Views of the Natives Throughout Time

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Over the course of this semester, we have read several interesting works. Through they may have been written at different points in history, by different people, many of these stories share a common theme. Three such stories are “The Relation of Álvar Nunez Cabeza de Vaca” by Cabeza de Vaca, “A Narrative of the Captivity and Restoration of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson” by Mary Rowlandson ad “Remarks Concerning the Savages” by Benjamin Franklin. These stories all shared a common theme of the writers’ experiences and views of Native Americans. Moving chronologically, the first story to look at is “The Relations of Álvar Nunez Cabeza de Vaca” by Cabeza de Vaca. Cabeza wrote this as a letter to Emperor Charles V who inherited the throne from Ferdinand and Isabella. In this story, Cabeza recounted his time spent among the natives of America. During his time in the area he traveled among several tribes including the malhados the Avavares and the Arbadaos. While staying with these tribes, he picked up on their customs and began to live much the same way among them. Cabeza learned how harsh things could be while living with the Malhados. He wrote several times about the lack of food and supplies. In one passage, he wrote, “Three months out of every year they eat nothing but oysters and drink very bad water. Wood is scarce; mosquitos, plentiful. The houses are made of mats; their floors consist of masses of oyster shells. The natives sleep on these shells – in animal skins, those who happen to own such. Many a time I would have to go three days without eating, as would the natives.” (Vaca 31) He noticed more than just the lack of food and belongings. He made note of the way the tribe mourns a loss, and the way families interact with their in-laws... ... middle of paper ... ... forged their diverse opinions about these Natives. Though they may have seen various sides of these people, they all left us with some amazing accounts of their time among them. Works Cited Franklin, Benjamin. "Remarks Concerning the Savages." Company, W.W. Norton &. The Norton Anthology of American Literature. New York: W.W. Norton & Compnay, 2013. 244-247. Print. Johansen, Bruce E. "Forgotten Founders." 1982. www.ratical.org. Web. 26 November 2013. Rowlandson, Mary. "A Narrative of the Captivity and Restoration of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson." Company, W.W. Norton &. The Norton Anthology of American Literature. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 2013. 127-143. Print. Vaca, Alvar Nunez Cabeza de. "The Relations of Alvar Nunez Cabeza de Vaca." Company, W.W. Norton &. The Norton Anthology of American Literature. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, Inc., 2013. 29-35. Book.
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