The Problem Of Understanding And Its Possible Solutions In "Our Time" By John Edgar Wideman And "Indians" By Jane Tompkins.

895 words - 4 pages

Both Jane Tompkins and John Edgar Wideman devote some of their paper to pointing out the difficulties they face when writing their essays, "Indians" and "Our Time" respectively. The two authors are trying to reach and give an account of the actual situation and circumstances of the subject of their writing, but in the process of creating their essays realize that this is something they would hardly achieve."Our time" was created to tell the story of the author's brother Robby, who is in jail for murder, to reveal him as a person and find the reasons for his trouble. However, setting out to write about this, Wideman becomes fully aware that his brother is a "familiar stranger" to him, that he doesn't know him and has yet to learn how to communicate and share with him in order to learn and write his story. Jane Tompkins, in distinction to Wideman, already had a good knowledge about the Indians, and, as she says, "had a lot of common with them." The difficulty for her is that when she is conducting her research, reading all different kinds of books that deal with the history and the culture of the American Indians, she cannot easily distinguish the true from the biased and the bogus because she is faced with numerous sources that are "completely incommensurable" - Miller hardly acknowledges the presence of the Indians in North America; Vaughan stereotypes them as inferior and having passive, "female" characteristics; Higham assumes that they were integrated in the American society; Jennings portrays them as inhumanely treated victims; Martin gives a highly spiritual and religious meaning even to their hunting, while Hudson explains from an economic point of view; Axtell maintains that being a captive of the Indians is a great, enlightening experience, while Heard accounts of their brutality to the white slaves they captured; Rowlandson tells about her life as a captive from her pious, Puritan point of view; Woods describes them as noble and altruistic, while Whitaker gives a deprecatory picture of the Indians, portraying them as naked worshippers of the devil; Kupperman presents them as nothing but the next subjects of exploitation for the English.All these facts seem untruthful and deficient to Tompkins because they contradict each other to a great extent. She discovers that each piece of writing is influenced by its author's beliefs, values, principles, knowledge, time, and motives, the latter of which are examined by R. Berkhofer. Therefore they do not give a complete and accurate picture of "what happened between the English settlers and the natives in seventeenth-century New England." Wideman is also aware of the danger of...

Find Another Essay On The Problem of Understanding and Its Possible Solutions in "Our Time" by John Edgar Wideman and "Indians" by Jane Tompkins.

A study of high attrition rates on organizations, it's consequences, and possible solutions to the problem.

2451 words - 10 pages as "time spent in screening, verifying credentials, references, interviewing, hiring, and training" (Workforce Planning for Wisconsin State Government, 2005)For this study, we will look into 4 different variables of damages caused by high attrition rates.1. Reputational DamageWhenever an organization loses employees due to a range of reasons, the employees that has left will then go on to spread word about the organization, be it good or bad

Depletion of the Ozone Layer: Its causes, effects, and possible solutions

2740 words - 11 pages , low in toxicity, and inexpensive to produce. Over time, CFCs found uses as refrigerants, solvents, foam blowing agents, and in smaller applications. CFCs and other compounds have atmospheric life times long enough to allow them to be transported by winds into the stratosphere. Because they release chlorine and bromine when they breakdown, they damage the protective ozone layer. In the early 1970's, researchers began to investigate the effects of

"Grapes of Wrath" by John Steinbeck, one of the greatest American books of our time, explained and dissected.

1447 words - 6 pages things with a symbolic meaning or character is something that Steinbeck uses constantly to pursue you to think more about simple objects and also represent certain feelings about the a future of current situation. In first few chapters a turtle, can be seen to be symbolic for survival, a driving life force in all of mankind that cannot be beaten by nature or man. "Lying on its back, the turtle was tight in its shell for a long time. But at last its

Possible Solutions to the Youth Violence Problem

1645 words - 7 pages Possible Solutions to the Youth Violence Problem The birds are chirping, the sun is beaming down through the clouds, and you can hear the shrieks of excitement from the neighborhood park. Walking down the street, you envision raising your family on this picture-perfect street. As the vision becomes more and more detailed, however, the shot of a gun rings out from the distance. You duck behind a parked car, wondering where the bullet

Describe the procedure in Kamin’s blocking experiment. Explain the blocking effect and its implications of our understanding of the conditions of classical conditioning.

