American Literature the End of Term Paper

Excerpt from Term Paper :

..There is no good on earth; and sin is but a name. Come, devil; for thee is this world given...come Indian powwow...here comes Goodman Brown...You may as well fear him as he fear you." This exclamation of subtle doubt and manifest fear demonstrated the fear of the White Man of the American Indian; that the White Man's oppression of the latter is the result of the fear that he has in encountering resistance as they controlled and eventually conquered the New World.

Like Hawthorne, Irving in the short story "The Devil and Tom Walker" showed that the annihilation of the American Indian race to gain power over the New World is an action that is both unwise and detrimental to the progress of the New World society. The New World is represented by Tom Walker, who, at the expense of giving his life to the Devil and sacrificing his wife's life, willingly dealt with the Devil in order to have great wealth and luxurious comfort in life. Despite the wealth that Walker amassed through the years, all his hard work and wealth had been useless as he gave himself as payment to the Devil: "...all his bonds and mortgages were found reduced to cinders. In place of gold and silver his iron chest filled with chips and shavings..." The wealth of the New World, which Walker symbolizes, becomes meaningless as the White Man did not seek to preserve its history and heritage, of which the Indian was a significant part of.

Lastly, the novel "The Last of the Mohicans" by Cooper also echoes the criticisms of Hawthorne and Irving of the White Man's colonization of the New World, including its early inhabitants, the American Indians. In the novel, Cooper expressed Irving's sentiments as he demonstrated the need to 'look back' at one's history and heritage to truly call one's self as an American (or a member of the New World). Hawkeye is the White Man who is neither a conqueror nor an American Indian, caught in the middle, wherein his acceptance of the American Indian society contradicts with his race's animosity with the original inhabitants of the New World. While representing the conflict between the White Man and the Indian, Hawkeye also represents the future of the New World, as envisioned by Cooper, wherein a "fusion" of both White Man and Indian creates the nature and culture of the new society that will be established.

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