Remarks Concerning the Savages of North America
Benjamin Franklin describes the cultural difference between the savages and English in North America. “Perhaps, if we could examine the manners of different nations with impartiality, we should find no people so rude, as to be without as to be without any rules of politeness; nor any so polite as not to have some remains of rudeness” (Franklin 219). Franklin is saying that nations who are polite usually don’t have rules to have a polite society and societies that are expected to be polite are usually not. This is ironic because the English who believed that they are perceived as a polite people are describing the Indians as “savages”. The Indians understood and politely declined. The English Colonists proposal but when the English and Colonist decided to come to an agreement, Franklin realized that the English were cheating them. “This made it clear to me, that my suspicion was right; and, that whatever they pretended to meeting to learn about the good things, the real purpose was to consult how to cheat Indians in price of beaver” (Franklin 222). This shows that the English people are cheating out on people who are willing to help them out. “The politeness of these savages in conversation in indeed carried to excess since it does not permit them to contradict or deny the truth of what is asserted in their presence” (Franklin 220). The English and Indians avoided disagreements and much as they could because it was difficult to understand each other. The Indians did not doubt the English as for the English doubted the Indians. At the end the English who were doubting the Indians, calling them “savages” were the savages themselves for cheating the Indians.
Franklin, Benjamin. “Remarks Concerning the Savages of North America.” The Norton Anothology of American Literature. Ed. Nina Bayum. New York City, 1999. 219-223. Print.
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