CabezaDeVaca_JohnSmith.slides

CabezaDeVaca_JohnSmith.slides - Narratives of Colonial...

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Narratives of Colonial Encounter: Introduction to American Literature Professor Iannini Rutgers University September 14, 2011
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VIOLENCE & TERROR OF COLONIAL ENCOUNTER
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1542
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1624
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Argument : 1.We might think of Cabeza de Vaca and John Smith as “pioneers in the science of self creation.” 2.Both authors represent the New World as an arena of struggle and conflict in which the natural nobility of the self might emerge and be recognized. 3.As such, both texts reflect the shift from a traditional aristocratic order in Europe where status and wealth are mostly inherited, to a new colonial order where they result (at least ideally) from an individual’s actions and character; from a world in which social identity is given at birth, to one in which it must be actively created. 4.This depends crucially on a paradoxical representation of Native Americans as, on the one hand, primitive and docile, and on the other, as “Noble Savages” capable of recognizing the natural nobility of Cabeza and Smith
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That same night of our arrival, some Indians came to Castillo and told him that they had great pain in the head, begging him to cure them. After he made over them the sign of the cross, and commended them go God, they instantly said that all the pain had left, and went to their houses bringing us prickly pears, with a piece of venison, a thing to us little known. As the report of Castillo’s performances spread, many came to us that night sick, that we should heal them, each bringing a piece of venison, until the quantity became so great we knew not where to dispose of it. We gave many thanks to God, for every day went on increasing his compassion and his gifts. After the sick were attended to, they began to dance and sing, making themselves festive, until sunrise; and because of our arrival, the rejoicing was continued for three days” -- Relation of Alvar Nunez Cabeza de Vaca (125)
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EPISTEMOLOGY
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As there a no paths in the country, I was detained some time. The others [a party of Indians] returned, and coming to look for them in the dark, I got lost. Thank God I found a burning tree, and in the warmth of it passed the cold of that night. In the morning, loading myself with sticks, and taking two brands with me, I returned to seek them. In this manner I wandered five days, ever with my fire and load . . . This was all the protection I had against cold, while walking naked as I was born. Going to the low woods near the rivers, I prepared myself for the night, stopping in them before
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This note was uploaded on 11/20/2011 for the course LITERTURE 350:227 taught by Professor Iannini during the Fall '11 term at Rutgers.

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CabezaDeVaca_JohnSmith.slides - Narratives of Colonial...

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