Captain Cook Analysis

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No matter how we earnestly hope to know the past as it is, it is impossible unless we succeed in inventing the tie machine, and such probability is extremely low at present. Therefore, we have no other way but to rely on things, pictures, or documents as a source of information, which is unexceptionally applied to the time of explorations in the Pacific by Europeans. This essay will concentrate, in particular, on the account written by Captain Cook in New Holland, August 1770, because it goes so far as to interpret the natives’ lifestyles or behaviors and infer their values behind, relativizing them in comparison with Europeans. Most of the accounts by the voyagers, by contrast, do not include careful observations of the natives and analyses…show more content…
Moreover, his statement that these natives are much happier than Europeans implies his rather negative opinion for himself, Europeans. Considering the historical fact, in addition to his statement, that the Industrial Revolution, which was featured by mass production and mass consumption, first began just around the time Captain Cook wrote this journal, it could be inferred that Europeans then were already caught up in materialistic desires like us in today’s modern world. However, as I mentioned in the first paragraph, all the interpretations for the indigenous people and Europeans cannot exclude Captain Cook’s personal impressions. In fact, Joseph Banks, who explored Australia with Captain Cook wrote quite differently in his account in New Holland 1770. For instance, he depicts the natives’ ways of talking as “harsh sounding language,” which is just polar to “voices are soft and tunable.” He also seems to think of trading as one of the marks of civilization, and by contrast evaluate non-trading unfavorably as a sign of lack of ability to appreciate values, although Captain Cook recognizes as irrelevance to greed. In conclusion, Captain Cook’s account in New Holland 1770, gives us abundant information about the Aboriginal people, from their appearances to their customs. Although he does not mention directly Europeans, by paying attention to the way he develops his viewpoint towards the indigenous people in comparison with Europeans, we could read the trend in European then. But we should not forget that these information are inevitably based on his personal outlook to some

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