Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Lacks Nothing

Journal No. 2
English 48A
Dr. Scott Lankford
Author I chose: Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca

I. "This land, in short, lacks nothing to be regarded as blest."

II. Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca finds the Americas to have plenty of wealth and richness of culture and fertile soil. He believes that though the native peoples have very little in terms of European standards for riches, they have more than what most people could wish for.

III. Cabeza de Vaca speaks of a land that he has found himself stranded on and of a people with whose customs he is unfamiliar with. Yet, he understands the wealth that lies in the richness of culture and fertile land. While Columbus found no virtues in the Americas, Cabeza de Vaca finds beauty and wealth in spite of all of the troubles that he and his men have been through. While we can not help but be at least a little hesitant in believing the writings from these first explorers of the Americas, it seems that Cabeza de Vaca has the most to lose in championing his cause for a land of which he knows very little. However, Cabeza de Vaca places himself in jeopardy many times by deliberately disagreeing with those above him in great positions of power. Becoming a prisoner for speaking out about his beliefs, Cabeza de Vaca shows that he has not his own best interests in mind, but those of a people who can not stand up for themselves. This is certainly as different a position as you can find from that of Christopher Columbus'.


drscottie said...

To use the language of the 1960s, he "speaks truth to power."