The Black Elk and Saint Augustine Narrative Strategies

Document Type:Essay

Subject Area:Literature

Document 1

Both Saint Augustine and Black Elk have used outstanding literary skills to support their work and also ensure the targeted audience will be able to receive the intended themes. Black Elk’s work is dominated by use of narrative style in his work because he is the narrator and frequently refers to himself. On the other hand, Saint Augustine's work is dominated with the tone of humility and repentance to achieve his purpose of addressing his audience (Augustine, 76). For that reason, the following work will explore how both Black Elk and Saint Augustine have used different narrative strategies to achieve their academic work. Scholars employ a blend of narrative skills so that to ensure the main theme is effectively communicated to the readers.

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"With visible breath, I am walking" (3). This narrative feature reflects the major styles of communication used by ancient tribes. It helps to gain an insight that written language was not widely used to pass the cultural values of the Indian culture from one generation to the next. On the other hand, Confessions’ book by Saint Augustine is depicted as a blend of autobiography, philosophy as well as theology. The book broadly focuses on the life of Augustine right from his birth to the time of conversion to Catholicism. Symbolism is a major focal style among the scholars in the realm of literature. Symbols are used to convey specific features, themes as well as ideas by attaching meaning that is dissimilar from their factual meaning.

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The Black Elk Speaks contained numerous symbols that hold significant meaning about the nature of the world. The four ribbons tangled to the pipe that Black Elk and Neihardt are explained smoking symbolize the powers held by the four quarters of the universe. The black for the west is used to represent the source of the rain. May it be enlarged by you. It is in ruins: restore it" (6). The soul is symbolized as an old hat that is depicted to be in a horrible condition. By using a hat to symbolize the existence of the soul where God dwells in us, the readers are able to gain an insight that they need to take care of their soul. Moreover, as readers, we are able to learn that we should depend on God to nourish our souls in order to thrive and accommodate righteousness.

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