Exploration: How America Was Discovered (Essay Sample)
Your initial post needs to respond to ALL of the questions. Subsequent posts can concentrate on one question, respond to a classmate, introduce a new line of inquiry, etc. But your first post MUST be comprehensive, and that counts as one post only.
1. Handsome Lake's narrative "How America Was Discovered" originated as a dream vision, which was a type of religious experience. It was shared as an oral teaching tale for his people. When we read this text removed from its original oral, communal context, what do we lose? If you are stumped by this question, think about the differences between the experience of reading a play and seeing one in performance, or hearing music on the radio versus in a concert.
2. What are the "gifts" that the minister gives to Columbus, and why are they important?
3. Christopher Columbus was in a difficult rhetorical position after his first voyage. He did not locate the trading empire that he thought he would find, and so he had to justify to the Spanish crown the expense of his first voyage and persuade the king and queen to support subsequent exploration voyages. How does he do so? What kind of persuasive strategies do you see him using?
4. How does Columbus regard the native peoples that he encounters, and how does he treat them?
1 Handsome Lake's narrative "How America Was Discovered" originated as a dream vision, which was a type of religious experience. It was shared as an oral teaching tale for his people. When we read this text removed from its original oral, communal context, what do we lose?
The story of How America Was Discovered opens with a queen who has a young and talented minister as one of her servants. The queen orders her minister to dust a couple of books that she had once hidden in an old chest. While doing so, he finds Bible and starts reading the book. He reads that a white man murdered the son of the Creator, which directly reminds us of Christ. It's safe to say that Handsome Lake's narrative has originated as a dream vision, but when we remove its oral, communal context, we get no chance to learn about Christ or find how America was actually discovered. According to the book, the young minister gets confused about the creation and purpose of Christ and is told by the chief ministers that he should seek God himself. That beautifully depicts we should ourselves seek the history of America rather than depending on texts, and if we don't do so, we may lose our interest in the American history and won't ever get to know who discovered America.
2 What are the "gifts" that
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