Good Example Of Essay On The Tempest As In Takaki’s A Different Mirror: A History Of Multicultural America

Type of paper: Essay

Topic: America, United States, History, Immigration, American History, Culture, Multiculturalism, Race

Pages: 4

Words: 1100

Published: 2020/11/01

The Tempest is a drama by William Shakespeare written in 1611, which was his shortest play built around the Bermuda shipwreck and the new world’s colonies. It can be considered as a romantic play, but at the same time it is a work that talks about the culture and history too. It has depictions about the problem of plague that had taken thousands of lives at that time. The trade and the resultant economic boom had resulted in farm family displacements. As the rural farm life gave away to the city life, the serene atmosphere that faded evoked nostalgia. The play had masque which had political purposes like making the ruler happy praising him and his period. These masques also had a cultural significance as they were trials to relive the past rustic and peaceful life that had disappeared along with the fertile farm lands, though the difficult times of the past were forgotten. It can also be found that masques, in the due course of time, became expensive leading to tax on the commons finally leading to English revolution. Thus, the play talks about the culture and history of the 17th century.
In 1993, Ronald Takaki wrote A Different Mirror: A History of Multicultural America which retells the history of United States of America considering all the different cultures of people who had a role in it. Because of the same reason his argument about multiculturalism and American history in this article is using The Tempest is suitable and justifiable. He had written it from the common man’s perspective understanding that the American history is much more than its discovery and its growth into a great civilization by conquering new areas. It had the involvement of many racial and ethnic groups who had to land or visit the place either by accident or by compulsion. He argues that the diversity and the multiculturalism had contributed to the America we see today. He points out that whether it is in the past or in the present, the encounter between races wouldn’t be a comfortable one, citing the odd silence he and his American driver shared realising their ethnicities.
A different mirror becomes provocative at different points to the existing streams of understanding and thoughts. For example, when Shakespeare’s The Tempest is a drama that maps an English ship which was heading towards Virginia, a place named after Queen Elizabeth I, but that got stuck at the island of Bermudas, Takaki theorises this as a representation of English entry into the Americas as part of their expansion. The hidden conflict in the investiture of Europeans in America can be noted here. Caliban, half witch-half devil, is pictured in The Tempest as the native figure which shows that natives who were dark were considered inhumane or beastly by the invaders. From the abuses inflicted on Caliban, we can understand that a master-slave relation was encouraged between Prospero, the duke, and the only native, Caliban. Caliban was not regarded as an individual, but as a monster, who did not deserve human care, consideration and respect. All these show the ethnocentricity of the white skinned Americans. They consider anyone with black skin as monsters, be it the slaves from Africa or the tribal populations from Native America.
Takaki uses Caliban from The Tempest as a pivot point to narrate all the conflicts and struggles undergone by the other immigrants as well. These immigrants include those from Asia like the Chinese, and those from Africa and North America .Brutal ways of slavery were imposed on them treating them as inferior in all ways, regarding them as cunning and lazy. All the belittlement that these groups had to endure was to rationalise the harsh treatments they had to endure. In that way, throughout the history, an illusion of justice was created. When the history was actually predominated by the different races in America, they were ill treated and denied of their rights.
Takaki repeatedly call for a proper and better understanding of the culture of America in order to understand its history. This requires unlearning of all those ideas that tell that American history was actually centered on a few aristocratic, white skinned people, and imbibing the more accurate realisation that American history was built and shaped by different cultures, races, classes and ethnicities that had landed it viz. Africans, Asians, Chicanos, Irish, Indians and Jews. In The Tempest, when Prospero ends up in the island with the only native Caliban, Caliban was made his slave. Slavery and racial or ethnic superiority thus started. Market Revolution resulted in market expansion and inclusion of new immigrants. Immigrants from Asia and Europe ended up in America crossing the vast distances that separated them and bringing with them their own cultures, skills and other resources. The diverse ethnic groups have contributed to the economic success and industrial progress. Takaki reminds that the immigrants were there in farm fields, mills, factories, orchards, canneries, mines and railroad building, especially the Irish, the Japanese, the Jews and the Chicanos. He uses these examples to cite that all the immigrants and natives had contributed to the new United Nations of America. All these people who later settled have contributed to the composition of American population and their forefathers have left a mark in the American history which is understandingly unquestionable.
The native, Caliban, in The Tempest is viewed as a threat. The Native Americans were viewed as a symbolic threat too, lacking everything related to civilized population, by the colonists. The image of Caliban and the romantic play of The Tempest are used by Takaki as strong images to revisit the actual American history together with its multiculturalism. That implies that if Caliban is seen as a victim of colonists, the real immigrants could be seen as victims of exploitation in many ways. Though they had a great part in the nation’s history, they got ignored by the nation and the historians. The social dynamics and power language between the rulers and immigrants, invaders and the natives are pictured well in the Tempest. Takaki is using similar examples from the real history of America to show that The Tempest is more than just a romantic play but a mirror to the actual American multicultural heritage and history.

