the Ultimate Truth

In the reading “Narrative of the Captivity and Restoration of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson” by Mary Rowlandson entails her endeavors as a Christian English woman. In a situation similar to a marginal experience of a wife and mother- yet still White. Where roles are reversed because of her misfortune. A white woman held captive by natives who killed off the connection to her family. The war and conflict was real. Defense and honor versus a war for power, land and dignity. This text dates back to the beginning stages of an ongoing conflict of greed and violence. This theme becomes a cycle in the world as we move up in the timeline.

Mary Rowlandson was separated from her husband, children and sister. Her husband was away while the others were with the natives separated with different masters. She tells about her experiences through the Christian lens of faith. The text exposes the beauty of having faith and what faith does to our inner-strength. Her faith was an energy that sent the light out and manifested a generous gift from a native woman. She randomly gifted Rowlandson a Bible. Her verbal exchanges with the natives was minimal but this bible was a gift that became really important. It became her guide as she stated herself. Sacred guidance that affirmed faith, warmth and security. But many people have found themselves in dark spaces; many were innocent just like her. Faith has showed up for others in many ways. Spirit is eternally present, but you have to see it to open it.

Furthermore, exchanges between Rowlandson and her native captors’ highlight that no matter what side you’re on, humanity is directly affected by various evil entities bound to Earth’s third-dimensional reality. These demons on Earth masked by motives of greed, violence, and sickness. Its inhumane. These are karmic cycles that make us all victims of a system that controls us. A system attached to the need for power. Further down the timeline the collapses in reality have begun and continue. Exposure of ignorance and illusions is reaching its peak. Many are awakening to inner growth and recognizing a physical reality cast away from illusions. Alchemy is in the process. This text is an ancient text told from a bias perspective. It reminds us of why we are still in this cycle today. Even while you have the Bible, the bible we have today, removed the Gospel of Thomas that confirms that the soul is eternal and reincarnation is real. Because the same English that colonized the natives, were the same entities that translated the Bible to have things removed so that certain people miss the message.

Our idea of a sacred text like the Bible is masked. Our idea of religion isn’t the Truth. World war three is already here and it’s in the mind.

 

  • Brianna Barajas

 

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Fueled Hate

The history of intolerance against indigenous people during the English colonization of eastern North America is neither confirmed nor contradicted through Mary Rowlandson’s captivity account, if anything, it allows one to see how this exchange can complicate the way in which we see history.  Damage was being done on both sides, even though the English colonist were who started the conflict initially. The Native Americans who held her captive are what she had heard them to be. The Indians killed her children and showed no respect for her religion thus confirming that they were in fact savages. Yet later Rowlandson sounds like she might be sympathizing with the Indians which she tries to hold back on doing because of the position she plays in the society in which she lives in, both as a pastor’s wife and Christian woman. Racism seems to play a part in both Mary Rowlandson’s narrative and Dryden’s The Indian Emperour. In both stories there seems to be something “wrong” with the Indians, for example in both stories the fact that the Indians do not practice or have respect for Christianity seems to be what makes them inferior. There was a lot of back and forth damage done on both sides and none of it was right. What was ultimately done to all Native Americans was horrible and this is just one account from one person who experience what she experienced within the Indians who captured her during the time in which Native Americans were being extinguished. It is interesting that the colonist were Christian people who believed in God and had to abide by certain moral standards, yet these “Christians” tortured and killed many Native Americans. The idea that a person or a group of people can serve to generalize a whole population of people is ignorant, and this ignorance is what fueled the hate that fueled the wars.

