Black Elk And The Great Gatsby Essay

797 Words Apr 14th, 2016 4 Pages
Black Elk was a leader among his people during the latter half of the 19th century. Although he is not as widely recognized as other leaders of the time including Crazy Horse and Sitting Bull, Black Elk had a key part in helping his people hold onto hope even in their dire situation. While most people’s idea of progress in the late 1800’s regarding the so called “Indian problem” involved assimilation or outright eliminating them from the map, Black Elk’s definition of progress was significantly different. He was determined to try to help his people survive and overcome the horrors that were being inflicted upon them by the European settlers. He did this in a number of different ways. One of the key was through the use of a number of visions he received throughout his life. Through these visions he was told by the Grandfather of the universe how he would be able to lead his people through the darkness and to prosperity. Other times he was sometime called upon to fight for his people. Before either of these two topics are examined however, one must first look at Black Elk’s initial call to help begin the spread of “progress”.
The first and far more memorable ways that Black Elk used to help achieve progress was through the interpretation of a number of visions that he had throughout his life. At the age of nine Black Elk became very sick. While he was sick he had a vision where he met the six great powers of the universe. The great powers gave him the tools and knowledge he…

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