Pocahontas Research Paper

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Disney tells the story of Pocahontas as a tale of love where romantic connection can conquer all regardless of your race — and especially if the other is planning on taking your land and sexually abusing your fellow women. It is inspired by an account given by John Smith where the daughter of the chief, Pocahontas, rests her head against his so as to stop her father from bludgeoning Smith to death. Some historians have suggested that this story is probably not true.

What we do know about Pocahontas is that she was captured by the English in 1613 and held for ransom during which she converted to Christianity, changed her name to Rebecca, and married an Englishman. Later, after choosing not to return to her people, she was taken to England where she was paraded as an example of a “civilised savage” (or, you know, the plot of Pocahontas 2).
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Heidi Hutner suggests the myth of Pocahontas is used as a “complex figure for colonial desires and fears about assimilation”. The native woman was conceived as being “empowered by the rejection of her own people” and was “in favour of the white men’s religion and culture”. She was used as “the sexually savage indigenous woman” in order to justify colonial
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