Karla Nichols

Racism and the Dream of Imperialism

In John Dryden’s The Indian Emperour, Cydaria and Cortez are not united explicitly and surely it is by no mistake. Though the play focuses on the dilemma of having to choose between love and honor, external factors during the time in which the play was written serve as motives behind the missing union. As mentioned in a biography about John Dryden in The Norton Anthology of English Literature, Dryden was a subjected poet who wrote in a manner that would reflect the political turmoil occurring during his time. Considering this, Dryden may have not brought the two characters within the play together because such a union was unlikely. Racism and aristocratic ideals were abundant at the time as well and so the idea that an “honorable” Spaniard would be united with a foreign native would’ve been seen as an unacceptable union. By not marrying Cydaria, Dryden demonstrates that Cortez inexplicitly chose his country over love and during the play, Cydaria even states “What is this Honour that does love controul?”. Though the play explores the theme of love, racism and dreams about a successful empire were present in England. The material of the play itself was not paid attention to as much because the whole act was a large form of propaganda that sold the idea of creating an empire without carrying out the same violence as the Spaniards. The play was written during the Restoration Era and was presented to an audience that still feared the forced conversion to Catholicism. Since Montezuma resisted the conversion to Catholicism, it gives the same idea to the public; forceful conversion to Catholicism would bring chaos and two people of different religions weren’t meant to be united. A purpose of the theatre was to promote unity amongst the viewers to furthermore support the monarch (whom John Dryden supported), demonstrating how the play was designed carefully and skillfully to promote certain ideas to the public and so, by not uniting Cortez with his love, Dryden, therefore, presents his doubts about that union.

-Maria G. Perez


Building Consensus

I agree with the statement that John Dryden is casting doubt and anxiety upon his audience regarding the relationship between Spanish imperialists and the Aztecs through the unfulfilled relationship between Cydaria and Cortez In The Indian Emperor. I believe John Dryden did not have the relationship take off in this play for the specific reason that the theater was the “Place to be” and the perfect way to get his viewpoint across to the masses was to put it into a play which would certainly be seen or at least heard by most of the population, including the king. Dryden was in favor of the restoration of Charles II to the throne, which likely meant that he shared some of the monarch’s views. Dryden probably had some misgivings about a peaceful relationship between the Aztecs and imperialists and my have sought to use the popularity of the theater to shift the public consensus toward his perspective, because even if the average attendee didn’t understand the play the more educated watchers certainly did and would be able to relay their analysis to others who didn’t understand thus spreading Dryden’s view. The spreading of his viewpoint may have also been particularly important to John Dryden because he, being a critic of Spain wanted to paint them in a negative light with his play. The added gossip from the attendees of the theater would further divide England from the Spanish emperor and make England appear more civilized as they weren’t yet in the business of empire building as Spain was. I really think that Dryden was a very opinionated person so much so that he would use his art to elevate his opinions and influence others into thinking the same as him which was the main reason as to why he left an unfinished relationship between Cydaria and Cortez.

                -Evan Klang

The Underlying Message

I believe that Dryden has left the ending the way he did not because of anxieties of the future, but to not further glorify the Spanish. As we discussed in class, the whole portrayal of the play was to be used as propaganda for the England empire which wasn’t even an empire yet. Because of this, it would uplift the people’s view of the Spanish which was not his goal. He made the Spanish seem like murderers and, in my point of view, these beast that care for no life in the name of colonization. The author displayed the humanity that they can show by Cortez saving Montezuma from being tortured. Even in that Dryden draws attention to Christianity because the scene is seen as if they’re removing Jesus from the cross. In Act V, Scene II after Cortez helps Montezuma, he kneels and cries in front of him and ask, “Can you forgive those crimes they did commit?”, and Montezuma responds by saying, “I’ll do what for my dignity is fit: Rise, sir, I’m satisfied the fault was theirs…”(TIE..5.2.p.59). This scene can be seen as the event when Jesus was on the cross and said to God, “…Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.”(Luke 22:34). If we see it through this lens, Montezuma represents Christianity and Cortez represent the catholic religion, and by Cortez bowing it’s almost as if the Catholic religion is bowing to Christianity, showing itself inferior. This was a way to spark emotion of the English to show pride for their country. This is bold too because during this time of tolerance for religion, since they didn’t want to be like the Puritans or like the Catholics.  Overall I believe that the reason why Dryden left the ending the way it was to not further glorify the view of the Spanish. *Imani Pree*

