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ENG252Y1 - Lecture #3.docx

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University of Toronto St. George
Vikki Visvis

ENG252Y1 – LECTURE NOTES September 23, 2013:  according to Hearne, participation in the exchanging of goods determined a rise above barbarism  loss of participation caused people to sink into their original condition  engaging in commerce made you better  use this model to justify imperialism  prior to the massacre scene, Hearne says that only half of the natives wanted to fight and the other side decided to stay back = pg 32 = "these men very prudently begged to be excused saying they could not be spared from the maintenance of their wives and children ... poverty and avarice were the only impediments of joining the party ... been found glad and companioned us"; savage because they don't exchange goods, says that the poorer natives didn't want to fight, they are decent and have the good sense to not engage in war; it should be the ones that commerce that should be decent = therefore the opposite is true  there is a flip of the hierarchy but Hearne doesn't acknowledge it  Hearne says that if they found more people with European goods, they would have more people join the war  the possession of goods encourages the natives to "inhumane design"; those engaged in the economy are the ones committing murder, which is savage which is at odds with the ideology that those engaged with the economy are prevented from committing savage crimes  Hearne doesn’t adopt a new view; but at the same time he is unsure about his brought-in assumptions  he is a perplexed man  exploring journals don't stand reality testing which shows that invalid ideologies of the time David Thompson:  was influenced by the cultural assumptions of the day  but was the first to try to understand the native culture in its own terms, but is still influenced by the assumptions  says that the native's superstitions make them "unsophisticated" and savage  pg 47 = discusses the mirages and is looking for empirical responses from the natives but only gets superstitions  Thompson makes another hierarchy that makes natives subpar  Christianity conversion was major when colonizing  a Christian god supersedes the native's spirituality; those that believe in god were savage  pg 40 = "the good find themselves in a happy country ... immortality to light"; those who have faith in indigenous spirits, their faith is waived when tested but Christian spirituality does pass the test  the first step to colonization was Christian conversion; so perhaps Thompson’s statements is as much influenced by imperialism as much as hierarchical thinking  assumed that natives were cannibalism, easy justification for believing they are savages  pg 49 = Wooskahoo; "he must be a maneater"; describes himself as a maneater; word implies that he is possessed to eat human flesh; suffers depression, refers himself as Wootiego when he is depressed; an allusion to a mythical creature / deity that is hungry for human flesh ( a cautionary myth of gluttonous consumption); the Windiego/wootiego is just a figurative character but Thompson takes it literally - Wooskahoo is just extremely depressed; Thompson is reinforcing a discourse of savagery without any empirical knowledge but he doesn't need it because readers of the time would believe him anyway because of the assumptions  Wooskahoo never explores cannibalism  based on his assessment on speculation; ironic since it’s a superstition like the native's spirituality  the natives kill him not because he is a cannibal or a Windiego, but because his sad mood doesn't dissipate  there's only suggestions and allusions but cannibalism doesn't happen  Thompsons uses this for European superiority and progress  the allusions set up the hierarchy that natives are savage  Thompson argues that European intervention has created responses such as starvation that are then deemed as savage - example below  pg 49 = Wooshakahoo is drunk when he calls himself a cannibal; this is not innate but something he says when drunk - trading goods doesn't make him feel better, but more depressed  depleting resources increased starvation levels; too much over hunting  anthropologist found that Windiego sightings occurred around in the same area as fur trading because of overhunting which leads to strong starvation pressures which in turn increases Windiego sightings  Thompson can't decide whether it is caused by inherent traits of European intervention  pg 45 = recognizes that beavers were numerous; refers to European intervention as the cause of it because the natives were introduced to European technology and weapons; there is European culpability; but at the same time he points to the advantages of the intervention, arguing that it has helped natives to survive; "the old Indians wondered how they could live ... beaver and the bear ..."; says old Indians believe that they would die without the gun  refuses to make the connection between the gun and depleting resources  offers valid interpretations  has understood complex customs in native culture  sees the importance of the trickster on pgs 40-41 and native morality based on the relationships with many spirits  accounts also relates to animism on pg 44  recognizes the importance of kinship relationships Francis Brooke and Susanna Moodie and Catherine Partrail: Noble savage:  = person who belongs to an uncivilized side who are better than th
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