Media Portfolio 1
This document can be found at A&E Television Networks Christopher Columbus Biography. You can find this on iTunes under Christopher Columbus biography.
Christopher Columbus our American hero, or is he? The media I chose to analyze was on A&E Television, Biography on Christopher Columbus. I wanted to find out more about our American hero. I went on iTunes and searched for Christopher Columbus to find a forty-six minute biography. Throughout my education I learned about how Christopher Columbus found America and traveled the world. In my eyes I was taught that Columbus was a hero and he is the reason why we Americans have land. Until I read Zinn’s article “Columbus, the Indians, and Human Progress” I did not know any details of the voyage. I chose this audio biography because I want to learn more about the findings of America, what happened on the voyage, and where Columbus came from.
The biography of Christopher Columbus from A&E television is an audio that gives facts and opinions about Columbus’s life and voyages. The biography Christopher Columbus relates to Zinn’s article “Columbus, the Indians, and Human Progress” because they both talk about how Christopher Columbus found America, and the details of the journey. In the biography many Authors shared their opinions about Columbus, such as Jeffery Simcocks. Simcocks stated, “Columbus was born to sail the sea,” he started sailing when he was fourteen years old. In Zinn’s article he stated, “The information that Columbus wanted the most was: Where is the gold? He had persuaded the king and queen of Spain to finance an expedition to the lands, the wealth, he expected would be on the other side of the Atlantic-the Indians and Asia, gold and spices. For, like other informed people of his time, he knew the world was round and that he could sail west in order to get to the Far East” (4). Gold was one reason for his voyages and the A&E biography of Christopher Columbus can relate to that. The biography states how Columbus set sail for the lands, and wealth as well. A big part of Zinn’s article is about how Columbus treated the Indians. In the article Columbus the Indians and Human Progress, Zinn stated, “In the year 1495, they went on a great slave raid, rounded up fifteen hundred Arawak men, women, and children, put them in pens guarded by Spaniards and dogs, then picked the five hundred best specimens to load onto ships” (6). The A&E biography of Christopher Columbus had a different aspect on Columbus and the Indians. The biography stated “He was very much involved with the cruel treatment to the Indians, he was a brilliant leader on the sea, but he did nothing different form any other explorer or any other man looking for glory, fame, and riches for oneself.” The issue in Zinn’s article differs from the biography; Zinn is arguing that Columbus was not quite the American hero as he is pertained to be. For example Zinn states “For generation after generation, it all starts with heroic adventure-there is no bloodshed-and Columbus Day is a celebration. Only in recent years do we see droplets of change” (8). Where as the Biography does mention the cruel treatment Columbus did to the Indians, but he is still seen as an American hero in many ways.
I feel that both Zinn’s article and the A&E biography of Christopher Columbus were interesting, and informative. I learned a lot of information about Christopher Columbus’s personal life I did not know in the A&E biography, and in Zinn’s article I learned about information from his voyages that I did not know as well. The issue raised form both these interesting, informative reading’s is was Christopher Columbus this heroic figure that Americans think he is, or hearing from his voyages was he a selfish mass murder? I personally like the biography from A&E because it does mention how Columbus treated the Indians unfairly, but it talks about the reason behind it, which I thought was back then times were hard and Columbus was just doing what every other explorer did. Yes it may have been uncalled for and wrong, but I feel that Columbus had to take certain measures to become successful in his voyages. I do agree with parts of Zinn’s article such as, how the American children do not learn the whole truth about Columbus’s voyages. I feel that students should learn the truth about the killings from the voyages sometime in their high school education. From both reading’s and learning new information about Christopher Columbus such as his childhood, the killings, voyages, and findings I still believe Columbus is an American Hero.