August 23, 2016
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Data Visualization for Thomas Harriot’s Brief and True Report.
Note here the five sequential steps Harriot projects for successful assimilation of the Roanoke Indians: (1) the technological superiority of the English fills the natives with awe; (2) that will lead to their desire for friendship with the colonists; (3) this desire will make them more obedient and tractable; (4) their obedience will make it possible to civilize them according to British standards; (5) civilizing the natives will lead to their embrace of Christianity. He refers to these steps again below (though out of the order they assume here) in paragraph 30. The indiginous populations would prove less easily subjugated than Hariott anticipates, and this program would fail at Roanoke and elsewhere in later colonies.
I found this paragraph interesting because of Harriot’s ideology about the Natives of the time. Using the phrase, which I have seen now in numerous readings, “in respect to us they are a people poor” is interesting to me because the colonists themselves have so much to learn, and to the Native Americans may appear as they do to the colonists. He acknowledges that they have “excellence of wit,” and as a result saved many British lives who came over not knowing how to deal with the harsh natures of America.
While it is fascinating and easy to see the differences in the practices and culture of this time period vs. our modern age throughout Harriot’s records, this paragraph could easily be written today. Missionaries from many religions still travel to third world countries to make “declaration of the contents of the Bible” and preach about “the true and only God, and his mighty works.” It seems the religious conversion intentions span centuries and will most likely always be a practice.
It is interesting to see the undertones of this intention show up throughout these pages, ever present as the ultimate goal in the rules he lays out for successful assimilation of the Roanoke Indians, but also more subtly so woven throughout. I’m curious how the attempt at said assimilation would have played out if the goal was just to utilize America for her Eden-like qualities and religious conversion was left out of it.
This paragraph intrigues me. We have two types of people here: Harriot, who has had access to various religions in his culture, and the Native priests, who only have the word of the “fathers” before them. I find it fascinating that the knowledge of a new religion to a culture who has never considered anything but their own beliefs (Native priests) is assumed to have doubts upon hearing of it. Just the idea that tradition means so little, even if that is all these people knew.
These beginning paragraphs seem to consist of Harriot checking out the competition between themselves and the natives of North America. Everything that Harriot is writing is just confirming that the English are the better and more advanced society. Although the natives don’t seem to want to wage a war with the colonists, if they did, the English would have no problem destroying and controlling them. Harriot explains that in this paragraph. He even says that “running away is their best defense.” Harriot comes to the conclusion that they would have no chance in ever keeping their land from colonizers.
This paragraph really interested me. Not only does it talk about people rising from the dead but, it also talks about the Native Americans versions of heaven and hell. Its incredible to me how similar the two religions were. Although they still had their differences they had a lot of similarities for how far apart the two countries are. It’s no surprise to me that after seeing people rise from the dead, the Native Americans thought the English to be immortal as mentioned in paragraph 29. They brought new technology, a new religion, and then death upon them, with all the English staying healthy. It would seem like a strange thought in our modern world, but back then Native Americans lived simply, with only knowledge passed down father to son. The idea that the English god would send immortals down to bring the Native Americans the true religion and new technology doesn’t seem far-fetched. Then add in that people started dying from unknown reasons after the English arrived. I completely understand how come they saw the English as immortals.
I found this paragraph to be very interesting. Harriot is just describing how the Native Americans are dressed and describing their weapons. He seems to be almost talking about the differences between the natives and the English coming to the new land. He is also making it clear that they are clearly better and more advanced than the Native Americans.
I started to skim this reading to get a general overview of the reading overall and this paragraph, and the few that follow, stood out to me. I like the description of the Native Americans, the weapons they carried, and the description of the village they inhabited. it paints a really good picture of what it was like there. I definitely see where you say that he is making a comparison to the village versus England. There is a clear comparison when he is talking about the simplicity of the weapons they carried and a clear implication of England’s superiority to these natives tools and living conditions.
Although this is only one line, it brings up the point that Europe (specifically England) was planning on converting the Native Americans and their beliefs to the beliefs overseas. He also brings about the idea that because there is an already established religion (what he sees as ‘wrong’), it will be even easier to convert the Native Americans.
I think that the article as a whole is fascinating, but this one to me made an impact. Harriot is describing what are basically teepees, but the descriptive words he used are what makes the most impact. You can see what he is describing, and i can imagine being there. I really enjoy it.
