Suffering In Tecumseh's Speech To The Osages

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Solidarity Through Suffering Although the “Speech to the Osages” was written back in the 19th century, the notion that suffering can bring people together is still present today. Native Americans were the first people to inherit the land now known as America, but it was later destroyed by European colonization. Tecumseh, a Native American leader, discusses how the Indians were more than considerate and generous to the white people when they needed assistance with food, shelter or land. Yet now that they are well again, they are only anxious for more. While the Indians have had to endure a lot from the white people, Tecumseh’s “Speech to the Osages” suggests that pain and hardship can also produce solidarity between two nations. Through the…show more content…
From an Indian’s perspective, difference may exist between themselves and the Osages. However, from the white people’s perspective, they are all the same, which means that all the Indians are equally in danger. He contradicts himself by stating his goal of peace, yet suggesting the solution of violence. Nevertheless, his solution is hard to refuse because the goal of many of the Indians at the time was simply to end suffering. Tecumseh reveals to them the truth of how the white people feel towards them by describing how they only “despise and cheat [them]”, as well as “abuse and insult them” (Tecumseh 233) because they do not think that the red men deserve to live. Unlike the white people, the Indians do not resort to violence for to gain profit or simply to hurt others, but as a means of protection and peace. As a result, their actions would not be considered selfish, but rather an honorable act upon their nation. The speech acts in a way that makes the Indians reflect on their lives and decide how they want to go about living. It aims to be inspiring, while also attempting to stir up emotions of vengeance and anger. He states that his “people are brave and numerous; but the white people are too strong for them alone” (Tecumseh 233). They need to unite and stand up for themselves or else “they will destroy [them], and then [the Osages] will fall easy prey to them” (Tecumseh 233). Hence, Tecumseh uses descriptions of suffering to give the Osages hope in overcoming the cruelty from the white people and to show them that they deserve justice. He uses their shared feelings of pain and hatred to persuade them into joining together as one nation to fight the same battle and does not leave them much option into choosing anything else. Moreover, his language and the way his speech is put together shows his good intentions and true devotion
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