a different mirror takakis use of the tempest

In the first chapter of “A Different Mirror” by Ronald Takaki, he explains stereotypes and biases of white, Eurocentric attitudes that have been with us since the earliest days of the colonies and settlements here. Beginning with the early colonists and their treatment of the natives, there is a pattern of ruthless acquisition of land and goods. According to Takaki, the early settlers judged native americans as lacking everything identifiable in a civilized society.

It never occurred to them that the natives had never been exposed to their european “civilized” ways and did not have knowledge of sophisticated weaponry as their culture did not need such devices of destruction. They did have tools and means of hunting and gathering food but it was all quite unsophisticated compared to european advancements. Shakespeare introduced the character Caliban in “The Tempest” and depicted him as a barbarian and a savage incapable of nurture (37). This can be interpreted as an indirect depiction of what was then believed about native americans.

According to Takaki, the Caliban character could have just as easily represented Africans that had began migrating to the new land. Like the natives, African people had an unfamiliar color to their skin and were thought to be unintelligent and savage by the Europeans. Caliban’s skin was dark which allegedly made him the devils incarnate (50). The English perception was that Caliban represented africans and/or native americans who were uncivilized and only capable of manual labor.

Prospero is another interesting character from Shakespeare’s Tempest that is found in Takaki’s book. Prospero decared that he had been thrust forth from Milan and had landed on the shore of Caliban’s island “to be the lord on’t” (36). By nothing more than self-righteousness, Prospero dispossessed Caliban’s land and pronounced himself as the rightful owner of the land. Early English settlers in Virginia found a similar sense of righteousness to justify the stealing of land away from the natives.

By defining them as savage beasts, and not civilized people, the Virginia settlers found a moral loophole through which they began a campaign of increasing acquisition of land from the natives. As Takaki states, it was clear to the audiences watching the Tempest that it was about the New World given subtle references and descriptions. References to the “Bermoothes” revealed the location of Propero’s landing (Bermuda), while descriptions of the landscape seemed to match previous descriptions from contemporary documents about the new world.

The stage became a metaphor for English expansion in America, according to Takaki (31). The attitudes of the original English settlers here with regards to people of colors and cultures besides their own, has remained with us as a cultural oddity to this day. Our country was founded on the premise that all men are created equal and that there are unalienable rights to all men. And for hundreds of years we have professed our dedication to these principles but in practice it has been a rocky road toward redemption.

Since the inception of what is now known as the United States of America, we as a country have and continue to do, what we have told everyone else they should be doing all along. Together we slowly peel away the layers of our own prejudices that have existed longer than any of us have been alive, as we move toward an ideal that on paper has been around since the dawn of our great nation but in reality is still a goal to be attained.

"Looking for a Similar Assignment? Order now and Get a Discount!

Allassignments.net
Calculate your paper price
Pages (550 words)
Approximate price: -

Why Work with Us

Top Quality and Well-Researched Papers

We always make sure that writers follow all your instructions precisely. You can choose your academic level: high school, college/university or professional, and we will assign a writer who has a respective degree.

Professional and Experienced Academic Writers

We have a team of professional writers with experience in academic and business writing. Many are native speakers and able to perform any task for which you need help.

Free Unlimited Revisions

If you think we missed something, send your order for a free revision. You have 10 days to submit the order for review after you have received the final document. You can do this yourself after logging into your personal account or by contacting our support.

Prompt Delivery and 100% Money-Back-Guarantee

All papers are always delivered on time. In case we need more time to master your paper, we may contact you regarding the deadline extension. In case you cannot provide us with more time, a 100% refund is guaranteed.

Original & Confidential

We use several writing tools checks to ensure that all documents you receive are free from plagiarism. Our editors carefully review all quotations in the text. We also promise maximum confidentiality in all of our services.

24/7 Customer Support

Our support agents are available 24 hours a day 7 days a week and committed to providing you with the best customer experience. Get in touch whenever you need any assistance.

Try it now!

Calculate the price of your order

Total price:
$0.00

How it works?

Follow these simple steps to get your paper done

Place your order

Fill in the order form and provide all details of your assignment.

Proceed with the payment

Choose the payment system that suits you most.

Receive the final file

Once your paper is ready, we will email it to you.

Our Services

No need to work on your paper at night. Sleep tight, we will cover your back. We offer all kinds of writing services.

Essays

Essay Writing Service

No matter what kind of academic paper you need and how urgent you need it, you are welcome to choose your academic level and the type of your paper at an affordable price. We take care of all your paper needs and give a 24/7 customer care support system.

Admissions

Admission Essays & Business Writing Help

An admission essay is an essay or other written statement by a candidate, often a potential student enrolling in a college, university, or graduate school. You can be rest assurred that through our service we will write the best admission essay for you.

Reviews

Editing Support

Our academic writers and editors make the necessary changes to your paper so that it is polished. We also format your document by correctly quoting the sources and creating reference lists in the formats APA, Harvard, MLA, Chicago / Turabian.

Reviews

Revision Support

If you think your paper could be improved, you can request a review. In this case, your paper will be checked by the writer or assigned to an editor. You can use this option as many times as you see fit. This is free because we want you to be completely satisfied with the service offered.

Get better grades effortlesslyIt’s cheaper than you might think

Effortlessly get the essays and grades you need. You can now get any essay, on any subject and at ANY deadline with just 10 minutes of your time (or less). Your professor will love you for it!