Jane Tompkins "Indians" Essay

751 words - 3 pages

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 opinions regarding the same topic. Both of these people are saying...

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