis situation in the first chapter?

The Black Bull family faces the opening crisis stoically, with calm and control. George is not frantic with explanations or excuses about having killed someone. He is equally deliberate and reflects no nervousness or other emotions in his instructions to his wife, both spoken and unspoken. Bessie does not question her husband regarding what he has done for the white man to be in his pursuit, nor does she chastise him for having done something that forces them to have to leave their house.

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