England and Its Conquests

John Dryden hints at Cortez and Cydaria’s love at the end of the play to represent a metaphor of how England and its people put up a facade towards other countries they had ruled over. Dryden states that they are willing to interact with other individuals but not actually make connections or become close with them in a way that would benefit both sides. It does not appear as doubt or anxiety but fear of being close to those who the country has conquered. England’s purpose was to get others to have the same Christian faith as them while also gaining land. This was necessary as it was used to know more of the New World. Both, Cortez and Cydaria, shared the same thing which was their love for each while having differences. They had to deal with being on the enemy’s side and having different views. In the play, when Cortez chooses the king over Cyndaria this is a symbolism of nationalism. He was there for one thing and he was not going to stop until he got it. Their love was a symbol for the country benefiting from these conquests and not being married or having a union was a symbol for the way England had no actual responsibility of having to commit to the countries they ruled over. This is possibly why Dryden never made the characters come together with union and matrimony, one side was going to benefit more than the other and that is not what a union or marriage represent.

-Sandy Morelos

Transcendence

 

The picture below relates to the mad mother in that at first it seems depressing and sad but the more you think about it the more it seems to tell a tale of hope. In this picture it seems to be depressing and ominous but there is light in the window that signifies hope and hints that once there could have been a great castle or something there but time has taken its toll. There is a cross and what appears to be graves and so the building may have once been a place of worship. Just like in the mad mother where she says

“Dread not their taunts, my little life!
I am thy father’s wedded wife;
And underneath the spreading tree
We two will live in honesty.
If his sweet boy he could forsake,
With me he never would have stay’d:
From him no harm my babe can take,
But he, poor man! is wretched made,
And every day we two will pray
For him that’s gone and far away.”

She too was once worshiped and now forgotten, and the nature of this poem is sad in itself but it gives hope just like the light in the window. She left her husband and the baby may be dead (not clear) but she wants to for a new life and change from the past. Like the light in the window her baby is her only hope in such a sad and depressing time.

 

 

 

  • Haley H

Heavy Metal Disguised as Poetry

When reading the prompt for this weeks blog post I was filled with questions. I simply couldn’t think of ways the poem “The Rime of the Ancyent Marinere, In Seven Parts” and the heavy metal version “The Rime of Ancient Marinere” by Samuel Taylor would have any real connections. I was without a doubt wrong, they both capture the full effect of the poem and I claim the song actually helps bring the poem to life. When first reading the poem without listening to the song I did notice certain shifts and rhythms but the song only help emphasize this points. In particular the lines 57-68 “The Ice was here, the Ice was there, / The Ice was all around: / It crack’s and growl’d , and roar’s and how’ld– / Like noises of a swound. / At length did cross an Albatross, Thorough the Fog it came; / And an it were a Christian Soul, We hail’d it in God’sw name. / The Marineres gave it biscuit-worms, And round anad round it flew: / The Ice did split with a Thunder-fit; The Helmsman steer’s us thro. ” These lines became much more intense when rereading them after listening to the song. The song also help emphasis the rhythm and iambic pentameter meter in the poem. The poem also became much easier to follow since the song also has these qualities. The heavy metal also fits into the language of the poetry which heavy words such as “grorl’d” and “roar’s”. The song also helped illuminate the intensity of the way Christianity is mentioned. Though it may not seem like it this poem is very heavy metal even when talking about God.

-Alondra Morales Aguilar

“Out of Focus”

 

 

“How comes it that all the white men on board who can read and write, and observe the sun, and know all things, yet swear, lie, and get drunk, only excepting yourself?”(188).  This passage while a rational question to ask, implicitly exposes the contradiction and hypocrisy that an Indian chief’s son witnesses and points out to Equiano amidst the Englishmen.  The young man, though seen as a “poor heathen” -as described in Equiano’s words, appears not be fooled by the fog of Christian rhetoric that they use to control natives and slaves.The young man’s clear point of view is, essentially illustrated,  within Robert Cruickshank’s anti-abolitionist cartoon.

