Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Class #8 (Homework for 11/3)

Here is the famous "Crying Indian" video, if you want to watch it with the music. For an example of the "anti-racism as a maneuver to establish sophistication or superiority" theory I gave, see here. I should say that I support the political views of the speaker, but I think the way she presents her views indicates an elitist attitude that has a very loose relation to anti-racism. (Note on second video: "Redneck" is an insult that means a rural or uncultured person.

Reading: Red Jacket (214-16), Tecumseh (216-18), Apess (482-88), Black Hawk (570-74), Boudinot (577-80), Emerson (585-88)

Tady, Ted, Teresa, Ting Ju, Vincent, Viola, Winnie

Sharon = 71. Indicate several of the techniques Red Jacket uses to gain control of the "means of representation" in English. Would any of these be relevant to Taiwanese aboriginal groups writing in Mandarin?
Sherry = 72. Indicate several of the techniques Tecumseh uses to establish a "Pan-Indian" rhetoric.
Would any of these be relevant to Taiwanese aboriginal groups?
Sydney = 73. The Norton editors tell us that Apess' "Indian's Looking Glass" has unusual stylistic features which make it more like an oration than an essay. Indicate some of them. Then, discuss how Apess challenges the opposition of "black" and "white" that he finds at the core of the English language.
Tracy = 74. Would you say Apess' position is closer to that of cultural separationists like Pontiac, Red Jacket, Tecumseh, and Black Hawk, or that of cultural assimilationists like Occam and Boudinot? Give evidence for both views of him.
Zoe = 75. Give evidence to support Schmitz's claim (quoted on 571) that Black Hawk's autobiography is "a Sauk history advocating a Sauk politics."
Ken = 76. Why is the Cherokee Phoenix published in two languages? What does Boudinot mean when he says it is a "national newspaper"? And what is the meaning of the title?
Meg = 77. Why do you think Emerson considers the letter to Van Buren a "scream" or "shriek" (586) that "oversteps the bounds of decorum" (587) with a "burlesque character" (588), instead of a "thesis" (586)? Give evidence from the letter.
Natalie = 78. Why do you suppose that the literary style of Indian writers like Occam, Apess, and Boudinot stay more closely to the precise or "neoclassical" style of writers like Hamilton, Jefferson, and Franklin, rather than reflecting the more imaginative or "romantic" style of writers like Emerson, Thoreau, and Hawthorne?


  1. This is Ken, and I am assigned to answer Q76.

    I will answer the question backwardly based on the concreteness of the evidence. Phoenix is the well-known myth creature that can resurrect from the ashes. Boudinot apply this title to hope that “all the Indian tribes of America shall arise, Phoenix like, from their ashes.” (580)
    Secondly, I think the “national newspaper” does not apply the same meaning of the modern term “national newspaper.” Boudinot uses this term “national” in a sense of group justification. By doing so, the word “national“does not mean the America as a whole or any state but the “Cherokee nation” as he states frankly in the essay that the design of this paper, which is, the benefit of the Cherokees. (578)
    Finally, because of Boudinot’s family background and education makes him capable of understanding the information from white people clearly, they can bridge both Cherokee people and whites together. Other than mutual communication purpose, I think bilingual publication can also be regarded as a mean of educational apparatus for Cherokee Indians to become “progressive” by reading the newspaper which their own Indian language and English are presented simultaneously. Additionally, in my opinion, the bilingual publication of Cherokee Phoenix represents a hybrid identity of The Fourth Estate in both Cherokee and white society.

  2. Modern Cherokee Phoenix online version

  3. This is Tracy who is in charge of the Question 74.

    I think Apess’ position is somewhere between the separationists and the cultural assimilationists. From the perspective of religion, Apess, as well as Boudinot and Occam, all converted to Christianity; also, as pious believers, they all refer to the Christian God as their final judgment rather than the traditional God in American aboriginal religion. However, I think Apess still has some differences between Boudinot and Occam. He is not totally like Boudinot, a benevolent peace-lover who says that“we sincerely hope, this public disclosure [Cherokee Phoenix] will save us from the severe criticisms.”(578).

    On the contrary, he took advantage of the doctrines of God(the Bible) and the sayings of the Christian Saints ironically accusing the white men. The rhetorical questions which Apess constantly used in his article represents the extremely sharp and ironical controversy between the deeds of the white and their religion’s teaching, and the position contrast between aboriginals and the white men.

