In her letters to her son and the lady of rank, Sister Marie de l’Incarnation describes her experiences with Canadian natives and in particular her work with native girls in school. She came to Canada from France as a missionary and tried to convert the native people – in particular their young girls – to Christianity. Furthermore, she tried to make those girls follow French culture and values – essentially trying to make them similar to French girls in terms of behaviour. She was not too successful in her work, which reflects in her letters. Her letters paint a story of distrust, violence, and a general lack of getting along between the natives and the Europeans. In this paper, I will look at what Sister de l’Incarnation says about the native people in her letters critically. In particular, I will look at her views on young native girls and her attempts at trying to convert them to Christianity and living a European lifestyle. In her own words, de l’Incarnation seems to be having success in her first few letters in converting the native girls to Christianity and making them French. Towards the end, however, her plans seem be failing miserably and falling apart. While it cannot be said for certain, there is reason to believe that de l’Incarnation was either lying about or exaggerating her earlier success. The whole attempt to make the native girls Christians and French revolves around the idea of holier-than-thou attitude present among individuals, particularly during that time.
A person's feeling can be depicted by the way he or she draws their pictures. Superiority and inferiority can be shown by the way the artist makes a person or ship larger or smaller than another person or ship. This is shown in the Spanish picture where the French ships are on the coast of America. The French ships are small and the Native Americans appear to be larger. In another picture it shows ...
de l’Incarnation frequently refers to the natives as ‘savages’ and ‘barbarians’, which suggests an obvious bias and pre-determined view towards the natives. It suggests a view of the natives as inhumane, uncivilized, and primitive beings who do not know how to live. The reason for this kind of an opinion is not too hard to understand. It is cultural differences which lead to these kinds of opinions, which are still present among individuals of many societies today. The general feeling that these individuals have is that their lifestyle is the ultimate, the best, and most reasonable and anyone not living their lifestyle is living their life the wrong way. In this particular case, de l’Incarnation refers to the natives in such ways for having a strong warrior culture, living a lifestyle that is very different than her own lifestyle and not following Christianity. This is highlighted when de l’Incarnation says in her letter that “when our Savage [native] day-pupils came to our classes, we pointed out the evil into which they would be precipitated if they followed the example of their kinsmen.” This mindset is based on the presumption that the native girls’ kinsmen are evil with very little rational reasoning to support that hypothesis.
The main reason for saying this to the girls, however, was to give them reason to convert to Christianity – the main reason why de l’Incarnation was there in Canada. In her letter to the lady of rank, in her own words, she seems to be having some success in her aims: “in general these girls love us more than they love their parents, showing no desire to accompany them … They model themselves upon up as much as their age and their condition can permit.” This is something that seems rather unrealistic and perhaps exaggerated. It may be possible that this is true for a small amount of native girls, but it is unbelievable to be true among a large group of native girls. The reason why she may lie about this, intentionally or unintentionally, is not obvious, however. One very likely reason is that she tried to paint an exaggerated picture to get people back in France excited and to have something to show for her work. The fact that the letter is also to the lady of rank further means she may be exaggerating or lying about her success as a means to stay in France and continue her work.
ter> Why was Cortes with 508 soldiers able to conquer the Aztec Empire with millions of people? Cortes was able to conquer the Aztecs for several very different reasons. In combination these reasons allowed him to have the upper hand in the conquest of Mexico. Arguably these reasons can be sorted into six different categories. The various causes for Cortes success will be assessed in a climax ...
It is also possible that she had some initial success and thus was not lying about this, but that is still unlikely.
Another reason why de l’Incarnation was there in Canada was to make the native girls follow French lifestyle and culture. Again, in her own words, she seems to be having success: “they model themselves upon us as much as their age and condition can permit. When we make spiritual exercises, they keep a continual silence. They dare not even raise their eyes or look at us thinking that they would interrupt us … I could not express the caresses they give us.” Again, this seems unbelievable and unlikely and it will be proven to be so later on. However, what is interesting here is perhaps not only the attempt to convert the girls to Christianity, but also the attempt to change their lifestyle into French lifestyle of that time. This again comes down to the holier-than-thou attitude of individuals pertaining to their own lifestyle.