This section stood out to me because this is essentially what happened to the Native Americans. Eventually, these expeditions would bring settlers to their land and they would begin to take over. Even though this part of the report is a bit more fanciful, the Europeans brought illnesses that the Native Americans died from, which would be like the “invisible bullets” mentioned in this passage. Add in the future violence against the natives and the decision to force the remaining peoples into reservations (though this would be many years later), and you can’t help but feel like this was indeed a prophecy of what was to come.
I thought this description of the creation of man was really interesting in contrast to the one used in Christianity. For Christians, the beginning of mankind started with Adam, and then God created Eve to live in the Garden of Eden with him. Eventually, after they partook of the forbidden fruit, Adam and Eve went on to populate the Earth with many children. However, for the Native Americans, there was no “Adam,” only an Eve, which I thought was an interesting and notable difference between the two religions. This paragraph is also interesting in the way it distinguishes their form of record-keeping. Rather than physical records and writing, traditions, stories, and history are passed down from generation to generation, which I thought was important compared to the physical writings and records that the British tried to maintain.
I definitely agree with what you said, Natalie. In the prior paragraphs, I see a lot of Harriot comparing the Natives to the English. He makes observations about the Natives–what they’re wearing, what types of weapons they hold–yet I detected underlying tones of superiority. The tone of superiority makes itself known especially in this paragraph, when Harriot says “If there fall any wars between us & them…we having advantages against them so many manner of ways…the turning up of thier heels against us in running away was their best defense” Here, Harriot is so arrogant that he believes the Natives would stand no chance against the English. Harriot has no doubt in his mind that the English would win the war against the Natives because of their believed superiority. While Harriot is making these observations, it seems that he can’t help but compare the Natives to the English.
This stood out to me because through out the entire piece there is a comparison of the native americans and the english settlers but in this paragraph it is stated very bold how much better the English are. Its amusing to see how they thought the natives should desire their friendship and love and they should fear them but they should not fear them or care for their love and friendship. There are some compliments in this paragraph as the natives are seen as witty.
This paragraph specifically caught my attention while I was reading, and reveals some of the ulterior motives that Harriot has in conveying all this detailed information on the Native Americans to British authorities. In the last sentence, Harriot clearly states that he believes conversion of the Native Americans and subsequent adoption of Christianity will play a necessary and key part in the conquering North America. In the final sentence of the paragraph, Harriot states that this “embracing of the truth” will allow the British to have control over them and make them “honor, obey, fear and love us”. This is revealing that conversion efforts were not altruistic, as some would like us to believe, but rather illustrates the British recognizing the power and influence that religion has on individuals, and seeking to wield that power in an effort to destroy the indigenous culture and in their place establish Western ideals. The irony comes in the English using a gospel that was meant to bring peace and harmony and instead turning it into a weapon that they could use against their fellow man.
[it was rather to be had from us]
I think this paragraph gives a summary as to when someone happens to be in possession of new things. The sight of seeing new things that we have no comprehension of makes us want to learn from those higher than us. Because the colonist were in possession of these unknown items it make the Natives think them as “gods.” If those of “lesser” beings or knowledge see the “gods” in possession of items they have no comprehension of they would want to learn. And because the Natives didn’t know the truth of the god(s) those they looked toward could take advantage of them, as it had to be from them (the colonists). They so willing to learn from the “gods” that they would be more likely to follow the “fake gods” to their “fake true way,” instead of finding their own true way.
In the stories I have read or heard about when new cultures are found this paragraph give a great summary as to how things can happen. With them learning from the “gods” while they also want to befriends and not offend. But at the same time in their eagerness to learn they can be duped.
This paragraph uses interesting terms such a dawning of the day and moon light which drew me in at first then I realized that this paragraph shows the hidden war tactics of the indigenous people. It explains that they do not have set battles which I am not sure many wars happen in a set way per say but at least slightly organized due to rumors being received about one army planning to attack another and so forth. This paragraph gives a clue into how the indigenous fight in the forest instead so that they may have the “hope of defence.”
This passage felt very relevant to me in that it shows not only Harriot’s proposed process of assimilation of the Native American’s, and is also strongly suggestive of the Englishmen’s perception of authority over the Native American’s on religious grounds. Here there is a clear assertion of dominance and authority on the part of the Englishmen, along with a debasement of Native American culture and customs.
