Week One- The MIssion

<br /><div class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0.5in;">After watching the film, <i>The Mission,</i><span style="font-style: normal;"> I was appalled, as most would be, at the cruelty shown to the Natives of South America by the Spanish and Portuguese settlers. Most of these newcomers view the Native Americans solely as a means of profit rather than human beings. This view is shown in sharp contrast to the view of the Jesuits, who hope and succeed in living with the natives and converting them to Christianity. This seemed an appropriate picture as I watched the film considering most of the early history of the New World is dominated by the mistreatment of the Native Americans. </span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0.5in;">This extreme black and white picture shown between the Jesuits and Native Americans versus the Spaniards and Portuguese is not quite historically accurate, as with most Hollywood movies. The differences were put into light for me, especially after reading James Schoefield’s “<i>The Mission </i><span style="font-style: normal;">and Other Historical Missions.” The most obvious difference between </span><i>The Mission</i><span style="font-style: normal;"> and actual history was its portrayal of the Native Americans as a primitive group without any voice in their own future. Schoefield shows that the actual tribes in South America were not as primal as the group in the movie, being well aware of their place amongst the lives of the Europeans. They were well aware of the benefits of making economic trades with the Europeans, until they began to exploit them. The Native Americans were also not so simple as to solely accept the Jesuit priest because of the enticing sound of his music, but because they knew that there would be gains economically as well as spiritually. </span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0.5in;">The Jesuits are also not as pure in real life history as they are depicted in <i>The Mission</i><span style="font-style: normal;">. Although their main purpose was to convert the Native American people to Christians, they, as well as the natives, knew that there were economic positives to be had with the interactions of these two groups. The Jesuits often exploited the natives as much as the Spaniards or Portuguese, by having them make goods, like the violins in the film, but not allowing them full access of profits from these items. Many Native Americans also did not accept Christianity so willingly, and the missions were not violence-free places. Schoefield tells that it was not uncommon for a Native American to run away from a mission to try his luck at finding a job in a larger city in South America. Natives were at least not treated too much differently in these large cities and were able to choose their specific job. </span></div><div class="MsoNormal" style="text-indent: 0.5in;">It seems that almost every group, no matter how they were portrayed in the film, were historically only interested in the bottom line. The war scene at the end was much more violent than what it would have truly been; one can only imagine this makes for a more interesting movie and makes the Europeans even more the “bad guys.” Schoefield says that this is not historically accurate at all, especially the excessive killings of the innocent. All these wasted lives would have meant profit for the Portuguese because they would have been sold as slaves. So, although these inaccuracies do indeed make for a more action packed film, they do not represent the real history of the time. <span>&nbsp;</span></div><div class="blogger-post-footer"><img width='1' height='1' src='https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/1328590662320988729-8938714541952228946?l=kmclean5-history475.blogspot.com' alt='' /></div>