Colonization and the True Historical Fact of Malintzin Essays

Colonization and the True Historical Fact of Malintzin Essays

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Camilla Townsend uses the book Malintzin's Choices to reject the false stories that concealed Malintzin's actual life. The book is used as a way to give insight into the issues of colonization and conquest. She tries to give the men and women who lived and died in those days their dignity back. Townsend wants to place a much-abused historical figure back into her proper historical context. The book makes Malintzin come alive as one who played an essential role through an epic transitional period in Mexican history. Townsend reminds us that the adolescent indigenous girl started her new life among the invaders as a slave. Townsend admits that a traditional biography of Malintzin is not possible, because there are not many sources. Although, the book does regularly pause for the consideration of Malintzin’s place and what her motivations may have been. This was shown along with the Spaniards and indigenous people who helped in the forces that grappled Moctezuma's power.
There are two problems Townsend writing about Malintzin encountered. First, the lack of sources. Secondly, her life was unusual. Townsend's approaches to these problems are worth considering. Her primary solution to the first problem is to place Malintzin's life in the context of her times, explaining how complex Malintzin's gender and ethnic identity was, her role in the conquest, and describing the lives of her descendants as well. A lot of the book examines the conquest process, emphasizing point of views and experiences from the indigenous people. Townsend takes a look at both the conquest historiography and sources.
Townsend organizes her narration of these events around the life and role of Malintzin. She takes the attention off of Cortes because she wants...

... middle of paper ...

...d does so where she applies 21st century values to the 16th century. So, she does tell a good story, and the introduced facts are interesting but this should either be read as heavily-researched historical fiction or by people who aren't too arguable about things like fact versus fiction.
In Malintzin’s Choices, Townsend displays expertise while pulling together the information she has gotten from published and archived accounts. It highlights the significance of a woman’s life in possibly its most complete and sensible illustration yet. Townsend repositions Malintzin to allow her historic episodes to be better understood, despite the myths that have been around for too long. In the process, Townsend discloses very real, completely human stories behind the trans-Atlantic conflict and accommodation that was inherent in the Spanish invasion and occupation of Mexico.

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