    Nevertheless, Apess is still a little different from the separationists like Pontiac, Red Jacket, Tecumseh, and Black Hawk. These four writers all refer to their traditional God(The Great Spirit) as their judgment. And by the separation of religion, they also separate themselves from the white and appeal to other aboriginal people to unite together to defense or protect themselves.

  4. This is Meg, I am goign to answer question 77.

    I think why Emerson considers his letter as a scream instead of a thesis is because he writes his statement out of “sentiment of his neighbor and his own.” He does not cite any theory or argument about what should be done and what should not be done; instead, he just reflects as what the general public thinks about and the will from people. He does not try to persuade Van Buren by providing any reasoning arguments, but what people consider as humane and the apprehension from people. He also asks the government to listen to and consider about the thought and situation of the people; he also indicates that by not doing so, the government is betraying the principle once it claimed to be (587).
    He also inquires some severe but exaggerated questions towards the government, such as “does this Government think that the people of the United States are become savage and mad? From their mind are the sentiments of love and of a good nature wiped clean out? (587)” and also, “will the American Government steal? Will it lie? Will it kill? (588)” Such questions are those the government cannot say “yes,” and by asking so, it directly reflects all the qualms from the people without any modification.
    This is why I think Emerson considers the letter a “scream” instead of a “thesis.”

  5. This is Ting Ju. I'm curious about "Great Spirit" in this week's reading. Is it just a general idea of Indian Americans' (sorry if I don't address them correctly) religions since each tribe has their own belief? Or their religions are actually very similar to each other? I guess in these cases it is somewhat like in Franklin's case, the speakers mention it mainly because they want to persuade their audience?

  6. This is Natalie, and I am going to answer question78.

    The literary style of writers such as Occam(1723-1792), Apess(1798-1839), Boudinot(1804-1839), Hamilton, Jefferson(1743-1826), and Franklin(1706-1790) is influenced by the Enlightment(from the beginning of 18th century to about 1789 "the French Revolution"). The Enlightment proclaims that by means of using experience and rational thinking pattern, the system of knowledge can be independent and kept away from the influence of religious. Therefore, the literary style of writers at that time tended to be more precise, or "neoclassical".

    On the other hands, the literary style of writers like Emerson(1803-1882), Thoreau(1817-1862), Hawthorne(1804-1864) are influenced by the French Revolution as well as 'Transcendontalism' which is delivered by Emerson. The production of the French Revolution is that it advocates individual freedom and independency, which is also the core idea of Romantism(bebinning from the end of 18th century to the mid of 19th century). Moreover, during the 1850s,due to the rapid development of American Capitalism, nation ideology and patrioticism were highly encouraged. Therefore, the Americans wanted to get away from the restriction of the British Literature, and the American tended to value individual creativity and the rights to persue freedom. Nevertheless, Emerson presented the idea called "Transcendontalism", which emphasizes humans' mental function and the meaning of intuition. Transcendoltalists think that the natural is full of spirituality, and therefor humans should back to the natural. Nevertheless, the literary style at that time tended to be more imaginative and romantic, when compares to the "neoclassical" writers.

  7. This is Sharon for Q.71 =)

    In Speech to the U.S. Senate, I think Red Jacket basically uses three techniques to gain control of the "means of representation" in English:

    The first one is the religious power, “the Great Spirit.” As a Native American Seneca orator, I think Red Jacket often uses “the Great Spirit” throughout the whole speech in order to gain people’s concern especially in terms of spiritual belief. (But I still don’t quite understand what “the Great Spirit” actually means within this context.)

    The second one is a great deal of descriptions of the traditional life of Indian people. However, Red Jacket not only depicts the traditional lives of them, but also contrasts Indian people’s life and their social circumstances with those of the time the Indians living under white people’s occupation.

    The third one is the clear separation between the white people and Indians. I think Red Jacket uses grammatical person like “You, We He, Them” to strongly differentiate white people and Indians.

    However, not until I am asked to answer question 71 do I realize how little we have about Taiwanese aboriginal writers. Here are the websites I found relating to Taiwanese aboriginal writers and their works:


    瓦歷斯‧諾幹 (泰雅族)


    夏曼‧藍波安 (達悟族)



    The last author I mention above, 夏曼‧藍波安, seems to be “the only” Taiwanese aboriginal writer we (of my generation) have read throughout our compulsory education years from elementary school to senior high school. It appears to be a great shock to me personally. I think it is strange for we Taiwanese people have nearly never read some aboriginal writings; even the work of 夏曼‧藍波安, we have only read “one”—which is called《冷海情深》:







    Take夏曼‧藍波安 for example, compared with Red Jacket in general, I think 夏曼‧藍波安’s writing style tends to be less aggressive. Unlike Red Jacket apparently points out how white people took advantages from them and even criticize the white people, 夏曼‧藍波安’s 《冷海情深》 merely describes the beautiful island they live, their abundant culture, and a little bit sign of their gradually losing people and culture at the end of the work.