1636 words - 7 pages Describe the procedure in Kamin's blocking experiment. Explain the blocking effect and its implications of our understanding of the conditions of classical conditioning.Leon J. Kamin's blocking experiment (1969) arose out of his interest in whether attention has a role in Pavlovian conditioning and his desire to explore several questions that he held in regards to the contiguity principle (Kamin, 1969, pg. 279). Through his experiment he sought

Natural Capitalism Is it possible to create new jobs, restore our environment, and promote social stability. Are the solutions creative, practical, and profitable?

2572 words - 10 pages elderly. Nationally and globally, we perceive social and environmental decay as distinct and unconnected. In fact, a humbling design flaw deeply embedded in industrial logic links the two problems. Toto, pull back the curtain: The efficient dynamo of industrialism isn't there. Even by its own standards, industrialism is extraordinarily inefficient. Modern industrialism came into being in a world very different from the one we live in today: fewer

Comparison of James Baldwin's essay "Notes of a Native Son" and John Wideman's collection of Homewood stories "Our Time."

959 words - 4 pages In James Baldwin's essay "Notes of a Native Son", Baldwin's father contracted a disease and passed away. Similarly in John Wideman's collection of Homewood stories "Our Time." Wideman's brother Robby had a friend die of a terminal disease. The death of this close relation led both James Baldwin and Roby Wideman into a spiral of remorse and frustration. "The moment I saw him I knew why I had put off the visit so long....I hated him....and

Comparison between Thornton Wilder's 'Our Town' and John Osborne's 'Look Back in Anger.' Discuss how the characters 'spend and waste time as though they had a million years.'

1025 words - 4 pages "Now you know! That's what it was to be alive. To move about in a cloud of ignorance; to go up and down trampling on the feelings of those...of those about you. To spend and waste time as though you had a million years. To be always at the mercy of one self-centred passion, or another. Now you know - that's the happy existence you wanted to go back to. Ignorance and blindness."The characters in Wilder's Our Town indeed 'spend and waste time as

Ways of Reading and Jane Tompkins

1216 words - 5 pages "Indians" as it helped her structure her argument a little more efficiently. Also, reading the passage above, we see that Jane Tompkins has contradicted herself, this is another technique she uses to exemplify her idea, and she will clarify this contradiction later in the conclusion. " The awareness of the interests motivating each version cast suspicion over everything, in retrospect, and I ended by claiming that there was nothing I could know

"The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time." Haddon is able to gain our understanding of Christopher because we learn to see things from his perspective. Discuss.

628 words - 3 pages Mark Haddon's touching novel, “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time,” is a brilliant journey into a world that few people can even contemplate. What must it be like to have a literal mind that can process only certain types of arcane information but is powerless to handle the everyday social interactions that we all take for granted? By writing this book from Christopher's point of view, Haddon creates deep compassion for

In defense of the Indians by Las Casas and On the Cannibals by Montaigne

1707 words - 7 pages the Europeans during the 1513 conquest. The Spanish Conquest of Central and South America and the voyage to the New World by Christopher Columbus in 1492 brought the Spanish crown a great amount of wealth. The native inhabitants which resided in the Americas prior to the discovery, saw what was once their home being taken away from them and being completely devoured by the Conquistas. In Defense of the Indians by Bartolome de Las Casas and On

Similar Essays

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

Indians By Jane Tompkins: How Bias Affect Ones Concept Of History

709 words - 3 pages "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

Possible Solutions To The Problem Of Pollution

535 words - 2 pages environment but would help many Americans with the high gasoline prices. Carpooling would also be a great thing to do more of. Few Americans do car pool but, not nearly enough. If more people carpooled it would result in less cars on the road and less pollution in the air.Some people think that air pollution does not harm the earth or the people, but it does the exact opposite. One problem is the hole in our ozone layer. The ozone's purpose is to

Time Takes Its Toll On All In Masque Of The Red Death By Edgar Allen Poe

1030 words - 4 pages Time Takes Its Toll on All in Masque of the Red Death by Edgar Allen Poe Edgar Allen Poe's "The Masque of the Red Death" takes place in seven connected but carefully separated rooms. The significance of the number seven is apparent throughout our society. The bible chronicles the creation of the world in seven days, there are seven wonders of the world, colleges and universities divide learning into seven subjects and an individuals