“One of the first important acts of an oppressor is to define the oppressed victims he intends to jail or eradicate so that they will be looked upon as creatures warranting suppression and in some cases separation and annihilation” (Bosmajian 347). The writer, Haig A. Bosmajian, begins his essay with these words in “Defining the ‘American Indian’: A Case Study in the Language of Suppression.” In his essay, which targets mainstream Americans, he attempts to show his readers how language has been used in American history to “justify” the oppression of the American Indians. The use of language that he discusses here is redefinition, in which the American Indians were renamed in accordance with the oppressors’ perception of them (Bosmajian 347). He points out the natural-religious, political-cultural, and legal redefinitions imposed upon them as the basis of his essay (Bosmajian 348). Through the use of various techniques, including historical accounts, examples, and choice of evidence, Bosmajian creates an effective argument to show how language has been manipulated for unjust acts.
In the natural-religious redefinition, Bosmajian supports his argument with the eyewitness account of Bartolome de las Casas. He describes how the various original inhabitants of America were given a new name when the Europeans arrived. They were all placed under the label: “savages” and “barbarians” (Bosmajian 348). In the eyewitness account, Bartolome de las Casas provides a terribly grotesque image of the acts done to the American Indians. “Overrunning Cities and Villages, where they...
... middle of paper ...
... By discussing the natural-religious, political-cultural, and the legal redefinitions, Bosmajian seeks to convince the readers of the impact that redefinition has on the American Indians. This redefinition, he declares, allows oppressors to think that their acts of oppression are justified (Bosmajian 347-348). He creates a strongly supported argument through the abundant use of rhetorical techniques, such as historical accounts and examples. In the end, he hopes that readers will look to “identify the decadence in our language, the silly words and expressions which have been used to justify oppression of varying degrees” and eradicate them (Bosmajian 347).
Bosmajian, Haig A, “Defining the ‘American Indian’: A Case Study in the Language of
Suppression.” Exploring Language. 8th ed. Ed. Gary Goshgarian. New York: Longman, 1998. 347-354.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- The Value of a Name in The Language of Oppression by Haig Bosmajian In Haig Bosmajian's essay, "The Language of Oppression," he speaks of the value of a name. "To receive a name is to be elevated to the status of a human being; without a name one's identity is questionable." A human being is defined by his name. Without a name no one knows who he is, for he has no identity. However, a name can also be "used as a curse." Language can lead to the dehumanization of human beings and can ultimately lead to their extermination.... [tags: Papers]
1055 words (3 pages)
- Defining Field Marshal General Sir Douglas Haig Haig was a technical innovator; Haig was an old fashioned fool. Haig was a brilliant strategist; Haig was ignorant. Haig was a great man; Haig was hardly a man. Haig was easily the best man for the job; Haig was obviously the only man left for the job. All these views are shared by different people about Haig, in my essay I will put forward my views about Haig and justifications by referring to the facts.... [tags: Papers]
819 words (2.3 pages)
- Saltwater summer is about a young man's first summer as a commercial salmon fisherman on the BC coast. Don Morgan is a seventeen-year-old who has made enough money trapping on northern Vancouver Island to buy himself a 32-foot West Coast salmon troller known as the Mallard. He thought this was all he wanted from life, now almost nothing about it was good. The fishing his first season began poor, and if things didn't pick up, the Mallard, which had only been his for three months, would have to be sold to repay old Shenrock for loaning him the money.... [tags: Saltwater Summer, Roderick Haig-Brown]
994 words (2.8 pages)
- Sir Douglas Haig was born on the 19th June 1861. The Field Marshal was very highly ranked in the duration of The Great War. Haig was a British soldier and a senior Commander of The British Expeditionary Force from the year of 1915. General Haig is notorious for commanding the Battle Of The Somme and also renowned for the third battle of Ypres and various other victories leading to The Triple Entente’s victory of WW1. After the war, Haig was made an Earl and also received gratified thanks from both Houses of Parliament.... [tags: World War I WWI WW1 Sir Douglas Haig]
1265 words (3.6 pages)
- "A general who wears down 180,000 of the enemy by expending 400,000 men...has something to answer for." This idea from military historian C.E.W Bean is the main line of argument from traditionalist historians. They represent General Douglas Haig, British Commander-in-Chief of the BEF from 1915 to the end of the war in 1918, in a critical, damning light: a hopelessly incompetent general with a willingness to sacrifice the men of Britain for a few metres of muddy ground. On the converse of this interpretation is a revisionist perspective of Haig as a caring ‘architect of victory’, bringing long-term achievements with his perceptive strategies.... [tags: Britain, Commander in Chief, War]
1867 words (5.3 pages)
- In this essay I will try and show how far all the sources in the booklet support the statement that Haig was uncaring and sacrificed the lives of his soldiers for no reason. I will give a balanced answer, showing both points of view, and reach a judgement. Source A does support the statement, because it uses a cold and harsh tone, for example that the loss of soldiers was “teaching” the nation about the reality of war. It seems to suggest that he sees “heavy casualty lists” as an inevitability, and because he carried out the attack when he knew that many soldiers were going to die, we can infer that he did not care about the lives of his soldiers and was cold hearted.... [tags: Literary Analysis]
1415 words (4 pages)
- Terrorism and Morality by Haig Khatchadourian In “Terrorism and Morality,” Haig Khatchadourian argues that terrorism is always wrong. Within this argument, Khatchadourian says that all forms of terrorism are wrong because the outcome deprives those terrorized of their basic humanity. To this end, Khatchadourian says that even forms of terrorism that are designed to bring about a moral good are wrong because of the methods used to achieve that good. Before Khatchadourian spells out why terrorism is wrong, he defines what terrorism is, what causes terrorism, and what people believe terrorism to mean.... [tags: Terrorism Morality Khatchadourian Essays]
1814 words (5.2 pages)
- Haig As a Leader I think Haig was a bad leader who made many critical mistakes during the battle of Passchendaele. From looking at the sources I can see many bad views of Haig as a war leader, although some good views can also be detected. In source A it is evident that Haig always ensured that his army was well equipped by asking the War Cabinet for more ammunition. I also know that Haig was one of the first generals to pay attention to aerial intelligence, this was very good for Britain as it put them at an advantage over many countries.... [tags: Papers]
1508 words (4.3 pages)
- The purpose of this essay is to analyze fastidiously and personalize Warner’s Beyond Gay Marriage article. Three convergent points of Warner’s argument will be broken down, and examined. First, the concept that marriage consecrates some pairs at the cost of others. Second the question of why marriage has become such a prevalent organization in gay politics. Finally, the definition of marriage in public, private, and state terms. Marriage is far beyond what it has been previously defined in history.... [tags: Marriage]
1891 words (5.4 pages)
- Defining Marketing The term marketing in a conversation tends to trigger thoughts of sales and/or advertising. Eventhough both of the functions are intimatley involved with the marketing process, it would be incorrect to believe that is all that marketing focuses on. In fact this may have been a truth in the past but times have changed and with that change has come major rethinking in the area of marketing. The much larger, demanding, and competitive markets have forced organizations to re-define marketing in a whole new light and thus depend on the marketing function to keep an orgaiztions competitive edge marketplace.... [tags: Business Marketing]
1043 words (3 pages)