Native Americans: Good or Evil People

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Over the course of history, there have been many different views of Native Americans, or Indians, as many have referred to them. Some have written about them in a positive and respectful manner while others have seen them as pure evil that waged war and killed innocent men, women, and children. No matter what point of view one takes, though, one thing is clear and that is if it were not for these people the early settlers would not have survived their first year in the new land now called the United States of America. In short, it is my belief that the various authors’ viewpoints are simply a reflection of the circumstances of their particular situation. Nevertheless, one question remains: Were the Native Americans good or evil people?

The Native Americans were referred to as “savages” and the English in their words expressed their fear of them. One could also take the Native Americans’ nature as being shy because upon the English spotting a few of them near the water they quickly ran away (Bradford 59). This was probably because the Native Americans had never seen anyone other than themselves. They were shown to be intelligent people who not only farmed but also built houses (Bradford 60). However, the English also implied the Native Americans to be mean people because they stated that one of the reasons for building large fires was to “…defend them from any sudden assaults of the savages” (Bradford 61). Nevertheless, it was not long until the Native Americans did attack the English and in their minds, it was for no reason. The recurring theme was that the English were always cautious of the Native Americans because they feared they would attack (Bradford 62).

Next, the Native Americans were sometimes depicted realistically...

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...lves to think with an open mind on things for which they did not know or could not understand. I hope that as generations go on the Native Americans will be portrayed objectively and thus accurately to young students when they learn about them.

Works Cited
Bradford, William. “Of Plymouth Plantation.” American Literature. Vol. 1. Ed. William E. Cain.

New York: Penguin, 2004. 54-66.

de las Casas, Bartolome. “The Devastation of the Indies: Hispaniola.” American Literature. Vol.

1. Ed. William E. Cain. New York: Penguin, 2004. 41-43.

Franklin, Benjamin. “Remarks Concerning the Savages of North America.” American Literature.

Vol. 1. Ed. William E. Cain. New York: Penguin, 2004. 201-205.

Rowlandson, Mary. “A True History of the Captivity and Restoration of Mrs. Mary

Rowlandson.” American Literature. Vol. 1. Ed. William E. Cain. New York: Penguin, 2004. 93-137.
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