"Indians" By Jane Tompkins: How Bias Affect Ones Concept of History
Whenever you are in any educational situation, you are subject to
perspectives and bias of the instructors. In an essay entitled "Indians," by
Jane Tompkins, it discusses how different biases may reflect upon one's concept
of history. It is imperative to realize that when learning, which generally
involves someone's concept of history, we are consequently subject to that
person's perspectives that may be a result of their upbringing.
In the essay Tompkins regarding history, Tompkins says "it concerns the
difference that point of view makes when people are giving accounts of events,
whether at first or second hand. The problem is that if all accounts of events
are determined through and through by the observer's frame of reference, then
one will never know, if any given case, what really happened."(Pg. 619)
The purpose of this essay is that history is a result of point of view.
It is both subject to the biases of the one who presents it as it is subject to
the biases of the one who observes it. You can then draw a similar parallel to
education. The point is that you learn something you are subject to the
educator's opinion as well as your prejudices regarding the topic. This leads
me to one of Tompkins main points of discussion: "What really is the truth?"
As I have mentioned throughout the essay, everything is subject to the
opinions and prejudices of the observer. When trying to decipher a fact, or
"the truth" you must realize that people may see a particular instance in many
different points of view. Tompkins discusses this problem and its relation to
the European-Indian conflict of the 17th and 18th centuries. In doing so she
quotes a particular source of puritan background who considers the Indians to be
brutal savages who raped and tortured their captives. She then quotes someone
who is favorable towards the Indians, said that Indians were a highly cultured
group of people who helped the European settlers adapt to their new environment.
My point for addressing these two points of view is to illustrate how
these two people can have such diverse...