Richard Slotkin's Regeneration Through Violence

1164 Words5 Pages
Being raised by Eastern-European parents, I was taught classic stories and narratives from both Russian and Georgian cultures. Growing up in South Florida, I became exposed to different American traditions and ideals. A major myth of the American culture, the myth of the West, is described by Richard Slotkin in “Regeneration Through Violence.” Slotkin focuses on the evolution of this Western myth during the time period of 1600-1860. Despite the specific time period and location, his myths and characters transcend those boundaries. Much of Slotkin’s work is centered around the interactions between settlers and Native Americans. Slotkin also gives certain examples of the “American hero” in Daniel Boone and Captain Benjamin Church. Both the relationship between settlers and Native Americans and the idea of the American hero can be observed in the 1948 film Red River. However, the themes of alienation and self-identity can be seen in prominent cultural works such as Steven Spielberg’s film, Schindler’s List. In Schindler’s List, the Jews face a similar kind of backlash from the Nazis that the Indians face from the intruding Whites. Though Slotkin acknowledges the disparities among European and Western Myths, his…show more content…
In 1973, Marlon Brando sent Native American Sacheen Littlefeather to collect his Academy Award for The Godfather. Brando wanted to make a stance against the injustices done to Indians, especially the recent events at Wounded Knee. The Trail of Tears from 1830-1850 also speaks to the racist treatment of Native Americans by the West. The heroes of the West do not protest events like these. However, in Europe we see a different picture. Racism is prevalent in Nazi Germany as it is in the West, yet there is opposition by heroes who ultimately dethrone the Nazi regime. It is blind to ignore racism in the myth of the West as it is a central issue for the development of the

    More about Richard Slotkin's Regeneration Through Violence

      Open Document