  8. This is Sydney, and here’s my answer to question 73:
    In “An Indian’s Looking-Glass for the White Man”, the frequent use of punctuation “:” and “-“ perhaps indicates the pause which emphasizes what he is going to talk and makes the essay more like an oration.
    The repetition of similar opening sentence, such as “Now I ask” , “now I will ask”, “Let me ask”, “Now let me ask you” and the following questions he brings up make it seems to talk to his audience face to face.

    I think there is also some distinction of the logical order or the grammar. It is not s regular sentence in an essay:“And it is a fact that I have seen them as much so -……-rum.” Rum is actually the answer of the description in “that burning, fiery curse, that has wept millions, both of red and white man, into the grave with sorrow and disgrace.”
    It seems that he strays a little from his original way and starts to talk about rum. This usually happens when people talk.

    Apess challenges the opposition of “Black” and “White” by making some extracts from the Scripture to demonstrate that Chirst never teaches people to despise one because his skin is different from others. He even says that Jesus Christ is himself a Jew, a colored people, to attack those with race prejudice.

  9. This is Sherry answering question 72.

    In Tecumseh’s speech, I observed that he has used the techniques like calling the audiences “brother” before starting every new paragraph, using first person plural when referring to the red people (which means “we”), listing some general experience of Indians (slaking thirst at spring and smoking pipe), mentioning shared religion, The Great Spirit, and common threat that they are facing. All these methods help to include all Indians and make them feel like a united group.

    According to my memory, the history textbook that we read in junior high school mentioned some conflicts between immigrants from China and Taiwanese tribes. Immigrants cheated the aboriginals, occupied their lands, viewed them as barbarians, and sometimes fight with them. That echoes with some oppression and unfairness Tecumseh talked about. Yet the situation seemed to be a little less serious in Taiwan since the aboriginals in mountains “hunt human heads,” and that efficiently prevent immigrants from at least going into mountains in large numbers or trying to occupy the lands there. There were also intermarriages between aboriginals and immigrants, though I am not sure whether all intermarriages were voluntary. For short, as far as my memory about the history textbook is concerned, there are resemblance between Tecumseh’s speech and the experience of Taiwanese tribes, but the two are not all together similar.

  10. Hey, this is Winnie.

    This week’s reading is mainly about people’s (red and white) reaction to the removal of the Indians. After reading, I began to wonder how this “removal” began. We can see from the texts (Red Jacket’s Speech to the U.S. Senate and Tocumsch’s Speech to the Osages) that the white Americans and the Indians were once friends. And of course it is not difficult to understand that over time it was almost impossible to avoid conflicts as different peoples met and were trying to make space for living. Yet conflicts do not necessarily lead to a removal so huge like this, and also, in Emerson’s letter, we can see that there were still people who were opposed to it. Therefore, my question is:

    Did the government make the policy (removing the Indians) because there were already “wars” between white Americans and Indians and that the policy was simply an official confirmation of their action? Or is it because the government first made the policy, the Indians then had to move?

  11. This is Vincent. When I read the speeches of Red Jacket and Tecumseh, I wonder the images of the Great Spirit the two try to shape and present. In Red Jacket's modest negotiation, he seems to present the Great Spirit as a holy symbol, worshiping him with capitalized pronoun, "HE", through the essay. It seems that the humans are far from his existence and power. But in Tecumseh's violent and emotional spurt, the image of God becomes secularized. He shows great emotion and partnership with human beings. I consider he even becomes objectified, representing as symbol of weapon and power. People can equip with his spirit and strength. Why do these differences exist? What are the authors' motives?

  12. This is Ted, and I have a couple questions I'd like to ask.

    1. In "Iroqouois Creation Story" on p.20, Cusick narrated that the good mind gave life to the dust-made male and female image by breathing souls into their nostrils. This is too familiar with the Christian creation story of how God created Adam. Was this really the original occurence in the Iroquois Creation Story? Or was this because that Cusick, raised up as a Christian, had read the Bible before and fitted this Christian nostril-breathing creation into his version of creation? In both ways, I think this part of the text would leave readers questioning the truthfulness of the story.

