Thursday Breakfast

Research Assembly

July 8, 1971


I. HUMAN BEINGS. This morning we want to look in depth at the human beings.

1. Let's begin by recalling the human beings in the play. Who were the characters of the human beings? (Get out a good list and use chart as a contextual frame for recollection on board).

2. Now let's push for some depth on a few or the human beings.

3. Let's begin with Hemonai. Now let's get out a list of the things we know about "him" after having seen this play. List the things we know about "him." Now taking the list into account, how would you describe "him" in a phrase. (Get several) What does he symbolize? Or what sign would you hang around her neck?

  1. Repeat #3 for 1. Sunshine, 2. Old Lodge Skins, 3. Three sisters, and 4. Contrar?.
  1. Taking all these characters or symbols as a whole how then would you characterize, or hold the human beings in a phrase?

The goal here is to push for depth clarity on the human beings. Remember to cut over against character development kinds of remarks and remarks that treat human beings as Indians. This play has nothing to do with Indians.

LITTLF BIG MAN Conversation June 2, 1971

1. What other play/drama/book was most like this for you?

2. Why/­­What caused the association?

3. What kind of play was this!

  1. What's it about in a phrase?
  2. Tonight when saw it what scene, episode interested you, sucked you in, excited you?

6. What going on in the scene you mentioned?

7. What was the director doing in this film?

8. (Relative to ending on Mt. top) What things interested you?.

What was the conversation about going back down the Mt.?

9. (relative to Contra) Where experience this behavior?

10. Who were the white people you remember?

11. Now that we have talked­­someone say what kind of play this was.

12. What other white characters,?

13. Go back to Indians­­what characters?

14. What were the habit patterns of the old man?

15. If this is a statement on our times­­what dealing with in our society thru Indians?

16. Who are they in our society if this is a statement of our times?

17. Who are these people in our time?

18. Back to white creatures. What was Jack's response to white society?

19. Who in our time do white creatures represent­­ who talking?

20. What does the whites indicate relative to our time?

21. What role did the military play in this picture?

22. Who is the Indian culture in our day?

23. How manifested in our society today?

24. About one person­­Jack­­ What was fundamental dynamic in Jack's life?

25. Anyone remember prologue of Jack's to movie?


This conversation intends to bring to the surface the spoof that the movie is and the spoof that it occasioned in us and the spoof that it unveils in us relative to our stance in the world. Secondly, it is an effort to disclose the underlying social dynamics of this present moment in history and to begin to get clarity on what is required of the awakened man in our time. Remember that this conversation will be continued in the sodality meetings for the next two weeks. Therefore it doesn't need to be all wrapped up tonight.

The conversation has several ongoing dynamics that need to be remembered. Generally it can be viewed as four spirals within a larger spiral, each going deeper and deeper. Every question is not simply one question, but is three or four attacks on an issue each from a different direction and each going deeper. The four general areas are the White creature, the human being, Old Lodge Skins, and Little Big Man. You almost had four separate but interesting conversations going at the same time. At the beginning of the camera action you want to move quickly, covering the broad arenas. As the conversation progresses, more time needs to be spent with each area. The order is important: you move from white Creature, to human being, to Old Lodge Skins and finally Little Big Man needs to be held until the end.



Don't look for character development in the movie. Have the image instead of a morality play, or Pilgrim's Progress, in which the protagonist moves through a series of tableaux.

  1. Let's look at the overall progression of events in the movie. How many times did Jack cross between the white creatures and the so-called human beings?
  1. What are some elements common to all of these transitions?
  1. Get out an overall chart of the movie.

(This is a brief talking through of the transitions which Jack makes in order to get a broad gestalt of the relationships among the various tableaux,)


Spoofs are easiest to bring off at points where people are guilty, cynical, or in despair about the social situation.

  1. What are the social phenomena being spoofed on either side of the river?
  1. Break that down: what particular social situations are being spoofed in the various tableaux among the white creatures? The Pendrakes/ Caroline? Etc.
  1. What are the particular spoofs in the various tableaux among the human beings?

(You are here out to get content clarity on the general and particular spoofs of our social situation which the tableaux demonstrate>)


Spoofing a social situation is a matter of demonstrating the social states of a society for its perusal or of bringing self-consciousness to its social state of being by exaggerating it.

  1. What qualities of the establishment are held up in the tableaux of the white creatures?
  1. What qualities of the disestablishment are held up in the tableaux of the human beings?

(You want to begin to get out images of qualities of both sides of the river here, in order to prepare for later work with the qualities of the Little Big Man.


Monday Breakfast

July 12, 1971

I. JACK CRABB For the past few conversations we have been dealing here with the spoofs, the white creatures, and the human beings,, This morning we want to look at Jack Crabb.

1. First, let's recall Jack. What facts can we recall about him? or what do we know about him?

2. Remembering that Jack is not a character, but is a symbol or thing­a­ma­jig, what motifs make up the thing­a­ma­jig that is called Jack Crab in this play?

3. What historical or literary figures does this Jack Crab figure remind you of?

4. And then what living or contemporary figure does this Jack Crab figure point to for you?

5. Now finally then what is this whatchamacallit that is called Jack Crab?

The goal is to push for depth clarity on Jack Crab not as a character, but as a symbol. Cut over against remarks indicating character development.


Research Assembly

Wednesday breakfast


July 14, 1971

I. The white creatures, the Human Beings and Little Big Man ­ The last week and a half or so we have been trying to get clear on who it is these three symbolize. The white creatures, the human beings, and LBM are all symbols. This movie has nothing to do with "cowboys and Indians" etc.

  1. Now taking the last week and a half of our stewing into account, What individual or group in contemporary society would you see the 'white creatures" symbolizing? "the human beings?" the Little Big Man? Get out a good list here.

2. Now let's go back to LBM for a moment. What Biblical characters strike you as performing the LBN function? What literary characters? Now how would you talk about figures? (try one you didn't hear before)

3. Now when you gave your answers on LBM what abstract categories relative to your anthropology or view of man were you operating out of? (example: ''engaged­disengaged''?

4. And do you at this point begin to get any inkling of what a Big Big Man would look like? What would be his qualities?


Wednesday Breakfast



July 7, 1971

  1. WHITE CREATURES. Now let's go back and look in depth at the white creatures.

1. First let's recall the white creatures in the movie. Who were they? (Get out a good list here, maybe using chart of tableaux as form on board.)

2. Now let's look at a few of the white creatures in more detail

3. Take Mrs. Pendrake. What do we know about her? List the things we know about her. (Get out a good list here.) Now how would you describe her in a phrase. (Get several.) What does she symbolize? Or what sign would you hang around her neck?

4. Repeat question #3 for Allardyce T. Merriwether, Wild Bill, Olga, and Custer. (Do as many of these as time permits.)

  1. Taking all these characters or symbols as a whole, how then would you characterize, or hold the white creatures in a phrase?

The goal here is to push for depth clarity on the white creatures.