Hollywood's portrayal of Native Americans in the movie Little Big Man, compared to real life Native Americans

Essay by thelazydudeA+, January 2004

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"Hollywood vs. Reality"

Native Americans and Cowboys in movies

In the movie "Little Big Man" there is an interesting and unexpected twist on how Hollywood portrayed Native Americans and cowboys. They portrayed them as the righteous, and not the usual savage cannibal crazy dancing Indians that Hollywood has made them look like. It stars Dustin Hoffman stranded in an overturned wagon with his sister after their wagon team was destroyed by a Native American ambush. A Native American captures them and the tribe raises Little Big Man. The movie shows the Native Americans referring to themselves as "real human beings" and referring to the white men as not human. In the movie Dustin Hoffman's character, Little Big Man would sometimes get criticized by some of his Native American peers for being white and hence not being a "real human being", as one boy who had gotten punched in the face by Little Big Man put it.

They got in a dispute, names were thrown around, and Little Big Man made an impulsive decision to prove he wasn't the wimp he was being called.

The white men were shown killing women and children almost as often as men in their "battles" against the Native Americans, Little Big Mans young wife and child included. Little Big Man ends up becoming part of the white American culture when a woman named Mrs. Pendrake takes him in to care for him, and ends up flirting with Little Big Man, right under the nose of her fat gluttonous husband. Little Big Man catchs on and leaves. The white culture is still new to him. His second encounter with the white culture is when his sister finds him and shows him the way of the gun, and realizes how amazingly good...