Commentary and analysis of "Dances with Wolves".

Essay by vivianprkHigh School, 12th gradeA+, March 2004

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Dances With Wolves

Throughout Dances With Wolves, several of the film's characters develop both spiritually and emotionally. In particular, the main character John Dunbar, develops a great deal spiritually. His growth can be tracked from the beginning to the end of the movie, with a few scenes in between that accentuate his rapid progression. At the beginning of Dances With Wolves, John Dunbar can be considered an undeveloped spiritual person, yet at the end it is apparent that the Lakota tribe indirectly assisted Dunbar in becoming a spiritually mature individual.

At the beginning of Dances With Wolves, John Dunbar was not a complex or spiritually developed person. He was a soldier sent to an abandoned post without any knowledge of the surrounding environment or cultures. John Dunbar was insensitive to the beliefs and culture of the Lakota. Originally, he believed that they were savages and that all the Lakota tribe wanted to do was to steal his horses.

The Lakota warriors and John Dunbar acted harshly toward one another and there was friction between them. This coldness is indicative of the lack of spirituality and compassion that John Dunbar had at the beginning of the film.

Dunbar's first steps in his growth of spirituality come in beginning to know the Lakota tribe. He puts in a immense effort in trying to communicate with them and in trying to understand their culture and various customs. One scene that vividly exemplifies this is when John Dunbar and two members of the tribe are sitting in Dunbar's camp. During this time, Dunbar is trying to learn a few basic words in the Sioux language, such as buffalo. The Native Americans also put forth an effort to communicate with Dunbar in English. This mutual effort creates the first ties and bonds between Dunbar...