ROMANTIC REPRESENTATION OF AMERICAN INDIANS IN NOVEL AND SCREENPLAY DANCES WITH WOLVES BY MICHAEL BLAKE
The representation of American Indians in literature and film, delineating a history of cultural propaganda, has served to support the continued colonization of Natives. The both literature and film have played a critical role in creating easily digestible stereotypes of Indians for popular consumption. Literature about Indians was first written and published in order to provoke and sanctify warfare against them. Later, the focus changed to enlisting public support for “civilizing the savages,” stripping them of their culture and assimilating them into the dominant society. Film, like any other form of art, reflects the culture of the society and at the same time, contributes to that culture; it embodies the society's values, beliefs, and social structure and assists in transmitting culture to mass audiences. Myths and stereotypes about Native Americans are alive today because television and film, as media with mass appeal, perpetuated misconceptions. This particular romantic image of the Indian has regained unprecedented popularity with late twentieth-century novel and screen play like Dances with Wolves. This article views the literary and media parameters of romanticizing indigenous peoples’ physical and natural identity to present them subhuman who have not any social, political, and economic value where from the idea of dominant (white) and subordinate (indigenous) comes out.