Van Gogh Essay

1534 words - 6 pages

Imperialism: Attitudes & Assumptions Many countries have attempted to justify their actions of occupying and colonizing other nations. Many colonizers portray the native's of these colonies as savages, juveniles, and needing welfare. At the same time these colonists consider themselves saviors, philanthropists, and hard working individuals. Many writers of the 19th century and today have there own very strong opinions. Some of the writers include Rudyard Kipling and John Ruskin, who both shared their opinions that colonizers are higher and better than their countries they are supposed to be helping. Other writers of this era will also be included to explore the tensions of viewpoints of the times. Rudyard Kipling's White Man's Burden was written in 1899 to give advice of how the United States should interact with the colonized Philippines. Kipling explains to the United States that they are the savior of these savage people who do not know any better. Kipling describes them as "half devil half child" (Kipling 445) in an attempt to portray these people as juvenile delinquents with no direction. Kipling also wants the United States to see that the Phillepenos are like children who need strict rules and guidelines to follow. Kipling also attempt's to make the United States aware that they must change these unbelievers into believers. Kipling warns that this will be unwelcome, however it is necessary in order to save these savages. Kipling reminds the United States to ignore this opposition because the United States is doing the right thing. Kipling also warns that during this transition the Americans must keep in the back of their mind that they will be judged and remembered by how they act. Kipling tells the United States that they must know that there will not be an easy reward and that the United States must keep working. John Ruskin's Conclusion to Inaugural Lecture follows the ideas of Kipling's White Man's Burden. Ruskin follows Kipling's idea of one nation being better than another nation, and that these savages of the world require a western savior. Ruskin shows his feelings immediately by making clear that there are noble people who are the only people who can create noble things. Ruskin points out the British need for compliance to laws, which is even more important due to the problems in its own classes. Ruskin explains that not everyone can "be occupied in the fine arts"(Ruskin 17), and that those who do not belong in high arts must not waste their time in pleasure, but rather find their "useful energy"(Ruskin 17). Ruskin continues on to say that this "useful energy" is the tool to create the perfect culture. Ruskin's belief that the English are better stems from a few different beliefs of his. Ruskin believes that since the English are more advanced than the nations it colonized they are a superior people. Ruskin believes that their religion is better and that they must attempt to fulfill this religion. Ruskin...

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