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Columbus Hero Or Villain Essay, Research Paper

Christopher Columbus: Hero or Villain??

In the education systems of many schools, Christopher Columbus is portrayed to students as a hero. His few heroic qualities have acted as a fa ade hiding his evil side throughout the history of America. Although Columbus is known for discovering America and beginning the Age of Exploration, he, in reality an horrendous man who allowed horrific atrocities against the innocent Native Americans.

Today, Christopher Columbus is seen as a great man and an important person in America s history. Columbus is viewed upon as a hero mainly because of his famous voyage. Columbus believed that if someone sailed west, this person would arrive in India quicker and with fewer obstacles, thus giving a better trade route to the Spanish. After many restless weeks, Columbus and his crew arrived in the Caribbean, which they had thought was India. People believe that from this voyage, Columbus was the one who discovered America, and is also seen as a great man who tried to do nothing but good for his country. He is viewed upon as a hero by Americans for these reasons, and has even received a day dedicated to him. He is also credited for beginning the colonization of America, which he indisputably deserves recognition for. However, when one looks into colonization more, he or she can realize that it was not that good of an era due to the problems faced against the Native Americans, which will be mentioned later.

When Columbus arrived in the west, he brought many items from the east that introduced a negative side of cultural diffusion. These new items provided a culture shock to the natives and many did not know how to deal with the changes. An example of this is when certain diseases were carried along on the ships that the Europeans were immune to, but were new to the natives. Many natives perished from these diseases, which were sometimes as small as types of influenza. Columbus just brought change to an area that was living a simple, organized life, which needed no outside help. ( Crimes of Columbus ) It may seem like a good deed on the part of Columbus, but in reality it was a problem that effected many natives that the Europeans came in contact with. This was a large short-term effect of Columbus presence in America.

Most teachers do not teach their kids of the atrocities Christopher Columbus and his crew committed; something that has been overlooked for over five hundred years. When Columbus arrived, the natives treated their new guests with respect, trying to be peaceful. They gave them food, a place to stay, and were there to attend their needs. At first, Columbus accepted this behavior properly, but then he began to take advantage of the situation of their kindness. He began to force some of the natives to help with problems, such as ones on the ship, with the crew, and so forth. If a person did not meet his needs, he would, hit or whip them. Men and women were being whipped for not bringing food on time, and by not satisfying his needs. He allowed his crew to take some of the women and sexually rape them. (Levine 69) The Europeans killed many natives after the natives tried so hard to be peaceful. Columbus was repeatedly quoted explaining to his crew how savage the natives were, and how it was not technically rape or murder, do to how uncivilized the people were. ( Crimes of Columbus ) Comments like these are horrible and cannot be argued differently anyway. It seams ironic that Columbus called the natives savages while him and his crew were the ones raping, enslaving, and murdering innocent people. This short-term effect demised the native population and proves how atrocious Columbus was at times.

Columbus also caused problems that have long-term effects that are issues today. The large reason that started these problems was the colonization Columbus has been credited for starting. When America was being colonized, many Native Americans were removed from their homes and sent to other areas of poorer conditions. For example, many natives were sent to live in less arable land, so more arable land could be used for the civilized Europeans. Some natives were forced to live under the rule of someone who owned their land. This was called the encomienda system. The natives were slaves who worked in horrible conditions such as dangerous mines. It cannot be argued that the natives were under pure slavery and were forced to work on a person s property. The natives believed their land was not set by individual sections, but they believed it was owned and shared together. The Europeans began to claim land the second they arrived on the island. Today, natives are struggling in the social structure because they have been overlooked for so many years. The per capita income of natives are the lowest out of any social group or race. ( Who are the Natives ) These problems are all linked to Columbus and colonization.

Columbus beat, raped, enslaved, killed natives, brought diseases, and affected the natives lives forever. That is such a vague way to show how little of a heart Columbus actually had. American Indian activist Russell Means stated, Columbus makes Hitler look like a juvenile delinquent. ( Crimes of Christopher Columbus ). This quote may seem extraordinary because of comparing Columbus to someone like Hitler, but Columbus committed the same types of atrocities as Hitler such as genocide. If Hitler is judged by the way he treated people, why isn t Columbus?

Mark Mangassarian

English Per. 2

April 30, 2000

The Little Prince

A French novel named The Little Prince is clearly a classic book that will remain being famous because of the fact that both adults and children can fall in love with the tale in their own ways. I chose the story to read mainly because it was a mere hundred pages, not expecting to actually enjoy reading it. I did not feel awkward reading a children s book, because the way the book affected me was the way most difficult books I read today feel, after completing. After reading this short novel, I could clearly understand why it has become a true classic book in the eyes of today s society. Most bookstores and libraries carry this French novel in their children’s section. The sentences are simple and flow with an easy, poetic grace, and interspersed with the clear text, making this book simple to read and understand. The illustrations are child-like pictures, but yet meticulously detailed. Antoine de Saint Exup ry, a French pilot and author, wrote this book in 1943 with the subject of aviation. The book begins with a child, then skips ahead many years later with the subject maturing through life.

This book is basically about understanding life. The Little Prince lived happily alone on his small planet until the wind planted for him a new seed, from which sprang the loveliest flower he had ever seen. He lavished his love and attention upon the flower, which in turn tormented him with her vanity and her pride, ultimately driving him to abandon his home and venture forth into the galaxy in search of the secret of what is important in life. He learns this secret, finally, from a creature of the Earth, a fox. With his new level of understanding, the Little Prince is at last ready to return home, but not before he passes on his new knowledge to the author – knowledge of the healing power of love which makes all things unique, and how the pain of saying goodbye is worth it if it changes how we look at the world. This profound meaning to the story was written in such simple text, which adds to the many reasons why this book is a classic.

From the outside, it appears to be a simple children’s tale. The Little Prince is actually a profound and deeply moving book written in riddles and laced with philosophy and poetic metaphors. This allows children and their parents to sit together and read this small novel and both feel a connection towards it. This quality makes The Little Prince a unique book that it is enjoyable to read.

This book seems like an autobiography from the author, adding to maybe why this novel was so well written and had so much meaning to it. The author, who is also a pilot, begins the story with an anecdote describing how, as a child, he was urged by sensible adults to put down his paints and colored pencils that he might concentrate on matters of consequence. There were also other points in the book when the author was actually describing his child-hood. Therefore, Antoine de Saint Exup ry s twisted view of his childhood actually makes the story more insightful and more successful.

This novel, is one of the few books that I can recommend to my little sister and my mother at the same time. A child s imagination and an adults education in understanding things, allow the two different age groups to comprehend the story in their own ways.

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