Tecumseh's Speech To The Osages: Solidarity Through Suffering

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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…

Tecumseh is able to reach out to the Osages by using certain emotions that they could all relate to and sympathize with, which is depression and distress. By reminiscing on the past and emphasizing on the issues common among the Indian people, the Osages, as well as Tecumseh’s tribe are able to come together and realize that they are united in this battle against the white people. He brings back past events and explains how The Father of their nation provided for the white people by giving “them food when hungry, medicine when sick, spread skins for them to sleep on, and gave them grounds, that they may hunt and raise corn” (Tecumseh 232) and in return, they are all tortured by them. This is something every Indian person can relate to because their people are the ones who helped to make the white people strong, when they could have just left them as they were. As a result, their history plays a huge part in the consequences that both tribes now face. Moreover, the white people are on a mission to take everything away from them and this becomes a battle for …show more content…

Tecumseh presents his speech at a time when the Indians are most vulnerable and stressed out, making it easier for him to advocate his point. The Great Spirit is a figure that they all depend upon and respect and Tecumseh talks about him as if they are the same being. He takes on the role of the spiritual figure by explaining all the things that it has done for the white people and pretending to know what it currently wants. By using a figure that the Indians admire, he is turned into the connection that everyone is drawn to. The Osages are in a state of vulnerability, which makes it easier for them to be persuaded, especially by a figure that they respect. Tecumseh uses this spiritual figure to explain that they “all belong to one family; [they] are all children of the Great Spirit; [they] walk in the same path; slake [their] thirst in the spring; and now affairs of the greatest concern leads [them] to smoke the pipe around the same council fire” (Tecumseh 232). He is emphasizing the importance of family and eliminates the idea of any difference between the two tribes by insisting that they are all the same and as “children” of the Great Spirit, they must learn to work together and end this “war” between them and the white people. Furthermore, Tecumseh pretends to know what the Great Spirit wants by reminding the Osages of how “he gave the white people a home beyond the great

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