Type: Review
Pages: 3 | Words: 896
Reading Time: 4 Minutes

This is a movie full of satirical and stinging allegory about the immense negative results of the American imperialism. It is based on a 1964 novel by Thomas Berger. It shows the atrocities of the Vietnam War and how this affected the Native Americans. Prejudice and social injustice are some of the fundamental issues evident in this comic play. The period for the background of the movie is around the nineteenth century.

Prejudice and Social Injustice in the Movie

ack recounts this colorful story to a twentieth century historian. After he and his sister lost their parents in a massacre, they are captured by a scout gunslinger who takes them back to a village inhabited by scouts of General Armstrong. Luckily, his sister escapes and Jack is adopted and reared by one tribal leader known as Old Lodge Skins. His adoptive parent is the one who gives him the name “Little Big Man” because of his lack of height and hi being brave. He is recaptured when he is sixteen and renounces his Native American state. He is freed, tries his hand on gun fighting, also marries and returns to his old village. The effects of the massacre in that village depict the cruelty of the Americans.

One of the elements quite explicit in this movie is that Indians are good guys while the white men are evil guys. It is quite evident that all the massacres were conducted by the white people. They would lure the warriors into the forest for hunting, turn back to the village and kill all the remaining women and children in the village as seen in the Battle of Washita. The white people use their technological knowhow to their advantage. The fact that they have guns, as opposed to arrows makes them take away the freedom of other human beings by capturing and enslaving them.

They also forced all the Native Americans to renounce their native status or die. This is an inhuman act as it takes away the right of another human being. The white people are cruel and merciless and will do anything to obtain whatever it is they want even if it means death. Soldiers are meant to protect locals from the enemies, but in this case they were the killing machines sending terror throughout the land.

The other element is that the Indians are wise and noble while the white men are crazy and irrational. This can be explained by the actions of both entities. When a white man is faced with danger, all he can do is wield his gun. Without that gun, he has no power as he cannot think of how to get himself out of a situation. This can be seen by cluster turning into a scout but not anything else.

White men are not wise as they capture natives, bring them up in their own way and train them to be fighters. However, they forget that they are the enemy, and this is what made Jack turn against the seventh troopers during a second battle in Cheyenne village. The Indians can be darned calculating; they were able to fight troopers who are thoroughly trained and armed to the teeth. They also never forget their home and despite being brought up by white men, some of them end up killing them such as Jack attacking the troopers.

Looking back into the life of Jack Crabb, he says that he is a white man brought up by the Indians in Cheyenne. He begins his early life as being brought up by Indians and gives a clear recount of how life was like then. However, after being recaptured, he is brought up mostly by white people. He is confused as he does not have a world where he can lean on comfortably. This is a confused warrior as he is in the middle of two warring entities.

A good example of this is seen by what he feels for his paternal mentor, Old Lodge Skins. He loves this man for bringing him up but also hates him for some of his actions. This is one person who is consistent in his life to the extent that he was present during his death. The whole impetus of this point is that this confusion led him to join the troops against Cheyenne, but he later went against the troops and started killing them instead. Jack views Custer as a soldier, man and killer. He would want to kill him but also save him at the same time keeping in mind that he believes he is not a killer. This contradiction is further enhanced when Old Lodge Skins dies, and Jack goes back to being a two spirit man.

During his stay with the reverend, Jack is seduced by the reverends’ wife,  and this  makes him leave that household. White women are depicted as indecent as we can see from the reverend’s wife. This is unlike the Indians who respect their women and a woman would never seduce a man so directly. Hickok also had a son with a prostitute further enhancing the sexual indecency of white women. Custer is depicted as an insane man who would never believe a word Jack says. Jack tries to save him from death by telling him about the trap at the valley of little Big Horn. Custer does not approach the valley quietly but makes a lot of noise.

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