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“Colors of the Wind” Scene in the “Pocahontas” Film Essay

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Updated: Aug 18th, 2022

The animated musical film Pocahontas throws light on the experiences of Native Americans during their encounters with European settlers. It is possible to say that movies, which are intended for children, can influence their worldviews and attitudes. This paper is aimed at discussing a scene during which the main character sings a song called Colors of the Wind. It represents the so-called politics of advocacy, which is aimed at empowering a group that has been marginalized and discriminated for a long time (Sutherland 1). These are the main questions that should be examined more closely.

The film-makers rely on different techniques in order to raise children’s awareness about the culture of Native Americans. They want to demonstrate that these people have a unique perception of the world. This is one of the messages that is conveyed through the text of the song. Much attention should be paid to the word choices. For instance, in the beginning, Pocahontas openly states that she may be regarded as a “savage” by the settlers (Pocahontas).

Yet, her song shows how the culture of Native Americans can be misinterpreted or misunderstood. The text of this song includes several remarkable literary devices that can give the audience better insights into the worldviews of people like Pocahontas. For example, one can speak about the use of personification. The main character says, “The rainstorm and the river are my brothers” (Pocahontas). In this way, the author of the song describes the way Native Americans perceive nature, which is viewed as a living being. To some degree, this song is aimed at highlighting the idea that Earth is not “just a dead thing” (Pocahontas).

Overall, the text of the song exemplifies the politics of advocacy that may achieve several objectives. For instance, it can “seek to enhance the self‐concepts of minority readers” (Sutherland 3). However, at the same time, this scene can shape children’s attitudes about Native Americans. This is one of the points that should be taken into account.

Furthermore, while Pocahontas sings her song, the viewers can see several distinctions in the behavior of the main character and her friend John. In particular, John wants to shoot a bear, but Pocahontas prevents him from doing it because, in this way, he could have harmed the cubs of this bear (Pocahontas). This is one of the details that should be considered because it is important for understanding the distinctions between the two characters.

Additionally, one can speak about the setting of the sequence, especially the use of colors. This scene has a very rich palette, and in these ways, the film-makers attempt to highlight the richness and diversity of wildlife. Pocahontas wants John to appreciate this richness. This is one of the reasons why Pocahontas’ song is called Colors of the Wind. It is possible to say that visual imagery is important for describing the inner world of the main character who wants John to change his views on the culture of Native Americans.

On the whole, these examples illustrate the methods that film-makers apply in order to influence the views of the audience. The chosen scene provides an example of the approach which can be described as the politics of advocacy. In particular, this part of the movie is supposed to empower Native Americans whose culture was disregarded and marginalized for a long time. These are the main arguments that should be put forward.

Works Cited

Pocahontas. Ex. Prod. James Pentecost. Burbank: Walt Disney Pictures. 1995. DVD.

Sutherland, Robert. “Hidden Persuaders: Political Ideologies in Literature for Children.” Children’s Literature in Education 16.3 (1985): 1-12. Print.

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IvyPanda. ""Colors of the Wind" Scene in the "Pocahontas" Film." August 18, 2022. https://ivypanda.com/essays/colors-of-the-wind-scene-in-the-pocahontas-film/.

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IvyPanda. 2022. ""Colors of the Wind" Scene in the "Pocahontas" Film." August 18, 2022. https://ivypanda.com/essays/colors-of-the-wind-scene-in-the-pocahontas-film/.

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IvyPanda. (2022) '"Colors of the Wind" Scene in the "Pocahontas" Film'. 18 August.

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