Source Evaluation #1


For my first source I used episode 5, titled “Wounded Knee”, of PBS’ documentary series “We Shall Remain”. This documentary had extensive information regarding the American Indian Movement as a whole, and also the activist group’s involvement in the Occupation of Wounded Knee of 1973. In addition, it told the story of Native life since the Wounded Knee massacre and more specifically, the Ogala Lakota tribe.

The documentary began by describing the long list of grievances brought upon by Dick Wilson, including starvation, extreme poverty, and murder. In a last act of defiance they overtook Wounded Knee in an attempt to save their way of life. The film described how the occupation was considered by many to be a revival of Indian Culture and life; “Tecumseh and Geronimo had their day. And we had ours”. It also brought the issues of indian life to national press.

The documentary also focused on the American Indian Movement. It told how they were the most influential Native activist group. The main asset the American Indian Movement had that other groups did not was that they were willing to commit acts of violence. Violence later brought media, which gave the group a strong voice. The Documentary gave insight to the AIM’s role in the occupation. It referenced how the first thing that AIM did after taking over Wounded Knee was contact the media. Had it not been for that, the indians may have never gotten national attention.

Overall, the documentary is a very strong first source that gives foreground to an insurrection that would become on of the most pivotal moments in modern Native American history. Furthermore, it provided lots of information about the AIM and their role in modern Native American History.

“Wounded Knee.” Episode #5. We Shall Remain. PBS. 2011. Television.


Huck Finn: Racist or Not?

Based on the perpetual use of the “N” word throughout the book, any sensible being would consider Huck Finn to be a racist novel. With Jim being a main character, and the only man of color in the story, we only can look towards Jim to decipher whether the book is racist or not. From the beginning to the end Huck, and others, refer to Jim using solely racial slurs. However, the depiction of Jim and Huck’s treatment to Jim suggests that the novel is not prejudiced.

Firstly, Jim is portrayed as an all around good person. In the second half of the book, Huck calls Jim a “good nigger” multiple times. Jim always would always let Huck sleep while ” it was his turn”(211) to keep watch. Towards the end, Jim helped Tom after he got shot and nursed him. Jim even sacrificed his freedom to help Tom. Jim performed the ultimate sacrifice for Tom: a chance at relapsing into slavery. He also protected Huck by “never let[ting] on to know me [Huck]”(289). Yet, Jim requests the bare minimum, only “bread and water”(289). To put these things in other terms, Jim is a stand-up man. He is fair; caring; and doesn’t cede anything if it will hurt others.

Furthermore, the friendship Jim and Huck develop crushes any thoughts of racism. Although he didn’t realize until later in the book Huck comes to find that he values Jim a great deal. In chapter 31 Huck is unsure whether he should turn Jim in or not. He learned in sunday school that anyone who helps “nigger[s] goes to everlasting fire”. However, Huck refuses to turn in Jim he would rather “go to hell”(246) than hurt Jim. This shows the significance of Jim in Huck’s life. Huck, willingly, would bear eternal pain instead of turning in Jim. Another example of their friendship is when Huck thought that Jim had been sold. Upon hearing this information, Huck “begun to cry”(248). The reason as to why the friendship has so much importance is because Huck is the protagonist of the novel. Due to this, the mere fact that Jim is a great friend of Huck puts down the thought of racism; the entire novel contains a story of a runaway slave and a white boy.

Nevertheless, the book is not racist. Once one looks ” beyond the word ‘nigger'” it is glaring that the novel, actually, involves a great deal of satire towards slavery. In many different scenes Twain describes how horrible it would be for Jim to go back to slavery, multiple scenes talk of how great Jim is. Fittingly, the book ends with Jim being “prime” and treated excellently. Twain did this to leave a lasting impression that Jim is good, in fact, excellent.




