When The Legends Die Essay

785 words - 3 pages

When the Legends Die is an insightful look into the Native American culture and .how it has been greatly influenced by other cultures. Native American society has always appeared in a mysterious way to most. Their ideals and culture seem ridiculous to us when we view them. Personally, I think we could greatly benefit from Native American culture. Their lifestyle was skillfully developed with true morals and respect for all things. Their culture is now portrayed as a broken-down society. These people have been both hopelessly demoralized and wrongly persecuted; because of this, their culture as a whole is suffering greatly. It is a shame to see such a once prosperous culture become insignificant in today's world. To understand what this once great culture consisted of, first one has to obtain a basic grasp of some of the ideals that were practiced by Native Americans. Philosophy of life, importance of nature, and the ways in which they can receive their names are just some of the most important aspects to basic Native American culture. Native American life philosophy was very unique. It stated that life was ongoing. Birth, life, death, and rebirth are the main principles of the idea, almost like an everlasting circle. This is where we developed the term cyclical. When the Legends Die is full of references to this key term. In fact, the whole book is cyclical. In the beginning, Tom lives in the traditional ways of his people, and is enjoying it. As he matures, he finds himself faced with new challenges and opportunities. In the end though, Tom finds himself coming back around to become a clout Indian to complete himself fully in a circle. Beside these examples of cyclical life in the book, there are many quotes also. When Bessie states "I want a lodge that is round"(18), this is direct evidence of cyclical life philosophy in the book and in Native American culture. The importance of nature was everything to Native American culture. They learned that by respecting nature and not overburdening it, it would actually be much more productive than trying to force it. The Native Americans have always followed this sort-of guideline to life. I believe this is the area where the World as a whole could benefit so much by just taking...

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