Pocahontas and the Powhatan Dilemma”

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Throughout the entire book of “Pocahontas and the Powhatan dilemma” the reader will be left shocked from discovering the real essence of the Native American culture. By unfolding many mysteries related to the English men-Powhatan relationship, Camilla Townsend intends to give the readers an awareness of the great plethora of lies written by the English people about the Native Americans that has been instilled in popular culture. The problem with all of this is that the author herself has failed to give an accurate account of history due to three main reasons.

First, it is clearly obvious that the author is strongly biased towards the Powhatan people. The way Camille Townsend describes the Indians as far more intelligent, sophisticated and remarkably superior than the colonists is extremely evident. “Without question, the Algonkians knew about and actively discussed the Europeans’ advantages. At present the strangers were few in number, unable to feed themselves. What the Indians needed to know was exactly how great the technological advantages ultimately were. In all their interactions with the newcomers, the Indians sought information; Powhatan and his advisers spoke in council. The women working in the fields and in the village and at the riverside talked as they labored.” (Townsend 65)

Her unreliable sources are another reason of why I can’t seem to believe in Camilla Townsend’s interpretation of the Powhatan people. Even though she does state her extensive research in her bibliographical essay on the back of the book, many of her assertions are still unsupported. “The number of documents giving us direct, reliable information about Pocahontas and her father is extremely small. The woman herself left us nothing. We must therefore make judicious use of what we have.” (Townsend 210) Without evidence, she clearly can’t describe both the English and the Powhatan people with an objective perspective. Judging by every chapter in the book it’s clearly obvious...
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