Nineteenth-Century Representations of Native Americans Criticism: The Indians Of The West - Essay

Lynn Denton (essay date 1972)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: “Mark Twain and the American Indian,” in Mark Twain Journal, Vol. 16, No. 1, Winter, 1971-72, pp. 1-3.

[In the following essay, Denton traces Twain's attitude towards Native Americans from his vilification of them early in his career to his more sympathetic treatment of them as he grew older.]

Twain's colorful attitudes toward the Chinese, Arabs, Turks, various Europeans, and Negroes (and one is tempted to include the self-righteous Puritans as an ethnic group) are well-known. Less familiar are his collective views of the American Indian, of both the savage primitive and the Noble Red Man.1 A survey of references to the Indian in Twain's writings...

(The entire section is 1863 words.)

John R. Byers, Jr. (essay date 1975)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: “The Indian Matter of Helen Hunt Jackson's Ramona: From Fact to Fiction,” in American Indian Quarterly, Vol. 2, No. 4, Winter, 1975, pp. 331-46.

[In the following essay, Byers discusses how Helen Hunt Jackson took the factual information from her report on the Mission Indians of California and fashioned it into the novel Ramona.]

In 1881 Helen Hunt Jackson published her A Century of Dishonor, one of the most scathing indictments of the United States Government on the treatment of the Indian population, or on any other charges, ever put forth. The work was the outgrowth of a rising feeling, beginning in 1872 when she traveled in California and...

(The entire section is 7331 words.)

John Randall (essay date 1976)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: “Frederic Remington's Anglo-Saxon Indian” in American Transcendental Quarterly, Vol. 30, No. 1, Spring, 1976, pp. 22-27.

[In the following essay, Randall discusses painter Frederic Remington's ambivalent view toward the western Indian in his novel John Ermine of the Yellowstone.]

Dee Brown, author of Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee, in which he “tried to fashion a narrative of the conquest of the American West as the victims experienced it,”1 suggests in his introduction that his white American audience, who are accustomed to looking westward, read this book facing eastward. This good advice is perfectly consonant with our modern fashion...

(The entire section is 5293 words.)