Welcome to the LitCharts study guide on John G. Neihardt's Black Elk Speaks. Created by the original team behind SparkNotes, LitCharts are the world's best literature guides.
Black Elk Speaks: Introduction
Black Elk Speaks: Plot Summary
Black Elk Speaks: Detailed Summary & Analysis
Black Elk Speaks: Themes
Black Elk Speaks: Quotes
Black Elk Speaks: Characters
Black Elk Speaks: Terms
Black Elk Speaks: Symbols
Black Elk Speaks: Theme Wheel
Brief Biography of John G. Neihardt
Historical Context of Black Elk Speaks
Other Books Related to Black Elk Speaks
- Full Title: Black Elk Speaks
- When Written: 1932
- Where Written: U.S.
- When Published: 1932
- Literary Period: American Realism
- Genre: Biography
- Setting: Great Plains, Western U.S.
- Climax: Tensions mount between the Wasichu soldiers and the Sioux as the Ghost Dance movement revitalizes the Indian resistance. These tensions culminate in the Wounded Knee Massacre, in which many Lakota—mainly women and children—are murdered by U.S. soldiers.
- Antagonist: The U.S. government
- Point of View: First Person
Extra Credit for Black Elk Speaks
Sacred Land. Harney Peak, the location in the Black Hills where Black Elk received his great vision, was renamed Black Elk Peak in 2016.
The Title that Never Was. Neihardt originally wanted Black Elk Speaks to be called “The Tree that Never Bloomed,” after one of the main sacred symbols in Black Elk’s vision.