A Glimpse Into Huck Finn

In a brief glance one may think that Huckleberry Finn is a rudimentary character and nothing more. However, after analysis it can be found that Huck Finn presents a more intricate character with defining facets. However, his most important trait is his impartiality towards all. This can be found through close examination of Huck’s reactions towards the environment he is in, and the people he interacts with.

Throughout the first half of the novel Huck resides in multiple, distinct, areas. To begin, he lives with Widow Douglass. Finn absolutely detests living with her in the start of his residence there. He describes it as: “so lonesome I[Huck] wished I was dead”, “I did wish I had company”. The scenery also indicates how Finn feels: the leaves “rustled… ever so mournful”. A pervasive scene of death in the paragraph further suggests that Huck despises his situation: “I was dead… somebody that was dead… somebody that was going to die… a ghost”. Nevertheless, Huck abhors the Widow’s household. However, the later comes to like it. The “Widow’s ways” slowly grow on him, “they warn’t so raspy on me[Huck]. He later “could stand school” and “liked the new [ways]. This same structure reappears several times throughout the book. When Huck’s surroundings change he does not acclimate well in the beginning. However, he later comes to terms with his living arrangements and enjoys them. He encounters all walks of life: poverty, wealth, river life, hunter trapper life, etc. But not one area stands out to Huck, he has impartiality towards all which shows that he adapts easily and is happy anywhere.

The perpetual theme of impartialness also manifests itself in Huck’s treatment towards others that are close to him. Huck is not mean individual, he instead presents himself with the same conduct to all. An example is his relationship with Jim. Jim, a slave who was owned by Widow Douglass, receives as much respect as any other character in the book. Finn describes him as “smart”, “good”; Huck evens develops a strong friendship with Jim. But he also is as respectful towards Jim as to Buck, Widow Douglass, the Duke and the King, etc. This shows that he is unbiased of backgrounds and complies with everyone close to him.

Nevertheless, the defining feature of Huck is that he is unprejudiced, which is demonstrated in both his surroundings and his interactions with others. This general respect reveals that Huck represents a protagonist and an overall good person.

Howard Hughes and American Ambition

Stage and Screen, Business, Aviation, Personalities, pic: 1947, Millionaire American Howard Hughes pictured with an engineer on the vast wooden sea-plane "Spruce Goose" which he designed, Howard Hughes, (1905-1976) millionaire Businessman, Aviator and film Director/Producer was an eccentric who became a total recluse (Photo by Paul Popper/Popperfoto/Getty Images)

The man standing in the image is Howard Hughes. He is aboard his “Spruce Goose”, or the Hughes H-4 Hercules. The Hercules was created to move troops and materials across the atlantic due to the large amount of ships that were begin sunk by the Germans. With materials scarce Hughes elected to make the plane out of birch, with the use of a small amount of spruce. Henry Kaiser, the creator of the concept of the H-4, left the production of the Hercules early, leaving Hughes to create the plane. Nevertheless, Hughes finished the plane in 1946, after WWII. Due to this, the plane was of no use to military and the contract was cancelled. Hughes was later tried for his failure to meet military contract during the war. He would emerge victorious against unjust Senator Brewster who was trying to meet the desires of Pan Am owner Juan Trippe. The trial was dropped when it was discovered that Trippe persuaded Brewster to try Hughes, his competitor in the aviation world.

Hughes grew up in Texas, and after his father’s death inherited Hughes Tool Company. Hughes Tool Co. was vastly successful for their oil drilling bit which lead to massive revenue. Hughes later used the company to venture into the movie business, making many successful motion pictures such as Hell’s Angels, and Scarface. With an affluent interest in aviation Hughes became the leading shareholder of TWA, an american airline. Hughes guided the company to prosperity and introduced revolutionary airplane designs to the company.

