In re-creating the character of Crazy Horse, Garst fulfills the original purpose of biography, which is to commemorate greatness and to examine the subject’s character. The dramatization of fictionalized events, as well as actual ones, serves to highlight the character of Crazy Horse, emphasizing the values that readers of a different culture can recognize and admire. For example, readers learn of young Crazy Horse’s courage in confronting the bully No-Water; his discipline in learning to master the skills vital to the success of a warrior; his devotion to family in his grief over the death of his child and in his endangering himself by taking his wife to a white doctor for medical care; and his commitment to preserving the freedom and self-determination of his people. In the presentation of the narrative, up to its tragic conclusion, Garst portrays Crazy Horse as a hero who lived by his convictions, faced his adversaries with courage, and died with dignity.
With her life history of Crazy Horse and her illustrative details that provide insight into the lives of the Oglala Sioux, Garst attempts to present a people that is deeply spiritual, generous to those in need, and respectful of the resources of the land. Allaying her sympathies with them, rather than with the whites, the narrator presents events from the Native American point of view. She thereby emphasizes the cultural differences between Native Americans and whites, the latter of which are...
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