    2. Both Red Jacket and Tecumseh uses "Brother" to address his audience. While Tecumseh refers only to his native people, Red Jacket refers both to his people and the white people. It appears that "Brother" is the word for "friends" in their language. Is this how Indians use "Brother" in that North-eastern region, or was it because how the word was translated by the text-writer like Parrish or Hunter?

    3. The Norton Anthology's introduction for Tecumseh describes him as "the Greatest Indian" but without any explainations. Are there any specific reasons for that?

    4. So far in the writings we've read, the "white" people have been oppressing the Indians further and further away from their territories. Except for some well-known writers such as Emerson who voiced for the Indians, it seems that most common people tend to rid Indian people of their lands and rights. Are there any exceptions where a "white" community agreed to live in harmony with the local Indians??

  13. This is Viola.

    I woner why Henry Trumbull and Alvin Josephy describe Tecumseh the great,extraordinary Indian in history rather than Red Jacket. Comparing with Red Jacket's more reasonable tone and logic in speech, shouldn't the historians give him a higher value while Tecumseh spoke inward with a wild tone and did not actually have successed on keeping Tippecanoe?

    And my another question is about signing the treaties. On page 571, Black Hauk insists that they had no clear idea of what was involved in the treaties, this is hard to believe because it's stupid to sign any treaties before understanding their contents. I'm only convinced that they were cheated into signing them. But if so, how did Americans actually cheat? Was there only a American translator or also a native American translator during the occasion?

  14. This is Tady. My question is about the composition of the first two texts. Red Jacket’s and Tecumseh’s texts are very different in their attitudes toward white Americans. However, there are many same usages of phrases or words in the two texts, especially “The Great Spirit” and “Brother”. I wonder why the Norton editors try to make the two texts share so many same words.

  15. This is Emma. I got a question to the reading of last week.
    According to Philip Freneau's description of nature in the poem "On th Religion of Nature", the poet worships nature in many ways. He thinks that nature is generous and is inseparable from religion. "The power of nature, ever blessed,/ Bestowed religion with the rest." "Religion, such as nature taught,/ With all devine perfection suits." I'd like to as does the poet imply nature is an extention of Gad? Also, can we regard his idea as anti-puritan for his highly approves of the value of nature?

  16. This is Zoe. And I am to answer question 75, finally!!!

    The autobiography of Black Hawk’s reveals the points of view from the Sauk, instead of the Americans, in which the whole incident of American’s invasion took place. The part of Black Hawk's autobiography selected in the Norton anthology is actually recording more of Sauk’s historical actions than Black Hawk’s personal life.

    The first part in p. 572, in the view of Black Hawk’s, talks about the contract they had signed with the Americans and ends up to be fooled by. Black Hawk then speaks of his concepts about “land cannot be sold” (572). In this part, we can see a story going on about how the Sauk’s have been treated by the “cruel” (573) American’s. He describes how American got along with them, with his tone and opinion, from the beginning of living together, made drunk, being harmed but remained polite, to where they were force out of their own land and even became invaders when they tried to go back to their homeland.

    These stories Black Hawk not only represent the history of Sauk but also had his own voice. Black Hawk was not doubt a politician. He was the chief of their people; he spoke for his people, made decisions for his people, and also took action in taking back their land. Black Hawk’s autobiography also recorded how the policy of different “great chief” (574) made an impact on their situation. The strongest part of Black Hawk’s autobiography is that he gave voice standing on the side of the Sauk whenever he describes the situation they had confronted. The target of presenting Black Hawk’s autobiography is to explain “the true situation of Sauk people” (573).

    I think Black Hawk not only wanted the two “great chief” (573) to notice their true circumstances but also make his people a position and to let the public hear Sauk's true voice.

  17. This is Joy, and I will give a brief history of government policy toward Taiwanese aboriginals.

    In order to eliminate the Japanese influence and to stablize the newly-come authorities, the government’s policy(aproxiamately from 1940s to 1980s) was to “educate” the aboringines with Madarin, Chinese history and customs. Through these measures, the government imposed the ideology of KMT and the identity to be Chinese( to be Han specifically) upon the aboriginal people.

    In the present era, urged by several movements for the rights of the aborigines, the government changed its policy into (1) restoring the aborigines’ rights such as the rights to vote, and to have names in the language of the aborigines, (2) eliminating official and social discrimination, (3) taking measures to the problems the aboriginal communities face, like subordinate economic condition, (4) preseving the aboriginal culture( a “museum gesture”?)

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