Essay about The Destruction Of The Indies By Las Casas

Essay about The Destruction Of The Indies By Las Casas

Length: 1772 words (5.1 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

A grotesque body is one that is open, sickly, comprised of many parts, and overflows in excess. In Montaigne’s Of the Caniballes, Europeans view figures of cannibalism as the Native inhabitants of the New World. The consumption of humans involves opening up the contained body, allowing its inner parts to be abjected beyond its internal boundaries. For colonizers, participants of cannibalism are barbarians who eat their victims by transforming their classical bodies into grotesque forms. As a result, these cultural practices make them inferior and savage compared to the modern Europeans. However, in reality, Europeans are also closely related to cannibalistic practices. A Short Account of the Destruction of the Indies written by Las Casas show how Spaniards are barbaric in their character. They lack control and engage in a series of horrific excesses due to their insatiable hunger for power and wealth. Furthermore, in their pursuits, Spaniards and other European colonizers became the creators of countless grotesque bodies. Las Casas supports Montaigne’s view that cannibalistic Natives are less barbaric than the Europeans and Spaniards who engage in excessive conquests that result in figures of the grotesque.

Colonizers are savage because they perpetrated violence against New World inhabitants, and produced open bodies that spill its internal parts outward. Secondly, they enslaved healthy Natives to endless labour, thus wounding their bodies and increasing its risk of illness. Gaping flesh and poor health are characteristic of the grotesque and as the creators of such figures, Spanish colonizers embody barbarism themselves. Las Casas describes Spaniards as “butchers” (101, 104, 116) to describe the way they cut up humans into piece...


... middle of paper ...


...ack of containment regarding inner bodily fluids were evidence of barbarism because it conflicted with the European norms of the classic contained body. However, the disproportionate death tolls and production of grotesque bodies by the colonizers themselves, established a direct affiliation between two groups. Western conquests resulted in grotesque bodies that were bloody, sick with diseases, and covered in bodily injuries. Additionally, through extreme consumption, Europeans themselves became a grotesque body. To complicate the matter, at times, accusations of cannibalism made against the Natives were staged so that colonizers could capitalize the New World. As a result, both Montaigne and Las Casas reduced the gap between colonizers and the colonized by establishing a link between the grotesque body and Westerners, which then connect to the notions of barbarism.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Inequality in Machiavelli's The Prince, More's Utopia, and Las Casas' Account of the Destruction of the Indies

- What motivates one person to subject or dominate another. When people take it upon themselves to judge who has the right to be free or enslaved; who is superior or inferior; who is civilized or barbaric, the outcomes throughout history have been horrific. The actions imposed are foreign to those of us who are privileged and forever scarring to those who have been subjected. It is ironic that people have struggled so much through out time with the underlying quality that unites us as human beings: our humanity....   [tags: Comparison Compare Contrast Essays]

Better Essays
1565 words (4.5 pages)

Bartolome De Las Casas Essay

- In A Short Account of the Destruction of the Indies, Bartolomé de Las Casas vividly describes the brutality wrought on the natives in the Americas by the Europeans primarily for the purpose of proclaiming and spreading the Christian faith. Las Casas originally intended this account to reach the royal administration of Spain; however, it soon found its way into the hands of many international readers, especially after translation. Bartolomé de Las Casas illustrates an extremely graphic and grim reality to his readers using literary methods such as characterization, imagery, amplification, authorial intrusion and the invocation of providence while trying to appeal to the sympathies of his audi...   [tags: Bartolome de las Casas Native American History Bio]

Better Essays
1517 words (4.3 pages)

Bartolome De Las Casas Book Review Essay

- Bartolme De Las Casas is an interesting character. His passion for people who at the time were seen as a sub species of humans (if even human at all) is remarkable. De Las Casas came from a modest family and was well educated. He was brought into the world of the America's through his father Pedro De Las Casas who was an encomiendo himself. His travels through the New World prior to 1510 when he became an ordained priest shaped his crusade to defend the Natives. There are many clues in this book which point to the exaggeration of its content....   [tags: Bartolome casas]

Better Essays
980 words (2.8 pages)

