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The Experience Of Five Christian Indians Analysis

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Rachael Goodson Professor Kathrine Chiles ENG & AFST 331 15 February 2018 William Apess In the nineteenth century, America was at one of its peaks of racial debate, with people starting to question whether it was right for the African Americans to stay enslaved, or if it was time to start the process of freeing the slaves and allowing them to live a better life. However, most people did not even question how the Native Americans were being treated or forced to change almost every aspect of their lives to “please,” as if they could ever be, the white people. William Apess’ The Experience of Five Christian Indians is an example of some of the harsh ways that Indians were treated before and even after they were “forcibly” converted to Christianity.…show more content…
In the final account with Anne Wampy William Apess uses “quotes” from her to show that even Native Americans late in age can become devoted Christians. Throughout The Experience of Five Christian Indians William Apess uses intellectual and rhetorical sovereignty as well as characterization to show that Native Americans are people who can think for themselves and represent themselves anyway they see fit. “The Experience of Anne Wampy” was the last entry in William Apess’ The Experience of Five Christian Indians and I argue that it was the most compelling argument of the five throughout the work. “The Experience of Anne Wampy” is very different from the other four accounts in the book, instead of being converted at a very early age or relatively early age like the other four, Anne Wampy was not converted until she was seventy years old. Also, instead of changing her English to a better written form Apess decided to leave it as is, this…show more content…
However, she may have been right to not view Christianity and the people that came with it, white people, as something that would save her. Even though throughout many of his stories Apess’ looks at Christianity as a great thing he does not always view the white people, who spread its content, in a favorable light. “I commenced exhorting them to flee the wrath to come— (151).” While many would use this as another example of Apess trying to convert the Native Americans, it could be taken as him warning the tribe to flee before the white people take everything. While not stated in this edition, a later edition was published and Apess describes the tribe as follows: “I visited the Pequot Indians, a small remnant left from the massacre of the whites, who are now lingering in a miserable condition upon the banks of the river Thames, apparently unpitied and unknown (151).” This statement in itself says that Apess did not consider white people as even remotely good people, he was angry with them for what they had done to his people up to that point and what they continued to do even after the Native Americans started trying to fight
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