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"OPINIONS ARE LIKE ONIONS, AND THEY CAN BE PLANTED ANY WHERE; NEVER BE AFRAID TO SPEAK YOUR MIND" - Ommondoitfloin

Natives Life

  • Date Submitted: 05/20/2010 06:43 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 51.7 
  • Words: 836
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In her letters to her son and the lady of rank, Sister Marie de l’Incarnation describes her experiences with Canadian natives and in particular her work with native girls in school.   She came to Canada from France as a missionary and tried to convert the native people – in particular their young girls – to Christianity.   Furthermore, she tried to make those girls follow French culture and values – essentially trying to make them similar to French girls in terms of behaviour.   She was not too successful in her work, which reflects in her letters.   Her letters paint a story of distrust, violence, and a general lack of getting along between the natives and the Europeans.   In this paper, I will look at what Sister de l’Incarnation says about the native people in her letters critically.   In particular, I will look at her views on young native girls and her attempts at trying to convert them to Christianity and living a European lifestyle.   In her own words, de l’Incarnation seems to be having success in her first few letters in converting the native girls to Christianity and making them French.   Towards the end, however, her plans seem be failing miserably and falling apart.   While it cannot be said for certain, there is reason to believe that de l’Incarnation was either lying about or exaggerating her earlier success.   The whole attempt to make the native girls Christians and French revolves around the idea of holier-than-thou attitude present among individuals, particularly during that time.
de l’Incarnation frequently refers to the natives as 'savages' and 'barbarians', which suggests an obvious bias and pre-determined view towards the natives.   It suggests a view of the natives as inhumane, uncivilized, and primitive beings who do not know how to live.   The reason for this kind of an opinion is not too hard to understand.   It is cultural differences which lead to these kinds of opinions, which are still present among individuals of many societies today.   The...

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