Las Casas Essay

- Based on the relacion by Las Casas, a short account of the destruction of the Indies: discuss the arguments presented by the author on behalf of the native population. Evaluate the arguments, what evidence did Las Casas omit from his account. Be specific and provide examples and references. The arguments presented by Las Casas is in defense of the natives stating that if he can convince the king of the wrongful doings of the Spaniards that they would pay for what they've done. The doings of the Spaniards was a shock to Las Casas making him want to spend as long as he could defending them....   [tags: World History]

Better Essays
472 words (1.3 pages)

Prosperity for the Spaniards in the New Wold was the Downfall for America

- ... In his Brief account, Las Casas discusses the detrimental impact that the arrival of the Europeans had on the West Indies. He gives a description of the indigenous people that is conversed to how they were described before. He tells about “the most humble, patient, and peaceable” people he saw in his life. People that are so eager to know the more that if they will brought to know the one true god they would be the most fortune people in the world. His Descriptions of the indigenous was the absolute contrary to the “Barbarous, uncultivated and inhumane” descriptions of the indigenous by previous Spaniards....   [tags: destruction, savages, religion]

Better Essays
916 words (2.6 pages)

Devastation Of The Indies By Bartolome De Las Casas Essays

- which makes us think a deeper meaning of the question which people are more civilized or barbarian than others. This assignment examines the document entitled “Bartolomé de las Casas, from Brief Account of the Devastation of the Indies.” Bartolomé de las Casas, who spent most of his time in the New World protecting the native people that lived there, authored the document in 1542. In this document Bartolome de Las Casas gives a detailed but horrific account of the atrocious behavior of the spaniards against the native people of the indies.He vividly describes the brutality brought on the natives by europeans all in the name of proclaiming and spreading Christianity.This document was o...   [tags: Spain, Spanish colonization of the Americas]

Better Essays
1507 words (4.3 pages)

Bartolome de Las Casas Witnessed the Crimes and Massacres Against the Natives in the Conquest of the Indies

- Bartolome de Las Casas was a Christian Priest that accompanied the Spaniards on their conquest of the Indies, and is a witness to the crimes and massacres committed against the natives. De Las Casas documented specific events where the Spaniards wronged the natives but makes it clear that there were far more incidents than the ones he reports. His audience is the Christian community in Castile (modern day Spain), and the Monarch. His aim in this documentation was to inform the formerly mentioned groups who are ignorant of the accounts and are financing the Spaniards expeditions to possibly put a stop to the Spaniards reign of terror....   [tags: terror, christian, spaniards]

Free Essays
593 words (1.7 pages)

Las Casas and Authority: Rulers, Church, and Freedom Essay example

- Bartolomé de Las Casas presents, for its time, an astounding claim human equality before God. Defending the native people of the New World from the violence executed by Spain and the claims to authority given voice by Juan Ginés de Sepúlveda, Las Casas provides a precocious assertion of human rights and the limits on civil and church authority. In this paper I will argue that Las Casas makes a nuanced assessment of civil government, to which he gives a vital but limited authority. I further propose that Las Casas, even while holding to the traditional and scriptural authority of the church, ascribes a similarly circumscribed earthly authority....   [tags: Social Issues]

Better Essays
1811 words (5.2 pages)

Bartolome De Las Casas : The Colonization Of The Americas Essay

- Bartolomé de las Casas Christianity itself might have been the main oppressor during the colonization of the Americas and not necessarily the greed or hunger for expansion. Bartolomé de las Casas, was a Spanish Bishop, who was sent to the Americas to teach the “Indians” about Christianity, but through his own eyewitness accounts saw the inhumane treatment of the Natives and criticized the Spanish monarchs and colonizers for being driven by greed and not their Christian beliefs. Although, de las Casas greatly criticized the Spanish, he himself, through his Christian teachings, was still indirectly oppressing the natives....   [tags: Christianity, Religion, Christendom, Baptism]

Better Essays
1092 words (3.1 pages)

Is Isabela Carmesi De Las Casas Essay

- Who Am I. My full name is Isabela Carmesi De Las Casas. I was brought into this world on October 19th, 1998 by my mother Marlene Herrera in Fresno, California. 17 years later, I’m here now as a high school Senior on track to graduation. However, now I live in Henderson, Nevada because my dad wanted a better environment for us to live in. I live in a typical family with my 2 parents and 6 other siblings, totaling up to 9 people in my household, including me. I am a nerdy and easygoing gal, however I can prove to be overly sensitive at times....   [tags: Mother, High school, Parent]

Better Essays
1392 words (4 pages)