Christopher Columbus: Four Voyages

So upon reading the Four Voyages, I definitely had some mixed feelings. With all the books that we have read so far in this course, in my opinion, this book was the most fact, historically based one. With that being said, I found this book to be a bit more difficult because of how factual it is. But I did think that it was somewhat interesting in spite of this.

I did, however, find his log book of his voyages somewhat interesting. Perhaps it is how the text was set up, the formatting, but I found that this was a more intriguing part of the book. Reading what Columbus and his crew did each day and the progress, or lack thereof, they made along their voyage was really the only part that kind of got my attention.

Relative to how other people felt about this read, I learned a lot of things about Christopher Columbus that I never otherwise would have known. Growing up, I never further looked into his background, or the kind of man he was. I was simply just under the impression that, “oh cool, Columbus, the dude who sailed the oceans and contributed a lot to history and stuff.” To be completely honest, I never really knew all that much about him. But one thing that I thought I knew for sure, was that he contributed greatly to the world with his discoveries, and being the first man to sail around the world. However, upon reading this, I have learned of a whole other side of Mr. Columbus. Basically, I learned that my perception of him was pretty flawed. Christopher Columbus isn’t the man that I thought he was. I noticed that he is a man of greed, a man that would also make exceptions for his short comings. Makes me wonder that perhaps Columbus is not worth all the novelty and fame he has received from naïve people like me.

So I guess you could say that from reading the Four Voyages, I was quite disappointed and kind of shocked, having been exposed to the real Columbus; the ruthless and materialistic man that he has proven to be. Christopher Columbus is a man filled with many broken promises, which is something I never realized before. It makes me question that maybe he is somewhat of a monster to an extent. One thing that I will say I respect about this book, is the fact that it does show events from Columbus’ point of view. Despite my criticism and skepticism about his character, reading the Four Voyages allowed me to read his accounts first hand, getting a better idea of what he was experiencing through his own words.

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