Harriot’s notion that the Native American people needed to be “brought to civility”, and that they should be “embracing of true religion” is a racist mentality that is the foundation of future oppressive belief systems such as Manifest Destiny and Americanization that the Native American’s also suffered from.
This paragraph particularly stood out to me because of the boldness Harriot has in his writing. In previous paragraphs Harriot expresses the uniqueness of the Wiroans government and the battles that they have. There is a sense that the life these indigenous people live are extremely out of the ordinary and that the English are much better than this. Harriot states that the Wiroans, “shall find our manner of knowledge and crafts to exceed theirs in perfection…so much the more is it probable that they should desire out friendship and love, and have the greater respect for pleasing and obeying us.” This line is shared almost directly after he has said the people have “Excellence of wit” without the English’s tools and weapons. Even though they have survived and created a government for themselves Harriot makes it clear that the English way should also be the Wiroans way. Harriot continues to explain that these people must follow the English way and they “may be brought to civility., sating that in order for the people to keep their land they need to become the same as the English people or there will be a downfall for them
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January 11, 2018 at 9:47 am
See in context
January 10, 2018 at 11:45 pm
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April 30, 2018 at 10:35 pm
In Charles Brockden Brown’s article, “The Difference between History and Romance” he writes about the novel, Wieland, and the relationship that the novel has between history and romance. He explains how history and romance are intertwined and how imperfections of man are part of our future, present, and past. In this paragraph, Clara is overtaken by her senses of this man, “I count among the most extraordinary incidents of my life”. Clara is an irrational character taken over by romantic ideas. Her history and her future are based on her emotional decisions. There is no separation between the two. Brockden Brown writes, “when busy in assigning motives to actions, are not historians but romancers.” Which relates directly to what is happening to Clara in this passage. When talking about history, it is the “noting and recording of the actions of men” which I think is very important because mankind is often if not always driven by passion and emotion. This also plays well with the strong theme of passion and emotion that is current throughout Wieland and all the characters.
Barnard, Philip, and Stephen Shapiro, editors. “The Difference Between History and Romance.” Wieland or the Transformation, with Related Texts, by Charles Brockden Brown, Hackett Publishing Company, Inc., 2009, pp. 195–198.
April 27, 2018 at 11:10 pm
This passage is very focused on individualism, Franklin seems to be looking at the better things in his life instead of focusing on the negative. He doesn’t dwell on the idea that he wish he lived life without committing fault instead he touches on it and shifts into how he’s basically glad with how he’s lived life. In “Benjamin Franklin’s Autobiography and the Education of America.” Steven Forde presents the idea that Franklin Autobiography should be used as a model of developing good character and morals. Franklin states, “conceived the bold and arduous project of arriving at moral perfection”, but soon realizes that he had, “undertaken a task of more difficulty than he had imagined.” Forde believes, “each of the loopholes… is deliberate”. The loopholes represent another idea, that being that when striving for greater morality the individual must also take all aspects of life in consideration and be reasonable. Forbes introduces another idea, “If Franklin had viewed virtue more strictly, he might have been forced to give up on it”.
Forde, Steven. “Benjamin Franklin’s Autobiography and the Education of America.” The American Political Science Review, vol. 86, no. 2, 1992, pp. 357–368. JSTOR, JSTOR, http://www.jstor.org/stable/1964225.
April 27, 2018 at 4:40 pm
In her article “What’s Wrong With Charlotte Temple” Marion Rust addresses Charlotte’s passions as well as her inability to make decisions and relates it to her overall fall from her position in society. Rust uses this paragraph as an example of Charlotte’s indecisiveness. Here it is exemplified that Charlotte can’t even make a simple decision on her own. She has to reach out to her mentor in order to decide what to even do with something as simple as a written letter. Rust catapults off this point by claiming that Charlotte’s future will continue to be unguided and spiral downward farther than she already has. Rust bases this claim on the idea that Charlotte will not be able to support herself because she is always looking to some one outside herself to guide her through obstacles.
Rust, Marion. “What’s Wrong with ‘Charlotte Temple?”.” The William and Mary Quarterly, vol. 60, no. 1, 2003, pp. 99–118. JSTOR, JSTOR, http://www.jstor.org/stable/3491497.
