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Dances With Wolves - Essay Example

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Although many different themes are brought to the viewer’s attention in the film Dances with Wolves, one of the strongest themes has to do with the level of understanding and cultural appreciation that Army Lieutenant John Dunbar (played by Kevin Costner) is able to realize…
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Dances With Wolves
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Dances With Wolves

Download file to see previous pages... shows a deep understanding and appreciation for the cultures he comes into contact with and goes so far as to adopt their way of life as superior to that of his own previous way of life.
When the film opens, Lieutenant Dunbar is faced with the unpleasant choice of either having his wounded leg amputated or choosing to die with it still attached; as did so many other soldiers of his time. However, rather than choosing the amputation, Dunbar decides he will commit suicide by charging the lines of the enemy and dying in a hail of bullets. However, his plan does not go according to planned as his action has the effect of rallying the troops behind him and winning the battle. As a reward for his actions, Dunbar is offered a transfer to any unit or regiment he can choose. Dunbar chooses to move West away from the horrors of the Civil War and into the mystery of the frontier (Costner 1990).
His frontier life is far from what he expected as he soon finds himself all alone at an abandoned base; completely cut off from the outside world. It is at this point that the film develops into the story of how Dunbar begins to come into contact with the Native Americans in the surrounding regions to that of the base in which he alone guards. Rather than being hostile to these natives, Dunbar seeks to strike up a relationship with them and engage them in a form of conversation (although his language skills are non-existent). Rather than viewing the Native Americans around the fort as natural born enemies, Dunbar is intrigued by their lifestyle, their curiosity, and the means by which they have sought to survive even in the face of continuous attacks from white frontiersmen.
Dunbar becomes so taken by the culture and lifestyle of these Native Americans that he abandons his post and seeks to live a life among them. The story further develops as Dunbar returns to the fort to retrieve a notebook of valuable information he encounters his former colleagues who capture and beat ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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