Indians by Jane Tompkins
- Pages: 3
- Word count: 562
- Category: College Example
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The essay entitled Indians is one of the few phenomenal essays that have dared to address issues that are of the most sensitive nature. In Indians, the author Jane Tompkins speaks about the numerous perspectives that exist in the area of the analysis of history and takes a step into a genre of writing into which writers very rarely venture because of the immense number of variables that one has to contend with when writing on perceptions (Gates 1986). The writer Jane Tompkins speaks of the various ways that bias and prejudice can cause the alteration of rational judgment.
However, it is not merely the judgment of history that the author has debated upon but the very pattern of learning that the development of the judgment serves to establish. The author is of the opinion that the implications of these biases and prejudices are not only prevalent during the development of judgments regarding history but can also be observed in scenarios where history is being taught since there is a fairly good chance that intentionally or unintentionally, derivations of perceptions based on biases and prejudices will prevail and quite possibly become parts of the knowledge that is passed on during the teaching session.
In order to justify her perception, Jane Tompkins takes support from the fact that there is a remarkable amount of influence that the differences in frames of references can cause between the opinions on one singular event. In this regard, Jane Tompkins opinion holds that two people may have gone through the same series of events, but having judged the series of events through two separate frames of references, they will both hold varying opinions on the causes and effects that took place in the course of the events.
In her essay, Tompkins seems to be quite a bit concerned by the perspective that holds that history is written by victors only. Perhaps it is the high degree of concern that she holds in this regard that causes the slight repetition of statements in her essay. She continues to attempt to hammer home her perspective that history should not be taken to be the complete and unquestionably true narration of the series of events that occurred when the subject is being taught to students.
In order to prove her point, Tompkins has chosen to rest her essay upon the events that took place in the 17th and the 18th century when the Indians were in power over a large portion of the land. She attempts to prove her point by mentioning the high degree of contrast that exists between two differing opinions on the European-Indian Conflict. By doing so, Tompkins brings out the essence of her work and brings the reader to the point where the reader finds himself/herself almost helpless.
One question that Tompkins essay does not answer is that if none of the two varying perspectives on a situation can be taken to be true, then how is one to decide what actually happened in history and which part of history is a fragment of exaggeration and has mutated into fiction. The only way out seems to be an approach that incorporates the study of a vast number of perceptions on any particular event. But then again, there are chances that it may only lead to the development of a new bias originating from the innumerable biases and prejudices that already prevail.