Read e-book online Ruins, Revolution, and Manifest Destiny: John Lloyd Stephens PDF
By William E. Lenz
As American literary and cultural students reassess the rules of U.S. kin with different international locations, Ruins, Revolution, and occur future: John Lloyd Stephens Creates the Maya locates in Stephens’s immensely well known nineteenth-century go back and forth narratives (1841, 1843) the assets of yankee perceptions of primary the US and contributes on to present redefinitions of yankee nationalism, show up future, and hemispheric imperialism. The research demanding situations glossy readers to envision severely the cultural stereotypes that the 19th century embraced and that frequently shaped the root for nationwide coverage. through examining Stephens heavily, through finding him inside of a bigger cultural discussion approximately such an important concerns as nationwide id, race family members, appear future, and old illustration, we will greater comprehend prior and current nationwide attitudes towards peoples and international locations south of the U.S. territorial border. expecting a number of the matters that may provide upward push to the conflict with Mexico after which to the U.S. Civil warfare, Stephens sees the racial panorama of primary the US in stark different types. Writing commute narratives approximately relevant the United States and interpreting narratives written by means of an American touring in principal the United States are acts of cultural imperialism that bring about either author and reader implicitly owning critical the United States, soaking up its Mayan historical past and modern variety into an American nationwide mythology. imperative the US turns into, via Stephens’s acts of exploring and inscribing, an resourceful extension of the USA and the Maya, the unique New international americans. Ruins, Revolution, and appear Destiny encourages twenty-first-century readers to untangle those usually conflicting acts of exploration, inscription, and mind's eye.
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Additional info for Ruins, Revolution, and Manifest Destiny: John Lloyd Stephens Creates the Maya
It is a powerful government, rather than a powerful deity, that protects and watches over the American traveler” (340–341). Yet certainly in this instance it is Stephens’ ingenuity that saves him, his quick wit and inventiveness rather than his powerless government with its obviously useless and meaningless passport. In a distracted country, a man must do for himself. ” To avoid a repetition of his incarceration, at Copan the careful Stephens attempts to establish his official identity immediately with the local important personages, Don Jose Maria Asebedo and Don Miguel.
Stephens dramatizes himself as the enlightened man among illiterate savages. Surfacing in this episode are the fear of mob rule, fear of lower class violence, fear of the mysterious and dangerous “other”—Indian, Mestizo, soldier—which refuses to recognize the sanctity of the Special Minister from North America, all of which appear characteristic of this nineteenth-century New York lawyer. indb 34 5/25/13 1:35 PM PERSONAL IDENTITY , NATIONAL MYTHOLOGY : WRITING THE SELF AS AN AMERICAN HALF - DOLLAR | 35 has been overcome, as he writes his narrative in the security of New York City, he constructs himself as superior to them all, able to impress them with a parlor trick seal as if they had been five-year-olds.
The village procession in honour of its patron saint is the great pride of the Indian, and the touchstone of his religious character. Every Indian contributes his labour and money toward getting it up, and he is most honoured who is allowed the most important part in it. This was a rich village, at which the muleteers of Guatimala lived; and nowhere had I seen an Indian procession so imposing. . The dancing continued till two o’clock, and the breaking up was like a separation of a gay family party.
Ruins, Revolution, and Manifest Destiny: John Lloyd Stephens Creates the Maya by William E. Lenz