History By Different Eyes Jane Tompkins "Indians"

Essay by vaninaUniversity, Bachelor'sA, February 2004

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Jane Tompkins in her essay "Indians": Textualism, Morality, and the Problem of History explains the problems she faces when she tried to learn about Indians history. In the first part of her essay she speaks about her knowledge of Indians when she was a child and how he decide to investigate their history. Then, in the second part of her essay, she tells us about a research she made on Indians. She took many sources, like first or second hand account. She quickly realized that historians have different points of view, and as far as she was moving forward in her research she was really confused in whom to believe because they have opposite stories. She sometimes became upset because there was no unanimity among them. Everybody relates the same episode in different ways with contradictory opinions. And finally in her conclusion she explains that she couldn't judge because she didn't know what the facts were.

When Tompkins gives details about her research on Indians she says, " At first it was a question of deciding which of these authors to believe, for it quickly became apparent that there was no unanimity on the subject." This happens because of authors' different points of view, and because of many other influences like the moment where they live and their attitudes towards incidents. For example, she speaks about Perry Miller who wrote the following sentence in her book " the massive narrative of the movement of European culture into the vacant wilderness of America" she was very disappointed when she saw the word vacant in the reading because she and everybody knows that this land was not vacant. Indians occupied it but this author didn't mention them.

When I was doing my research on "Pearl Harbor Attack" first I...