English III, Period 3
October 22, 2012
Alvar Nunez Cabeza de Vaca was one of four men who survived out of a union of 600 men. The expedition of 600 men, including Cabeza de Vaca, went through a devastating hunt for New Spain. Cabeza de Vaca was slowly losing his men as they sailed towards northern Mexico. Cabeza de Vaca survived as he and three men adapted to their new surroundings. It is this that shifts Cabeza de Vaca's tone, hopeless to acceptance, influences the theme by making the message of the pieces about the humane nature of the Karankawas rather than about the devastation of the expedition.
Cabeza de Vaca was appointed by the king of Spain to colonize the territory north and east of the Gulf of Mexico. No doubt, this expedition became a hopeless situation for Cabeza de Vaca. He and his men struggled deeply while sailing. The text explains "It was winter and bitterly cold, and we had suffered hunger and the heavy beating of the waves for many days"(ll. 4-5). This shows how conditions were getting worse for Cabeza de Vaca and his men. Cabeza de Vaca became hopeless and didn't see a destination for his journey. Just as Cabeza de Vaca and some of the members in his union survived, they came upon land. They were greeted by a group of Indians who brought them hospitality. Moreover, Cabeza de Vaca shifts his tone from hopeless to confident. As shown in the text " As the sun rose next morning, the Indians appeared as they promised, bringing an abundance of fish and of certain roots which taste like nuts, some bigger than walnuts, some smaller, mostly grubbed from the water with great labor"(ll.48-50). feeling as if they wouldn't ever receive help, they were welcomed by the Indians. Cabeza de Vaca's shift in tone goes from hopeless to confident and finally acceptance. Cabeza de Vaca feels acceptance as shown in the text "They deprived themselves of food to give us, and presented us skins and other tokens of...