Presumably there was something in my background that enabled me to see the problem in this way. But these impressions do not survive an admission that comes late in the book, when, in the course of explaining why works like Helen Hunt Jackson's Century of Dishonor had spread misconceptions about Puritan treatment of the Indians, Vaughan finally lays his own cards on the table.
In order to prove her point, Tompkins has chosen to rest her essay upon the events that took place in the 17th and the 18th century when the Indians were in power over a large portion of the land.
Martin believes that the Indians acted on the basis of perceptions made available to them by their own cosmology; that is, he explains their behavior as the Indians themselves would have explained it insofar as he canusing a logic and a set of values that are not Eurocentric but derived from within Amerindian culture.
Captivity narratives seemed a good place to begin, since it was logical to suppose that the records left by whites who had been captured by Indians would furnish the sort of first-hand information I wanted. It was a moral quandary as well.
This essay records the concrete experience of meeting and solving the difficulty I have just described as an abstract problem, I thought I had solved it long ago. I thought, perhaps, if I looked at some firsthand accounts and at some scholars looking at those accounts, it would be possible to decide which experts were right and which were wrong by comparing their views with the evidence.
I believe this perspective is essential to our understanding of the world. Miller explains that as a young man, jealous of older compatriots who had had the luck to fight in World War I, he had gone to Africa in search of adventure. She attempts to prove her point by mentioning the high degree of contrast that exists between two differing opinions on the European-Indian Conflict.
In Martin's analysis, however, what we have are not only two different sets of behavior but two incommensurable ways of describing and assigning meaning to events.
This difference at the level of explanation calls into question the possibility of obtaining any theory-independent account of interaction between Indians and Europeans. What happened, according to Martin, was that as a result of diseases introduced into the animal population by Europeans, the game suddenly disappeared, began to act in inexplicable ways, or sickened and died in plain view, and communicated their diseases to the Indians.
Retrieved 16 Marchfrom http: But then again, there are chances that it may only lead to the development of a new bias originating from the innumerable biases and prejudices that already prevail. Miller explains that as a young man, jealous of older compatriots who had had the luck to fight in World War I, he had gone to Africa in search of adventure.
I began, more or less automatically, with Perry Miller, who hardly mentions the Indians at all, then proceeded to the work of historians who had dealt exclusively with the European-Indian encounter.
The man describing the Indians as ruthless beasts had his own perspective of possibly not the Indians, but of the situation. Tompkins believes after researching herself the relationship between the Indians and the settlers, those facts, although seemingly true, has a biased attached with it.
This, I now see, was never really the case. Here the authors argued that we don't need an ideological or religious explanation for the fur trade.
I think that she brought up several interesting points in her essay by refuting other essays on Indians. Thinking critically about this can lead to the questioning of every thing ever written about history. Why is the "other" described in terms of "lack"?
I do not think that she took out any pertinent information in trying to decide what really happened with the early settlers and the Indians. For a while, I remained at this impasse. I found myself, in other words, in an epistemological quandary, not only unable to decide among conflicting versions of events but also unable to believe that any such decision could, in principle, be made.
It is also very important that when claiming facts one must not include their own perspective, but only the undeniable facts. You can order a custom essay on Jane Tompkins now! The Indians, consequently, believed that their compact with the animals had been broken and that the keepers of the game, the tutelary spirits of each animal species whom they had been so careful to propitiate, had betrayed them.
Columbia University Press New York: My problem presupposed that I couldn't judge because I didn't know what the facts were.an analysis of faragher beyond the western frontier An examination of dante alighieris inferno.
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According to Bernice M. In Jane Tompkins essay, "'Indians': Textualism, Morality, and the Problem of History" she describes the issues that come with studying historical events through opinionated works. While studying the history of occurrences between Native Americans and English settlers in the seventeenth-century.
Mar 16, · In this essay, Tompkins reviews the many historiographical accounts of European-Indian relations, mostly in the Northeast, coming to the realization that each of them differs in their account because of the perspective and worldview by which they approach the archives.
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A Literary Analysis of Indians by Jane Tompkins PAGES 2. WORDS View Full Essay. More essays like this: jane tompkins, the essay indians, subject of history.
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