Portrayal Of Native Americans In American Literature

836 Words 4 Pages
Brianna Nicole Dingle
Dr. Edwins
English 309
16 October 2016
The Portrayal of Native Americans in American Literature The American perspective on Native Americans has changed steadily throughout time. This is shown extensively in American literature, which has portrayed Native Americans in numerous ways. In some literature, such as in earlier years, the Europeans viewed Native Americans as savages—recognizing them as inhuman and comparing them to animals. While, later on in literature, the idea of the Noble Savage came about. In the idea of the Noble Savage, Europeans viewed Native Americans as close to nature and thereby close to God which made them “good” or “noble.” European settler encounters with Native Americans differ throughout American
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Mary Rowlandson” depicted Native Americans as complete savages—inhuman and animalistic. Occurring during 1675, Rowlandson witnessed the natives seize her town, murder her people senselessly, and separate her from family. They captured her for a period of time. Rowlandson refers to the Native Americans as “barbarous savages” and “pagans” among many other names. Throughout the duration of the narrative, Rowlandson tells of the events of her capture, and recollects the harsh treatment that she encountered during her captivity. Even though she was shown mercy at some points throughout her recollection, she still makes it seem as if no Native American was capable of showing human emotion. Rowlandson’s narrative is one particular piece of American literature that does in fact portray Native Americans unfairly. This assertion is based on the fact that she portrays every single native person to be savage and an inhuman being. Rowlandson does not give any leeway in her subjective viewpoint of the natives, and it is made evident that her personal encounter allowed her portray all of them in the same brutish …show more content…
In some ways, he even regards the natives as more hospitable and civilized than the Europeans. In his essay, he compares native society to that of the Europeans. In a specific example, he tells of how in the Indian councils someone speaks and all others are to remain quiet until he is finished. It is offensive to interrupt the speaker while he is talking. Whereas in the European councils, everyone talks over one another and the council often has to be called to order. Here the idea of the Noble Savage is even surpassed because Franklin does not view the Indians as savages at all. Instead, he views them as intelligent and humble beings who operate within a society of order and

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