A Different Mirror Analysis

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Is there only one way to recount history? According to the countless classes, textbooks, and aisles upon aisles of nonfiction - no. Evidently, history is in the eyes of the beholder. A Different Mirror by Ronald Takaki and Stories from American History by Myrtis Mixon are two such texts that show how the same history can be recounted in different manners. A common subject found between the two texts A Different Mirror and Stories from American History is that of Spanish exploration and subsequent colonialism. According to the textbook selected, the story of America begins when the Spaniards came to America. There is emphasis placed on the Spanish conquests. This take priority over the stories of the natives here in America. The first …show more content…
Stories from American History cites Christopher Columbus as the first to explore these faster routes. According to this text, Christopher Columbus one of the few to believe that the earth was round. It’s as if this text is claiming Christopher Columbus to be a vastly intelligent man - and the one to pioneer world exploration. According to Ronald Takaki’s text, this is not true. Before the Spaniard explorers, those from Ireland were first to step foot on American soil. A Different Mirror cites Leif Eiriksson, an Irishman, as the first to set sail in the name of expansion and exploration. What 's more, Leif Eiriksson some five-hundred years prior to Christopher Columbus. A statement such as this carries significant weight. Commonly, academic lectures start American history with Christopher Columbus. It’s as if no one else inhabited the Americas until shortly before Columbus sailed from Spain. Even within this textbook, Myrtis Mixon places importance on Columbus and the events following that …show more content…
The notion of savagery can be read in great detail within Takaki 's book. This text provides insight to the views on English sentiment towards the Native Americans. At this time, English painted a picture of an American people that were savages. The Tempest, a play written by William Shakespeare, introduced a character by the name of Caliban. This soon became standard by which the English viewed Indians. Unlike the English, Native Americans were lustful, unintelligent, and savage. In this way the English felt superior to American Natives. This is echoed again in the text by Mixon. Included here is the recounted story of the moment where John Rolfe encountered the Powhatans - and Pocahontas. This story clearly shows the fear of John Rolfe in the face of these Natives. After reading A Different Mirror, it can only be assumed that this fear is due to Native American ideals already placed in the minds of the English. Long story short, John Rolfe and Pocahontas married. There is now an unsettling difference in storylines. Myrtis Mixon tells a story of how Pocahontas sails to England with her husband, and the story pretty much ends there. Ronald Takaki continues the story of what is now happening in America. Bloody battles between the English and Powhatans, and sickness brought by the English decimating the Native population. This is what Pocahontas has sailed away

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