Chief Seattle Essay

Topics: God, Chief Seattle, Washington Pages: 3 (1179 words) Published: November 4, 2012
Chief Seattle, in his masterfully worded speech to Governor Isaac I. Stevens, attempts to convince Stevens’s people to treat his people kindly and fairly. At the same time, Seattle warns Stevens about the many negative aspects of his tribe. Through the use of juxtaposition, an uncompromising tone towards his surrounding world, and personification of specific objects, Seattle clearly conveys his point to the Governor. Juxtaposition is used to point out many differences between Seattle’s tribe and the Americans. Take, for instance, Chief Seattle stating that the American’s “people are many” and that “They are like the grass that covers vast prairies”. In contrast, he also describes his tribe as “few” and like the “scattering trees of a storm-swept plain”. The Chief’s intended purpose here is to humble himself in front of Governor Stevens, who was obviously looking for a suitable chief to converse with about buying the land and peopling it. Thus, Seattle presents himself as a very modest, approachable chief. Stevens, spurred on by the Chief’s attitude, would then be kind towards Seattle’s tribe . Seattle also very harshly compares his God and the American God. In his bold statement to the Governor, Seattle proclaims that the American God “loves your people and hates us”, while his own God “seems…to have forsaken” Seattle’s people. Seattle then sums up this comparison between their two different Gods by asserting that his people and the Americans are “two distinct races with separate origins and separate destinies”. Seattle uses this simple, yet brash, comparison to suddenly discourage the Americans from touching his land. At the same time though, Seattle is not pushing away the Americans because they’re a “lesser” people than his tribe – he is pushing them away because his tribe is inadequate or unworthy of the Americans. Taking into consideration the love that Seattle supposedly says the two Gods of his tribe and America show their respective people, Seattle is...
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