"I Heard The Owl Call My Name" and "The Black Robe": The Indians


Although the Indians in I Heard The Owl Call My Name, and in The Black
Robe are primitive in the technological sense, they are neither simple or
emotional people.

The Indians in both texts could be classed as primitive people - if we
take primitive to mean technologically underdeveloped. The level of technology
possessed by the white man is far superior to that of the Indians, yet the
Indians in The Black Robe are happy to accept and use muskets, and in I Heard
The Owl Call My Name they are familiar with motors, washing machines and modern
building techniques brought by white man.

The Indians display their level of ignorance in regard to modern
technology in The Black Robe, when the enemy tribe believed that muskets could
only be fired once and once fired, they are useless. The Indians had little
knowledge of modern materials or tools.

When comparing the Indians in The Black Robe to the Indians in I Heard
The Owl Call My Name, we must take into account that The Black Robe was set two
hundred and twenty years earlier than I Heard The Owl Call My Name, and white
mans influence on the Indians in I Heard The Owl Call My Name was much greater.

Technology did not play an important role in the Indian\'s way of life.
Traditionally, the Indians lived off the land taking only what they needed, and
their hunting and building methods had served them well for centuries, therefore
their need to develop new technology would not have been great.

The Indians are not simple or barbaric people. Their complex belief
system and folklore related strongly to the environment and gave reasons for the
existence of everything. In my opinion this often communicates a quality of
wisdom about the Indians.

Although the Indians lead a simple natural way of life, it is not fair
to say they are simple people. The Indians in The Black Robe can communicate
with white man satisfactorily enough, considering they had little or no contact
with any other white man. They are just as - if not more intelligent than most
other people.

Category: English