Black Elk Speaks Themes

This Study Guide consists of approximately 30 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Black Elk Speaks.
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Spiritual Guidance

Visions of spirits and the spirit world are a recurring theme in Black Elk Speaks. Black Elk experiences several visions throughout his life, but the first—at the age of nine—is the most significant. He believes that this vision contains the key to helping save his people from the Wasichus. In that sense, his vision represents his desire to provide a better life and future for his fellow Sioux. Ultimately, Black Elk considers himself a failure for not being able to use his vision to help his people.

Other characters in Black Elk Speaks also experience visions. Black Elk tells of a vision passed down from his father and grandfather, originally seen by a holy man named Drinks Water. Long before white explorers had ever visited the Great Plains, Drinks Water saw a vision of a race that would entrap the Sioux and force them to...

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This section contains 1,041 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Black Elk Speaks Study Guide
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