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WePapers. (2020, November, 01) Good Example Of Essay On The Tempest As In Takaki’s A Different Mirror: A History Of Multicultural America. Retrieved April 19, 2021, from https://www.wepapers.com/samples/good-example-of-essay-on-the-tempest-as-in-takakis-a-different-mirror-a-history-of-multicultural-america/
"Good Example Of Essay On The Tempest As In Takaki’s A Different Mirror: A History Of Multicultural America." WePapers, 01 Nov. 2020, https://www.wepapers.com/samples/good-example-of-essay-on-the-tempest-as-in-takakis-a-different-mirror-a-history-of-multicultural-america/. Accessed 19 April 2021.
WePapers. 2020. Good Example Of Essay On The Tempest As In Takaki’s A Different Mirror: A History Of Multicultural America., viewed April 19 2021, <https://www.wepapers.com/samples/good-example-of-essay-on-the-tempest-as-in-takakis-a-different-mirror-a-history-of-multicultural-america/>
WePapers. Good Example Of Essay On The Tempest As In Takaki’s A Different Mirror: A History Of Multicultural America. [Internet]. November 2020. [Accessed April 19, 2021]. Available from: https://www.wepapers.com/samples/good-example-of-essay-on-the-tempest-as-in-takakis-a-different-mirror-a-history-of-multicultural-america/
"Good Example Of Essay On The Tempest As In Takaki’s A Different Mirror: A History Of Multicultural America." WePapers, Nov 01, 2020. Accessed April 19, 2021. https://www.wepapers.com/samples/good-example-of-essay-on-the-tempest-as-in-takakis-a-different-mirror-a-history-of-multicultural-america/
WePapers. 2020. "Good Example Of Essay On The Tempest As In Takaki’s A Different Mirror: A History Of Multicultural America." Free Essay Examples - WePapers.com. Retrieved April 19, 2021. (https://www.wepapers.com/samples/good-example-of-essay-on-the-tempest-as-in-takakis-a-different-mirror-a-history-of-multicultural-america/).
"Good Example Of Essay On The Tempest As In Takaki’s A Different Mirror: A History Of Multicultural America," Free Essay Examples - WePapers.com, 01-Nov-2020. [Online]. Available: https://www.wepapers.com/samples/good-example-of-essay-on-the-tempest-as-in-takakis-a-different-mirror-a-history-of-multicultural-america/. [Accessed: 19-Apr-2021].
Good Example Of Essay On The Tempest As In Takaki’s A Different Mirror: A History Of Multicultural America. Free Essay Examples - WePapers.com. https://www.wepapers.com/samples/good-example-of-essay-on-the-tempest-as-in-takakis-a-different-mirror-a-history-of-multicultural-america/. Published Nov 01, 2020. Accessed April 19, 2021.
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