1st Essay Sample on BLack Robe
After reading the assigned biographies and viewing the movie “Black Robe”, I think the “Black Legend” fails to accurately define Indian/European relationships. Bartolome de Las Casas initially makes the Spanish conquistadors look like very abusive and uncaring men.He writes, “The Christians, with their horses and swords and lances, began to slaughter and practise strange cruelties among them.”The Indians, on the other hand, are described as a kind and delicate people, like lambs or gentle sheep; but still considered inferior to the Europeans. Alvar Nunez Cabeza de Vaca, a Spanish nobleman, initially viewed the Indians as a people to be conquered and enslaved.He came to America in hopes of finding treasures of gold but, instead, I think he found himself. Cabeza de Vaca was born into a family of adventurers so it is not surprising that he joined Panfilo de Narvaez’s expedition to the “West Indies” to conquer the land we know as present-day Florida.Upon reaching Florida after months at sea and a winter in Cuba, the Indians of the land were not overjoyed to see this new batch of Spaniards.In fact, after meeting Narvaez’s emissary, “the entire village fled into the forest.”When Narvaez came ashore, he read the requerimiento which simply stated the Indians were now subjects of the King of Spain and were required to obey all Spanish law and become Christians.Should they refuse to obey, they would become enslaved and sold.It mattered not to Narvaez that the Indians were not present when he read this. An expedition set out to find what ikons as present-day Mexico.Cabeza de Vaca was part of this expedition which lasted several years and took him through present-day Texas, New Mexico, and Mexico.As Cabeza de Vaca searched for Mexico, he came to realize that this race of people known as Indians were not so heathen as he once thought.
2nd Essay Sample on Black Robe
To write a novel with good historical values, it is essential for an author to do the necessary research on the topic. Before writing Black Robe it is obvious that Brian Moore’s readings of the “Jesuit Relations”, letters sent by the Jesuits back to their superiors in France, gave him the required knowledge to write an insightful novel pertaining to the beliefs of the French Jesuits and the Amerindians. Moore illustrates the effects of the Jesuit influence on the Amerindians and also the effects that the Amerindians had on some of the Jesuits. He attempts to portray the Amerindians, not as the “red Indians” of folklore but rather as an individual race of bravery, beauty and cruelness with their own unique beliefs and customs. The novel explores the idea of “the voice of conscience” and morality in a way that Moore feels is lost from today’s societies.
One of the central themes in Black Robe is the difference between the Algonkian’s belief in the afterworld in comparison to that of the Jesuits and the Catholic Church. The Algonkian believe that the spirit of the dead live within the woods during the night. Their spirits are taken away by the She Manitou and taken to the woods were they will live amongst the other dead Amerindians, dead animals, and dead trees. To the Algonkian, the day is the light in which the living is allowed to bask in. This is evident in their lifestyle.
As Father Paul Laforgue states early on in the novel, “Gluttony is their highest form of happiness”. They work hard for survival but enjoy all that they have. Food is not saved for a time when there is none and children are never punished, instead they are allowed to run around freely. In comparison, the Jesuits and the Catholic Church believe in an afterworld that if accepted into by god, is a paradise. Once again this has a large influence on their lifestyle.