Post-Colonial Literary Analysis

1266 Words 6 Pages
Post-Colonial Literary Analysis
Colonial perception of indigenous people is that of disgust and resentment, similarly, the relationship is also very strained. Colonist did not always know the Natives from first hand experience, but from the experience of others. As a result of the bias and grapevine translation, the indigenous people were widely known for being beastly and savage like. After analyzing various text that give a glimpse into society during the early 1600s, it is interesting to see how the Europeans interpret the same situation with such a discrepancy. Evaluating William Shakespeare, The Tempest, Red Jacket’s “Reply to the Missionary Jacob Cram”, and Mary Rowlandson’s A Narrative of the Captivity and Restoration of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson
…show more content…
The Native Americans were extremely different than the Europeans, in terms of religion and culture. It is reasonable to say the colonial perception of the indigenous people is a result of the fear, in the unknown. A prime example is in the way Native American’s pass down the traditional religion to each generation. The indigenous population believed in gods that were related with nature, not the traditional views of christians, hence the Europeans. Red Jacket addressed the difference in religion and embraced the fact that there are differences, by saying god has provided different things for his children because his children are different. The Natives certainly do not wish to destroy European religion but, believe in their own, alongside Europeans (Jacket 231). This shows that the Native population was a level headed respectful group. The cultures varied but it does not mean one is right and one is wrong, like the europeans believed. Native Americans also celebrated religion differently. Commonly at night, large camp fires are held and people get dressed up elaborately to celebrate the day. Mary Rowlandson experienced this event first hand while captured. It reads in A Narrative of the Captivity and Restoration of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson, “There were two others singing and knocking on a kettle for their music, they kept hopping up and down one after another..” (Rowlandson 137). To many, this type of celebration to god would be …show more content…
There have been wars, attacks, and vengeful acts between both parties. However, with this being said, Natives were acting in response to the way settlers imposed themselves on the land, that was not for sale. It is true indigenous people did have open arms at the start, but when betrayed, had to defend against the enemy. Europeans colonized different parts of America that was not free to do so. Red Jacket says, “You have got our country, but are not satisfied..”( Jacket 230) Europeans selfishly took what was not given and became tremendously greedy. As a response the natives became more violent and angry. This response is justified because it is human nature to seek revenge. It is also reasonable to want back what is wrongfully taken. The same scenario happened in The Tempest, with Caliban; a native and Prospero; the foreigner. However, in addition to Prospero claiming land, Caliban was also claimed as a slave. Moreover, here is yet another reason indigenous people were rightful to lash back at European settlers. The Tempest states, “What I command, I’ll rack thee with old cramps, fill all thy bones with aches, make thee roar that beasts shall tremble at thy din” (II,i,553). Settlers claimed the natives as merchandise rather than allies or even people. This brought even more tension because Native Americans were already weak from disease and were being ran out of the population’s home land.

Related Documents