Which part of the speech do you find to be the most emotionally moving and why in the Chief Seattle speech?

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lmetcalf | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

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Chief Seattle prepared a very moving speech to deliver at his acceptance of the White Man's "deal" to move his tribe to the reservation. The speech is marked by many apt similes and metaphors, but the emotionally moving pathos of the speech comes in the middle when he talks about the difference between the way the White men and the Red men think about their dead. He points out that the White man's religion is "written on stone" but that his religion is "written in the traditions and passed down through generations." This leads him to his comparison of the White men who bury their dead and assume that the dead are then gone, "passing through the portal" to their afterlife. He goes on to explain that the his dead are not ever really gone, but their ashes are in every part of the land that they loved, and they are always spiritually present in the lives of the living. The dead stay because they continue to love and respect the land that sustained them when they were alive.

His thoughts about the reverance his people have for the land and the dead are beautiful, thought-provoking, and full of pathos.


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