Gilgamesh: A Hero for a Modern Audience
Why does America celebrate Columbus Day? Modern scholarship does not take the heroic image of Columbus seriously, and yet "revisionists" are taken to task for their critiques of Columbuss image and other popular myths.
Lindsay LaRoche Topics in Literature Dr
Americas entertainment industry has a long-standing tradition of depicting invading armies from other planets, from the 1938 radio broadcast of to the 1996 movie and beyond. The themes of those works of art tap deep into our national psyches and memories. In those stories, we are the natives. Unlike , where invisible disease vanquished the invaders, or , where a small group of unlikely heroes pulled off an unlikely upset, the Tainos (and most natives of the Western Hemisphere) were not so fortunate. Imagine that the Martian invasion was successful. Humanity quickly became a dying species as the invaders cleared the land for settlement, while importing their people, culture, crops, animals, and technology. Maybe humanity was not totally exterminated, but small surviving groups were allowed to exist on land that the invaders deemed useless, where they barely eked out an existence. Then imagine the anniversary of the invasions first day became a great day of celebration for the conquering extra-terrestrials, with their invading fleets captain a hero, and their rhetoric stated they had displaced an inferior species comprised of beings who were not properly taking advantage of what their planet offered. How would such a conquering culture be?
"It seemed to me as if the publishers had just printed up some "glory story" that was supposed to make us feel more patriotic about our country. In our group, we talked about the possibility of the government trying to protect young students from such violence. We soon decided that was probably one of the farthest things from their minds. They want us to look at our country as great, and powerful, and forever right. They want us to believe Columbus was a real hero. We're being fed lies. We don't question the facts, we just absorb information that is handed to us because we trust the role models that are handing it out."