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English 4 “American Literature”: Which book was more memorable, Cabeza de Vaca’s or Las Casas’s? Why?

Before I get to my today’s essay topic as always, I’ll first explain the 2 books that we have been assigned to read, before I explain which one is more memorable for me.

In my previous essay I have summarized the story about Cabeza de Vaca, but for those that haven’t read it yet, I’ll explain briefly once more. Cabeza de Vaca was a spanish explorer of the New World and one of four survivors of the 1527 Narváez expedition. He has been considered notable as a proto-anthropologist for his detailed accounts of the many tribes of American Indians that he encountered. During eight years of traveling across the US Southwest, he became a trader and faith healer to various Native American tribes before reconnecting with Spanish colonial forces in Mexico in 1536. Cabeza de Vaca had good intentions when coming across Indians and was nothing but kind and respectful, unlike the other spaniards that happen to come to the island as well and forced the Indians to be converted to Christianity. But Cabeza de Vaca was able to show them the real love and essentially won over the Indians and they were on his side. He also won them over by healing them with the power of the Lord and that genuine Godly love is what the Indians wanted to believe in.

Las Casas story was written to convince the spanish ruler to punish those that went against and killed the friars. The author (who was the friar himself) uses rhetorical language to express his emotions and feelings about this matter. *Spoiler Alert* as much as this story is quite captivating and the plot isn’t so bad (in my opinion), however, the author eventually loses his audience, some parts aren’t real, and doesn’t mention names for the king to understand who to punish. This story is basically saying how the spanish are these cruel people that went out of their way to treat the Indians as horribly as possible. They would turn Indians into slaves, beat them, and torture them. In the story God punishes the spanish for their lust for wealth and money was overpowering in the wrong way. In the end these spaniards were making Christianity seem tyrannical and worse than Jeroboam from the bible, seeming as the devil.

Onto today’s essay topic of ‘Which book was more memorable, Cabeza de Vaca’s or Las Casas’s and Why’. First of all, I’d like to mention that both books were pretty similar in terms of the relationships between spanish and the Indians and both were very interesting. Both accounts had very similar meanings and morals. For example, in Cabeza de Vaca’s story, the spaniards acted towards the Indians in such a way that undermined the gospel of Jesus. As for the Las Casas story, the spaniards were straight up tyrannical and acted as beasts towards the Indians. The Indians were so fed up with hoe they were being treated that they put to death 2 dominican friars and it was their life’s mission to put to death all of the friars. Why the friars, you may ask, and not the spaniards?

Well, the reason for this is because the Indians refused to be converted and therefore the spaniards had to force them with torture. The Indians figured to remove the source of this religion that was causing them pain which were the friars that taught about Christianity. The author was trying to tell the king of Spain of how they (friars) were being treated just like the Indians in real life. As I’ve mentioned before, the author ends up losing the audience, doesn’t mention the names of the spanish soldier who in this story (the spaniards) were so that the king has an idea of who the author is talking about.

Thanks for reading this essay! I hope you learned something new or simply enjoyed reading through! Just as I’ve mentioned in my previous recent post, I have some very exciting news to share with all of you and I’ll post about it as soon as I can! As always have a blessed rest of your day! 🙂


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