April 27, 2018 at 4:16 pm
Andrew Scheiber’s article “The Arm Lifted against Me”: Love, Terror and the Construction of Gender in “Wieland” explores Clara’s gendered role in Charles Brockden Brown’s Wieland. Scheiber points to patterns of Clara’s marginalization and enclosure throughout the story, specifically in relation to her role in the context of the familial structure of the story’s plot. Scheiber explains that, “though the Age of Reason invites her to identify herself with the life of the mind, Clara is barred by her womanhood from fully achieving such an identification, since the gender ideology of the times defines the intellect as secondary rather than primary, to the essence of “feminine” nature” (Schieber 178) which is an interesting perspective considering the emphasis on reason and intellect throughout the story, and the fact that Clara is the primary protagonist of the story. Schieber claims that when Clara questions the audience, “was I not likewise transformed from rational and human into a creature of nameless and fearful attributes” (Brown 137) that she is exposing her “self-condemnation” that is born out of the gendered system that relates “rational” and “human” on the masculine side of gender axis, and the negation of those qualities to the feminine side of the axis.
Brown, Charles Brockden, Philip Barnard, and Stephen Shapiro. Wieland ; or the Transformation. An American Tale with Related Texts. Indianapolis: Hackett Pub., 2009. Print.
Scheiber, Andrew J. “‘The Arm Lifted against Me’: Love, Terror, and the Construction of Gender in ‘Wieland.’” Early American Literature, vol. 26, no. 2, 1991, pp. 173–194.
April 27, 2018 at 4:07 pm
In his article, entitled ‘Rip Van Winkle and the Generational Divide in American Culture’, scholar Robert A. Ferguson examines the character of Rip Van Winkle in depth and identifies some of the key flaws that keep this iconic figure of early American Folklore in conversation to this day. One of the flaws identified in Ferguson’s article is the issue of drink, which is brought up in the selected paragraph. Ferguson argues that Rip’s problems with being a “naturally thirsty soul” can be attributed to and explain his lack of success in life: “Habitual drinking keeps him from the steady application that every good farm requires” (533). This explanation of Rip’s tendency to ‘bum around’ aligns to the events of the story, as well as illuminating a reason why he continues to be a influential character in American literature. According to Ferguson, “We value Rip most of all because we find something of our own foibles in him, not because we worry about drink or because we fear an encounter with Heinrich Hudson when we enter the Kaatskill Mountains. Rip’s faults…are our own bad habits carried to extremes. Irving keeps to the lighter side of these extremes” (533-534). Through the relatable aspects and complexities of Rip’s character, readers throughout the years are enabled, through Irving’s lighthearted storytelling, to return to this original American folktale with as timeless a perspective as the readers who scanned the first print-warmed lines of this work.
Ferguson, Robert A. “Rip Van Winkle and the Generational Divide in American Culture.” Early American Literature, vol. 40, no. 3, 2005, pp. 529–544. JSTOR, JSTOR, http://www.jstor.org/stable/25057421.
April 27, 2018 at 3:46 pm
In “Charlotte Temple and the End of Epistolarity” by Blythe Forcey, it is said that the motherly affection of the narrator is what really makes this story relatable. I found this article to be interesting because I think that it very true. I think the way that the narrator acts in a motherly way really helps the story along. Forcey states, “Early American readers were able, as they read this novel, to live through a nightmare of dislocation, alienation, and abandonment that mapped their worst fears. But, guided by the careful and caring narrative of Mrs. Rowson, they emerged safe and unscathed, with all troubling ambiguities and terrors temporarily put to rest” (227-228). I think this is a very important quote because it makes you, as the reader, realize just how good of an author Susana Rowson truly was. To be able to make her readers feel safe even during a scary time, all due to the way this story is narrated. Forcey also states, “The motherly character of Rowson’s narrative voice is evident from her first addresses to the reader… Thus she offers, quite explicitly, to stand in for those ‘natural friends’ that the reader might have lost and to protect them from the horrors of the world” (228). I think this is a very important statement as well. Forcey makes it clear that even from the very first sentence of this story, Susana Rowson manages to take our hand and make us feel safe.
Forcey, Blythe. “Charlotte Temple and the End of Epistolarity.” American Literature, vol. 63, no. 2, 1991, pp. 225–241. JSTOR, JSTOR, http://www.jstor.org/stable/2927163.
