Fort William Henry The Savages Explored Essay

7 July 2017

Fort William Henry: The Savages Explored Essay, Research Paper

Fort William Henry: The Savages Explored

The slaughter of Fort William Henry occurred in the twelvemonth 1757, when France? s Native American Alliess captured, tortured, or killed 308 surrendered English. The incident was barbarous, it has been told and retold throughout history by an array of writers, historiographers, and media bureaus. Although every re-telling of the slaughter has inevitable fluctuations, the Hagiographas of James Fenimore Cooper and Francis Parkman, and the Hollywood movie? The Last of the Mohicans? with the portraiture of Native Americans as inferior, vindictive barbarians in an effort to explicate the calamity of the historical event.

James Fenimore Cooper used negative descriptions of Native Americans in his novel The Last of the Mohicans to dramatise the slaughter at Fort William Henry. This helps the reader make sense of the calamity. Cooper depicted the Huron Indians as? raving barbarians? that were both? natural state and unschooled? in their nature ( Cooper 207 ) .

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It is easier to understand the slaughter when Cooper blatantly indicates to the reader that? retaliation is an Indian feeling? ( 217 ) . The assuming manner that Cooper characterizes Native Americans as animalistic and stupid unwittingly dehumanizes the Indians, and creates a plausible ground for the slaughtering. By saying that the Indians became? heated and maddened by the sight? of blood, and even? drank freely? of the ruby tide? that covered the land, the motivation for the slaughter becomes obvious: crude retribution ( 208 ) . A transition which clearly evokes the strongest apprehension of Indian savageness is stated below:

? [ the Indian? s ] bantering but dark smiling altering to a glow of fierceness, he dashed the caput of the baby against a stone, and cast its shaking remains to [ its female parent? s ] really pess ( 207 ) .

Cooper doubtless used the worst possible trait of a barbarian: the ability to slay babies unashamedly to stress his sentiment of the Indians. Furthermore, the lower status of the Indians is reinforced by their broken idiom. Magua, the Huron head speaks in uncomplete sentences and uses improper grammar: ? Magua is a great head? which demonstrates his deficiency of intelligence ( 208 ) . James Fenimore Cooper was a really effectual novelist, and it is evident that his intervention of the Indians in The Last of the Mohicans was an effort to explicate the tragic deceases of so many.

Like Cooper, Francis Parkman? s book Montcalm and Wolfe has a crude and barbarian word picture of Native Americans. This is an indirect account of the calamity at Fort William Henry. Parkman blatantly displayed the Indian ally? s lower status by saying that? their faith is beastly pagan religion? and that? their Eden is

to be drunk? ( Parkman 493 ) . An animalistic image emerged with the description that? [ the Indians ] grappled and tore each other with their dentitions like wolves? , which reinforced the created image of the barbarian ( 493 ) . Similar to Cooper, Parkman uses Indian idiom to dehumanise and put Native Americans apart from the? civilized? behavior of England and France. Parkman characterized the disorderly? whoops and screams? of the Indians as a? signal of abattoir? , which persuades the reader to presume that the Native Americans were crude in every possible regard ( 524 ) . It can be assumed that force is necessarily linked to simple signifiers of communicating and demeanour. It is interesting that both Parkman and Cooper topographic point a great accent upon the nature of Indians before they describe the existent historical event. Once a clear image of the? barbarous barbarian? is steadfastly established, they both describe the slaughter with dismaying inside informations that are best explained by old cognition that they have provided. In kernel, Cooper and Parkman set the scene for the narrative by supplying the reader with utile information about the nature of the narrative? s characters. It is easy to explicate the unfairness of the slaughter at Fort William Henry? the Indians were barbarian and barbarous, and the act was one of crude retribution from a lesser people.

Finally, in the Hollywood image? The Last of the Mohicans? , the slaughter scene shows the spectator a manifestation of the unprecedented retaliation of French allied Indians. While Hollywood did a nice occupation of making a historically true scenario, certain stereotypically? Indian? traits emerged throughout the movie. Broken idiom is one time once more ascertained, in conversations like the one in which the Indian warrior provinces? I will kill the white hair? s seed? ( LOM, 1992 ) . Although the Indian warriors are shown to hold a direct motivation for killing British military personnels and Alliess: the avengement of a warrior? s household, they are still characterized as unidimensional bloody-minded warriors.

Overall, it becomes easier to understand the calamity of mass slaying and besieging when one takes into consideration the mentality of the felons. James Fenimore Cooper, Francis Parkman, and Hollywood were baronial in their efforts to perchance explicate the slaughter of Fort William Henry by showing the lower status and savageness of the Indians. However, aristocracy and truth are non ever synonymous, and as Professor Vickers states often? we can merely construe the yesteryear, because none of us were at that place to see it? .

The last of the Mohicans, or A narrative of 1757 ; by James Fenimore Cooper ; GP Putnam and boies, New York: 1960

Montcalme and Wolfe, France and England in north United States. By Francis Parkman Little Brown and company Boston:1902

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