The Comparison of the Representations of the Native Americans.

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The initial interactions between the Native Americans and the British is one of the most romanticized topics in literature and cinema. Many descriptions done by early authors like Christopher Columbus, John Smith and William Bradford, who experienced the encounters with the native people of America first hand, are now finding a new life in the modern films and animated cartoons. All these works of art create various representations of the Native Americans. Judging from my previous experience with the standard portrayal of America’s native people in the movies, which is showing them as rather primitive barbarians, the film The New World (2005) presents one of the most realistic and unbiased descriptions skillfully done by director Terence Malick. The film is based on historical events happening in Jamestown, VA, in 1607, when a group of exhausted full-armored white settlers led by Captain Newport set feet on virgin lands of the new world, violating the harmonious existence of the Indians. John Smith was among the first settlers and played an important role in establishing the new colony at Jamestown. He left numerous publications that provide us with his visions of the early life in the first colonies, for example, “The General History of Virginia, New England, and the Summer Isles” (1624), “A description of New England” (1616) and “New England’s Trials” (1620, 1622) [1]. Another author who shares her view of the Indians and the account of their way of life and manners is Mary Rowlandson. She was a Lancaster settler, born in England, known for the record of her life among the Indians in the captivity published in 1628 under the title “A Narrative of the Captivity and Restoration of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson”. While the John Smith’s and Mary Rowlandson’s descriptions of their interactions with the Native Americans are greatly influenced by the authors’ personal experiences and intentions, Terence Malick in his film “The New World” makes an attempt to tell the candid...
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