Thursday, December 3, 2009

Journal for Alvar Nunez Cabeza de Vaca


Gregory Alcala
English 48A / Lankford
December 3rd, 2009
Journal for Alvar Nunez Cabeza de Vaca

Quote:
“I can say for myself that I undertook the march aboard, on royal authorization, with a firm trust that my service would be evident and distinguished as my ancestors‘….” Alvar Nunez Cabeza de Vaca, from the Relation of Alvar Nunez Cabeza e Vaca
Summary:
In the very opening to his history of his voyage to America he is already reminding the reader of is family lineage. As if that would make him so right for the job, that he was bred for the job of exploring the unknown lands. I think it’s funny that it’s on royal authorization that he was sent into the darkness of the untamed wildness of the Americas with the trust he had of himself because of what his ancestors had done. I am probably using a reader’s response with this quote. I personally think family lineage is not important when looking at a single person’s achievements. The idea of someone being from a long line famous people and that means the child will grow up with the skills that will come forth at once at birth seems like such an ancient way of thinking. It would make sense in Cabeza de Vaca’s time since a people lineage set up the rest of their natural life, but in today’s world it has been thrown out.

Quote:
“Cabeza de Vaca was the first European to describe America from Florida thru Arizona. His 1542 works are the oldest history we [the state of Florida] have. He set the stage for the Conquest of Native America.” Spanish Trails in North America (http://www.floridahistory.com/cabeza.html)
Summary:
The journey that de Vaca made through America is seen, by some, as the first for it’s time. This quote was taken from an historical website so their lens for seeing the man is a rosy one. A lens that I have avoided this whole quarter. However, I think it’s funny when I read the harsh truth behind these historical icons who are exalted with people all the bad points in their life have been left out. Only the good remains because of recent history or because we are too lazy to read a little deeper in the past.

Overall Summary:
Like everyone that was seen as a hero in some point in time, there is both good and bad. Sometimes the bad outweigh the good deeds but only the good remain in the history books. Sometimes it’s to make people have a hero they can look up too. My memory is foggy when I’m thinking back to what I was taught about de Vaca in grade school. I do remember my parents telling me how he was Spanish and how he was the first man to cut a path through America. Yet when looking at the time line of people walking around in America, rarely does anyone give the Indians/Native America credit, like the villages they make covering America before it was America counted.

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