Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee

by Dee Brown

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How does Chapter 18, "Dance of the Ghosts," relate to the overall theme and events of "Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee"?

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The Dance of the Ghosts represent not only the characters, but mimic the events of the remainder of this nonfiction work by Dee Brown. There are a number of simlarities between Chapter 18 and Dee Brown's presentation of this dance the parallel the Ghost Dance Society. This dance, and chapter, draws from the seven generations prior and the seven generations to come -- the spirits of elders and the spirits of the future. Dee Brown pulls into this atmosphere the "Broken Promises" of the "White Fathers." The only promise that this group of Native Americans can believe is the promise that the promises will be broken.

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If you think about the theme of deception throughout the novel, chapter 18 fits in perfectly. The white man constantly makes promises to the Indians which they then promptly break. Chapter 18 is another example of this. THe Indians turn against sitting bull, just as the white man did, because of the prophesy. The tale is truly a tragic one.

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