Being that Equiano had tried to Christianize the young man, even to refer to the English author John Fox’s work Book of Martyrs, the young man became extremely confused with was being preached to him versus the corruption that was being displayed before his eyes.  Cruickshank’s cartoon is, too, confusing and hypocritical.  The red herrings found within that cartoon were cleverly placed there as propaganda to deter people from seeing the ugly truth about slavery -to continue to nurture the ignorance that caused people to go with the status quo of pro-slavery, in the first place.

The biggest conflict and contradiction is Equiano’s sense of allegiance in believing he must help the young man’s disbelief of Christianity.  Just like Cruickshank has attempted to persuade the people from not believing that slavery is even happening, Equiano is doing the same toward the young man’s state of mind about corruption in religion.  

While Cruickshank’s behavior cannot be excused, the conclusion to his way of thinking can only be sheer ignorance.  Equiano’s, on the other hand, is reprehensible as he knows first hand the experience of being enslaved, as well, the act of his cries going unheard -or worse, ignored.  

Cruickshank has skewed the focus on the lens for the audience who he knew he could bamboozle, and Equiano tried to do same with the young man, but failed.  Still, it did not affect Equiano much as he carried on with more undertakings and more missions, all while taking on his own slaves to help build plantations he’d come to own.  Thus, there is not much of a difference between the lies that are placed in the cartoon to the lies Equiano lived.

-Maricela (Marcy) Martinez

 

The bigger Picture in Equiano’s narrative

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In the picture above the first thing that catches the reader’s eye is the quaker looking man holding a picture directly into the telescope which is directed at a merry black tribe. Beneath that picture is a man that seems to be in charge of picking out the pictures for ‘Negro Slavery’. The contradictory nature  of a quaker holding a picture of slaves being between paralleled with a nice calm looking village (even the weather is calmers and brighter over there), demonstrates a pro-slavery propaganda type of picture. As the quakers are holding their anti-slavery posters (they disagree with slavery) there are poor Irishmen and children on the streets. This Quaker holding the large sign in the middle saying “buy only West India Company Sugar” but also has a ‘East India Company’ tag in his back pocket also indicates he may be payed off and dishonest. The point of this picture may be to demonstrate that those who are against slavery are a bunch of hypocrites because as they preach to have anti-slavery they have white men on the streets (although Irish) and their children signing forms probably against their will. This relates to Olaudah Equiano’s narrative when ‘Equiano’ states

“ I was so enraged with the Governor, that I could have wished to have seen him tied fast to a tree and flogged for his behaviour; but I had not people enough to cope with his party. I therefore thought of a stratagem to appease the riot. Recollecting a passage I had read in the life of Columbus, when he was amongst the Indians in Mexico or Peru, where, on some occasion, he frightened them, by telling them of certain events in the heavens, I had recourse to the same expedient; and it succeeded beyond my most sanguine expectations. When I had formed my determination, I went in the midst of them; and, taking hold of the Governor, I pointed up to the heavens. I menaced him and the rest: I told them God lived there, and that he was angry with them, and they must not quarrel so; that they were all brothers, and if they did not leave off, and go away quietly, I would take the book (pointing to the Bible), read, and tell God to make them dead. This was something like magic. The clamour immediately ceased, and I gave them some rum and a few other things; after which they went away peaceably; and the Governor afterwards gave our neighbour, who was called Captain Plasmyah, his hat again.” (Equiano 2875).

This demonstrates that while Equiano may be scrutinizing the whites for their position on slavery and they treat him, he too also is focusing too much on the smaller picture than the larger one. In this case Equiano is trying so hard to be like the British (mentioning someone they would know of and talking sophisticatedly while tricking people)  that he fails to see he too does everything he hates. Right before this passage he went to help pick out slaves from his village, choosing the ones from his village because they ‘would’ be the best workers, although he just sentenced them to be slaves. The point being in both of these scenarios the person being depicted is failing to see their part in helping the encourage slavery and not abolish it.

 

-Haley H.