Summary and Analysis Chapter 20 – The Spirit Journey


It is an interesting dimension of Black Elk’s character development that he should have had a Parisian girlfriend. (Black Elk was later married twice: first to Katie War Bonnet, the mother of his son Ben, and then, following her death, to Anna Brings White.) His experiences with Buffalo Bill’s and Mexican Joe’s shows make him more widely traveled than most Americans of his time. Despite these adventures, however, he longs for his own country. His homesickness reflects the suffering of all Indians who had been relocated on reservations or were wandering in exile from their own lands. Like Black Elk’s first vision at the age of nine, when he awakes from this vision, he is told that he had been deathly ill for a number of days.