French and Indian War and Indians

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Nathalia Sosa
3961518 Sept. 20/2012
In the 1991 film Black robe, Jesuit missionaries are sent to the city of Quebec in hopes of changing the native Indians from savages to Christians. Both the French and the Natives have formed strong perceptions of each other characterized by unusual similarities, undeniable differences, and evident physical traits. The mission the Jesuits have embarked on introduces both societies to experience a never before seen culture, serves to transform an internally confused Frenchman, and lastly provides religious understanding and tolerance. Initially, we are introduced to each group as we see a dominant male prepare for a typical night. In the case of the French heavy armour and shields are a staple, whereas the Indians choose less clothing and elaborate face paint. Not only do these physical characteristics mold perceptions but they serve as supporting evidence to justify each other’s attitude. The French see the Algonquin’s as barbaric claiming often that they are “savages” consequently; the strange behavior and rituals of the French lead the Indians to believe that perhaps they are in fact “demons” – possessed by some ungodly power. Even more interesting, is the way social customs are perceived. While the Indians dance, smoke, and show no shame in their public display of affection the French identify themselves as superior to the Indians because they do not participate in the same activities. The boundaries between the groups are ever more growing and seem to gap as each group maintains a closed mind of the other. When Father Laforgue, arrives at the Algonquin village where he is viewed as an outsider his physical features become intimidating- hairy face, light skin, and dramatic black attire- the hesitation displayed by the Indians gives insight into their secluded world and illustrates their prejudice towards the unknown. Father Laforgue and Daniel’s reserved ways make it difficult for the Algonquin’s to trust them, because...
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