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Christopher Columbus’s Journal of the First Voyage to America contains a lot of significant information about the natives of the place he found. After reading the extract under consideration both the characteristics of the natives and Columbus’s intentions are clear. It seems that Christopher was not interested in the natives’ needs; his only goal was to make those people look “English” and find the way to use them for hard work. He paid attention to such traits as people’s perception of a new language, physical appearance and level of communicativeness with complete strangers.
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Columbus was sure that those people would be easy to turn into Christian religion as they seemed to believe in no gods. The natives were very friendly and remembered English words very easily. It meant that there would be no problems in communicating with this population. All of them were very good learners and did not hesitate to try on the gifts suggested by Columbus. The description of the natives given by Christopher stresses the fact that the natives led a rather primitive life. For example, they did not have iron and proper instruments to work. People were not educated because of absence of schools nearby. They also did not know how to make sharp knives or anything like that. It was easy to understand after the natives tried one of the swards kept by the delegation and cut themselves because of ignorance.
All the information mentioned by Columbus in the journal demonstrates that these were simple people who knew nothing about civilization and other life styles. Nevertheless, their existence was not as easy as it seemed. The natives told that they should have to oppose the tribes living on another island. The latter wanted to turn them into slaves. It is rather difficult to imagine how Columbus and the natives could share information without a mutual language. The possibility of exchanging information between two different classes of people tells a lot about the natives’ language learning skills and communicativeness. All the people were healthy and had perfect bodies. There were no old people. This meant that the natives could be applied to perform any hard work. So, the most important characteristics noted by Columbus were as such: 1) the natives were easy to communicate; 2) there was practically no language barrier, 3) the natives were able to do hard work, 4) they were friendly and healthy, 5) those people knew nothing about civilization, and 6) the natives had no religion and no gods to believe in.
All the people were practically naked and felt no shame because of this fact. They liked everything the delegation showed to them and accepted the gifts with pleasure. The extract contains no information about the natives’ fear towards complete strangers. On the contrary, they seemed to be interested in new people on their area. Columbus stated that the natives were very poor people. Perhaps, this happened because of no clothes and good instruments with blades. All the tools were made of natural resources. Moreover, the majority of native people painted themselves. It was strange for Christopher Columbus and the delegation.
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After reading the extract under consideration it became clear that Christopher Columbus brought a certain idea with him when he met the natives. He wanted to make those people obey and do all hard work. Moreover, he was going to teach him English and Christian norms. This information is easily proved by the quotation from the extract under consideration: “it appears to me, that the people are ingenious, and would be good servants and I am of opinion that they would very readily become Christians, as they appear to have no religion”.
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