So where does the tragic level of misinformation on the American publics part

So where does the tragic level of misinformation on

This preview shows page 89 - 90 out of 133 pages.

Native Americans had even happened. So where does the tragic level of misinformation on the American public‘s part come from? How has the perspective of an entire race of multi-national people managed to remain static even into the present age of information and technology? Ultimately , the overarching origin for this skewed national perspective of the Native American lies in the stereotypes perpetuated by this culture‘s media. Over five hundred years after the first recorded commentary about American Indians, the pre-conceived notions of what defines indigenous people in North America seem like they have always been present, a constant thread woven into the framework of American culture . Contemporary writers, activists, and civil rights groups have struggled to overcome the pervasive effect of these longstanding stereotypes with inconsistent results. Perhaps their failure to do so lies partly in not fully understanding the origins of such generalities. The source of the national opinion on Native Americans lies in the manipulation of early authors documenting their perspective of Indian living . That influence increased tenfold when the United States began to experience westward settlement and a rise of its own, individual literature . Fiction writers took early assumptions about American Indians a built and industry upon them, turning the misrepresentation into a tool for glorifying ―American Heroes, such as Buffalo Bill and Natty Bumppo. Essentially, the very roots of what defines American culture today have an intimate relationship with how American writers responded to the presence of the American Indian in this country Misrepresentations in Western literature desensitize white society to racial issues and injustices to minority groups. It also serves to limit and oppress minorities. Cotton, 08 Lacy Noel Master of Arts in Cultural Studies and American studies, - ir/bitstream/handle/2104/5247/Lacy_Cotton_masters.pdf?sequence=1 American Indian Stereotypes in Early Western Literature and the Lasting Influence on American Culture This thesis commits to highlighting three major stereotypes concerning Native Americans, found in early western literature between the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The three defining stereotypes of Native Americans are the bloodthirsty savage, the Noble Savage, and the Halfbreed. These gross misrepresentations of the indigenous people of North America not only reflect the popular opinion of minority cultures held by dominant white society during the time of their publication, they also contribute to the development of casual desensitization in white culture to the injustices heaped upon minority groups today . Though the study of these stereotypes in this thesis is focused primarily in the past, concentrating on the works of major western novelists such as James Fenimore Cooper, Zane Grey, Charles Brockden Brown, and Owen Wister, as well as on pulp fiction and Beadle dime novels of the era , the influences of the fictional depictions persist into present media. These stereotypes also extend to the national perspective of miscegenation between
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