Examine the representation of the encounter between white settler...

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Examine the representation of the encounter between white settler-invaders and indigenous peoples in jeannette amstrong’s “history lesson” and roughing it in the bush

By | Feb. 2013
Page 1 of 8
Examine the representation of the encounter between white settler-invaders and Indigenous peoples in Jeannette Amstrong’s “History Lesson” and Roughing It in the Bush.

The Representation of the encounter between white settlers-invaders and indigenous peoples in Jeannette Armstrong’s “History Lesson” and Susanna Moodie’s Roughing it in the Bush differ greatly in a number of ways. Writing at different times, for conflicting purposes, from opposing points of view as well as utilizing different literary mediums- the resulting representation of the encounter between the white and indigenous groups are inherently contrasting. Depicted as a lesser, more savage race in Roughing it in the Bush as well as the victims of savagery and ‘civilisation’ in “History Lesson”, Native representation in the two works are particularly unalike, however settler attitudes in both are based upon discriminatory and racist ideals of the time, and this can be seen in their encounter. The role of religion also helped shape the natives’ encounter with the settlers, it is presented in a farcical way in “History Lesson” as well as in a somewhat ignorant fashion in Roughing it in the bush. Despite her at times belittling language, Moodie does express some respect and appreciation of the Natives’ characteristics, an interest that is non-existent in “History Lesson”, however despite her fair mindedness, her opinions are still tinged with racism and an overbearing white –supremacist sentiment.

Writing about her experiences in the 1830’s in Canada, Susanna Moodie’s Roughing it in the Bush is an account of life as a female settler at the time. Published as a guide to Britons considering emigrating, her writing is ethnographic, analysing various groups such as those immigrating to Canada, the settlers in Canada as well as the indigenous Natives. In the Chapter “The Wilderness & our Indian Friends”, Moodie is confronted for the first time with Native Americans, whom she describes as “a people...