Pocahontas Rhetorical Analysis

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Pocahontas Assignment 1. Why does Pewewardy believe that misrepresentation of American Indians in films can be harmful to this community? Pewewardy stresses the damaging effects that stereotypes Native Americans face in films pose to the children of Native American communities. These children see themselves as less than human not only thanks to films, but also because of the image of the Native American being used as mascots and logos. Even today, movies and cartoons that depict Native Americans in any way are most often being portrayed in the same fashion as they have been for hundreds of years: through the eyes of the earliest white settlers. When Disney’s Pocahontas came out, the brutal song “Savages!” devastated Native American children.…show more content…
What are some ways that the real Pocahontas differed from the Disney representation? In the article The Pocahontas Paradox, Cornel Pewewardy writes that the real Pocahontas was lured onto a British ship, dressed in English clothes, and held captive for over a year. She was baptized as a Christian before marrying John Rolfe, getting pregnant with his baby, and travelling back to England where she died shortly thereafter. Pewewardy includes testimony from the Mattoponi people about the true character of Pocahontas. She was loyal to her people and served as an ambassador between the Native Americans and the Europeans. In the Disney version, Pocahontas is the one to approach an Englishman, John Smith, and falls in love with him. She disobeys her father, Chief Powhatan, by staying outside of the village to meet with Smith. She is portrayed as extremely free-spirited, almost to the extent that she is disloyal to her people and their culture. However, in the end she does choose her people over John…show more content…
When compared to the appearance of the only other named Native American woman in the movie, Nakoma, Pocahontas is far more feminine, especially for a cartoon character. Pocahontas is taller than Nakoma, and also thinner. At the same time, though, Pocahontas is curvier. She has a tiny waist but fully developed breasts and hips. If we are considering historical accuracy, she would have been only around 10 years old when Jamestown was settled in 1607. Comparing facial features, Pocahontas has fuller lips and more of an arch to her eyebrows, and a narrower face. She also has longer, more “beautiful” hair (by today’s society’s standards) and wears clothes that are more revealing than Nakoma’s clothes, more specifically, her plunging
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