April 27, 2018 at 3:45 pm
I also really loved this line. The Earth is the beginning and the end of the cycle of life, and that gets so overlooked in our day to day struggles. Nature and death are like you said, both important parts of the cycle of life. The connection being made in these two lines applies to most of what we have studied through the semester in this class. Even the puritans had themes of nature as a part of their beliefs. Nature and death are the two things that connect humanity because no human on Earth can avoid either one of these things. We will all die and become a part of nature once more, because that is how we began the cycle.
April 27, 2018 at 3:12 pm
Within this passage, we witness the first instance of Charlotte beginning to distrust her own instincts. While at the party she was led to believe would be fun and entertaining, she realizes that being obedient and staying home would have been better than sneaking out with La Rue. As the story progresses we see Charlotte trust those instincts less and, according to Marion Rust’s article “What’s Wrong with ‘Charlotte Temple'”, her behavior becomes increasingly described as some “form of collapse, in which her future direction is determined by nothing more deliberate than her center of gravity.” This continual falling down that Charlotte experiences effectively acts to demonstrate Rowson’s commentary on the unreliability of young women’s own moral character and how they are insufficiently able to stand up to the force of external moral corruption.
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Rust, Marion. “What’s Wrong with ‘Charlotte Temple?”.” The William and Mary Quarterly, vol. 60, no. 1, 2003, pp. 99–118.
April 27, 2018 at 2:25 pm
Throughout her essay, “Olaudah Equiano, Written by Himself”, Cath N. Davidson expresses the aspects which make the text so significant. She explains the strength of emotion that is brought because the narrative is told from Equiano himself. She also expresses that the non-traditional storytelling is what makes it interesting and evokes emotion throughout. Davidson ultimately points out that, “Many aspects of the text make it significant, but especially impressive is it expansive reach” (19). His story is told in many parts of the world and allows readers to feel this narrative from place to place based on his narrating abilities. For example, Equiano himself states “in the preceding chapter I have set before the reader a few of those many instances of oppression, extortion, and cruelty, which I have been a witness to in the West Indies”. As readers have been taken from place to place Equiano stops to show the places he’s been and the things he’s seen. Davidson also points out the emotion-evoking tones and voice used by Equiano. Addressing the many aspects of the text Davidson writes, The text combines (in unequal parts) slave narrative, sea yarn, military adventure, ethnographic reportage, historical fiction, travelogue, picaresque saga, sentimental novel, allegory, tall tale, pastoral origins myth, gothic romance, conversion tale, and abolitionist tract, with different features coming to the fore at different times, and the mood vacillating accordingly” (20). His slave trade journey was terrible and cruel; as readers see Equiano journey from place to place they empathize with him more and begin to realize the terrible conditions in which he was under. The narrative of Equiano become more and more effective for readers because of the places Equiano takes us and the voice he uses to evoke that emotion out of readers.
Davidson, Cathy N. “Olaudah Equiano, Written by Himself.” NOVEL: A Forum on Fiction, vol. 40, no. 1/2, 2006, pp. 18–51. JSTOR, JSTOR, http://www.jstor.org/stable/40267683.
April 27, 2018 at 1:26 pm
According to William Pencak, author of “Benjamin Franklin’s Biography, Cotton Mather, and a Puritan God,” in this paragraph, Franklin is defending the stakes on which he wrote his autobiography, as well as defending his own morality. Franklin was very dedicated to his moral standing with himself and God and went through extreme measures to ensure that he would end up on the ‘right’ side of things. This particular passage is about the ‘justification of his book’ which ‘illustrates an important philosophical point: the need for ideal principles, realized in practice, to subdue “Natural Inclination,” as well as the bad effects of, “Custom and Company” (Pencak 8). The ‘artifice’ that Franklin describes represents the civilization of people that he is surrounded by and he believes that they should be informed of his knowledge, life, and commitment to God. Franklin didn’t believe that being religious meant attending church, donating to pastors, or things alike. It was about believing in God, Praying honestly, and being virtuous. Throughout this autobiography, Franklin defends and justifies his beliefs and morality.
Pencak, William. “BENJAMIN FRANKLIN’S AUTOBIOGRAPHY, COTTON MATHER, AND A PURITAN GOD.” Pennsylvania History: A Journal of Mid-Atlantic Studies, vol. 53, no. 1, 1986, pp. 1–25. JSTOR, JSTOR, http://www.jstor.org/stable/27773087.
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