Posted by: | 29th Sep, 2008

Bartolome part 2

First of all, I think the title “Brevisima…” is very ironic. After reading all the cruel acts committed by the Europeans, I can hardly believe that it is only a part of the destruction. If it is really an abbreviation, what is the extent of the destruction brought by the Europeans to the Indians? (Not to mention the diseases…)

Secondly, there is a parallelelism between the dogs and the Spaniards. When Bartolome mentions that “I do not know which is more cruel and more hellish, and more filled with the ferocity and savagery of wild beasts…,” one can link it to the act of the “fierce, angry dogs trained to kill the Indians and tear them to pieces.” However, the most immediate response would be to link it to the Spaniards, the owners of the dogs who trained the dogs to kill. Animals are beasts that are unable to think and are of no feelings or mercy. Yet, what makes the human beings more advance and different from the wild beasts is not only the ability to think but also the humanity. In this situation, the Spaniards are more “savagery” than the dogs because they are humans who kill their own species for no apparent reason. Their response to their own evil acts also demonstrates how cold- blooded they are, for “when they return for dinner and are asked how the hunting went, they reply: ‘Good, good, because I have left fifteen or twenty of those rogues dead with my dogs.’” The Spaniards are killing the Indians for sport and also wealth.

One thing that I question is whether the King of Spain is unaware of what happens in the lands of Indians or whether he does not really care. From this book, it seems that Bartolome is writing to reveal the cruelty of the Spanish captains who went to the Indians to destroy the people. However, I would think that the king actually have some knowledge of what his men did to the Indians. Yet, he chooses not to intervene as long as he can get his gold. Even though the Spaniards have killed many, they still remember to collect the gold, which is the main purpose of their voyage. Also, like his people, the king probably dos not have any pity for those of a different race.

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