October 19, 2012
The Battle of Wounded Knee was an event that can be looked at in several ways, all of which are wretched. The first is the fact that the “battle” was more of a massacre than a battle. Hundreds of Native Americans, many of whom were women and children, were cut down by U.S. military personnel after being rounded up in a concentrated place. The second is that, after this “battle,” most Native Americans surrendered the idea of returning to the old ways and living by their old traditions. As a result, most resistance by Native Americans ends. This on its own makes the event of Wounded Knee depressing. The fact that hope, for the most part, disappears from these once great and proud people. There have been a few literary works about this time period, and this event in particular. One of which is a book by novelist and historian Dee Brown named Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee. The movie, by the same name as the book, portrays this tragic event through the eyes of a Native American, Ohiyesa, who also went by the “Christian” name, Charles Eastman. This paper is going to compare the events portrayed in the movie to those that occurred in real life.
Wounded Knee was a horrific massacre. One of those who died on the reservation around the time of the Wounded Knee massacre was Sitting Bull, who was “arrested […] in an effort to quell the messiah craze.”1 The arrest and ultimate death of the famed Lakota Sioux leader lead Big Foot to flee “south with his band under cover of night to seek asylum […] on the Pine Ridge Reservation.”2 This event, the arrest and death of Sitting Bull, is accurately portrayed in the movie Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee. In the movie, U.S. Indian Police (reservation police) attempt to arrest Sitting Bull. During the arrest, according to the movie, a shot is fired resulting