Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Nothing of Importance

Journal No. 1
English 48A
Dr. Scott Lankford
Author I chose: Christopher Columbus

I. "They traveled three days' journey and found an infinity of small hamlets and people without number, but nothing of importance."

II. Christopher Columbus is writing to Luis de Santangel about his journeys into the Americas. He has sent two men to search for "a king or great cities" (Columbus 32).

III. Christopher Columbus has been paid by Spanish monarchs to travel to other countries to obtain wealth and riches. Upon his travels, Columbus writes frequently to narrate his journey to his benefactors. During this time, Columbus writes of successes frequently and downplays (or even completely alters) any mishaps. However, as Columbus is writing to his financial supporters, it seems as though his lack of enthuisiasm requires no effort. He seems to flawlessly "act" as though people have no importance and that the only riches are those of monetary value. I may be judging him too quickly and I may be biased due to the revelations of his true "conquests" since the original letters, but I do feel that even as a diplomatic reader, it would be hard not to believe that Columbus feels that the people that his voyage has affected do not matter. Disrupting the lives of countless people and traipsing through their land as though it belongs to you should conjure up a bit of remorse. I sense none in Columbus' letters and don't believe that he truly saw much beyond furthering his own career for the sheer purpose of obtaining more of his own wealth and fame. I understand the value of what he did for the Americas, but I'm not completely sold on the ideals that so many others have placed on him.


drscottie said...

20/20 This is still such a visually stunning journal, Chelsea. When I show other profs how wonderful and enriching blog-based journals can be, I always start with your work!!!