Gender And Assimilation In The Film Pocahontas
February 8, 2015
Gender and Assimilation
There is a relationship between gender and assimilating to one 's culture. Both dynamics together depict whether the individual has trouble assimilating into a different culture or can easily facilitate into it. Males and females are expected to have different roles. Most of the gender roles are similar for every individual, despite of the differences in culture. For example, women were expected to be housekeepers, while the men were expected to work and gather food. This applies in both the dominant white culture and the Native American culture. In the film Pocahontas, Thomas is an English man who has trouble trying to assimilate into the white culture. Even though he comes from …show more content…
Tommo is an adventurous sailor who learns to adapt to the Typee environment. Since Tommo comes from the dominant white culture, it was difficult to adjust into the tribal community when he first landed. However, upon his arrival at the islands, he was greeted with warmth was taken care of immediately due to his injury. “In this secluded abode of happiness there were no cross old women, no cruel step-dames, no withered spinsters, no lovesick maidens, no sour old bachelors, no inattentive husbands, no melancholy young men, no blubbering youngsters, and no squalling brats” (111). His personal views on the Typee changed, he was enjoying a relaxed life in a sunny paradise. Tommo’s statement made it very clear that he lived in a different environment, thus causing his desire to stay with the Marquesas. Tommo begins to admire the Typee culture and finds it very astonishing how different they are in a beautiful way compared to the people in …show more content…
Thomas is an Englishman who arrives with other colonists in the search for gold. Thomas is surrounded by other white males and a governor who share a strong desire in searching for the prize possession. Throughout the film it is highly noticeable that Thomas is regarded as a "weak" man. There are various scenes that demonstrate this notion. In the beginning of the film, Thomas accidentally falls off the ship and thanks to John Smith 's heroic action, Thomas was successfully saved from drowning. In the scene where the Native Americans and the colonists attack each other, Thomas shoots and misses and the bullet goes through Governor Radcliffe legs. After that incident, Governor Radcliffe made a statement regarding Thomas inability to shoot. “Learn to use that thing properly, a man’s not a man unless he knows how to shoot”. The gender roles in the Euro American culture were that men were expected to have strong abilities such as shoot with heavy machinery, dig for gold and perform other manly duties. Even though Tomas is a white male that comes from Europe, he feels pressured and obligated to conform to these gender roles. Native American men in Pocahontas were identical to the Euro American men. Both are known to be strong fighters and are willing to attack the enemies. Native American men and Euro American men also expect women to stay home and perform chores that women are expected to do.