Howard Hughes is a story of American ambition. His endless desire for success, his self-belief, and his bold means led him to evolve into the richest man in America for a number of years. He was not complacent upon his inheritance of Hughes Tool Company, he later strove for excellence in his own interests. Which led him to forge a successful life of his own through aviation and creating motion pictures; the key facet of the American dream is manifested in him: the desire for success. He took a colossal risk in creating the unprecedented Hercules, and yet he believed in himself: “I have stated several times that if it’s a failure, I’ll probably leave this country”. Through this belief he pushed into unparalleled engineering frontiers and success in the H-4 and other progressive planes. Like “George”, he attested to the unjust opposition in Senator Brewster. Triumphantly, he came out of the trials favorably, overcoming the corrupt. Hughes evokes crucial principals of American history and created contemporary ideas for American citizens.

Sadly, Hughes later led a reclusive lifestyle due the exacerbating demands of his increasingly harmful OCD. He died in 1976 and had the Spruce Goose maintained up until the end of his life.

Ps. One of my favorite movies “The Aviator” was based on him. It’s an excellent movie and I recommend it, although it’s quite long.

Pre “Miracle on Ice” and It’s Implications

(Full Video ⬇️)

“Here you had a group of 18, 19 year old college kids who had really never played together… and here they are going up against these communist countries, particularly the Soviet Union. Where a lot of those guys were professional hockey players.”

“Having the US win the Olympic medal in hockey was the greatest thing that could happen to a teenager like myself… watching this event and the buildup to it. It was a tremendous event and it left you speechless.”

For my interview I spoke with my father about the 1980 “Miracle on Ice”. The preceding years to the game were very gloomy. Although Carter had solved the oil embargo of 1973-74, it had left a lasting impression on Americans and portended the economic downfall of the late 70s. The recession of the 1970s left the United States with an unemployment rate of 8%; the highest since the Great Depression. Furthermore, the US was in the midst of the Cold War; a very terrifying time. Also, the US was coming off of the Vietnam war which ended in the early 70’s. To top it all off, the Iranian Hostage Crisis was in full force. In other words, the US was not in it’s best form. Yet, out of this darkness a source of inspiration was forged; the 1980 Miracle on Ice.

The 1980 Olympic team was comprised mostly of college hockey players because, at the time, professional athletes were not allowed to compete in the Olympics. However, the Soviet Union had a loophole. Many of the Soviet Union’s players were technically employed by the Red Army; even though they had almost no military duties. Essentially, the USSR players were professional athletes, however they maintained their amateur titles.

Despite that they were amateurs, the US team began to win games. After picking up wins against Czechoslovakia, Norway, Romania, and West Germany the team faced the USSR in the semifinals. Amidst the Cold War, the Soviet Union was the US’ distinct, bitter rival. With the crowds ebullient, the US hockey team routed the Soviet Union; with a decisive goal by captain Mike Eruzione with ten minutes left. The US would hold on to win the game and shock the world. The streak continued when the US beat Finland in the championship game to win the Olympic gold medal.

The Miracle on Ice ignited US nationalism, it proved that Americans could achieve anything. The tournament was a source of inspiration; the unqualified, amateur Americans rallied to beat the professional, skilled Soviets. The game was a blow to the Soviets, their bitter rival defeated them in their highest degree of excellence. The tournament foreshadowed the eventual downfall of the Soviets and the US’ triumph in the Cold War.

Get Culture

Central Virginia’s pure beauty is boasted in many areas; however, this grace is represented the most in it’s beautiful geography. One way to experience Virginia’s outdoors is to take a hike. For the hike, Bearfence Mountain was chosen, and more specifically, the rock scramble trail. After an hour long drive I arrived at Shenandoah National park and in front of the mountain. The 2.5 mile hike was short, however the last stretch of the hike was a rock scramble which featured a sizable drop off to one side. At the end of the trail there is a rock lookout where one can see for miles upon miles. DSC_1705 copy

Americans enjoy hiking so much because it evokes a sense of  triumph, the hiker has conquered the mountain and now is at the top. Furthermore, the peak promises rest, a beautiful view, and protection from getting hurt along a rugged trail. Which is similar to the American workforce; after one works hard and fights his way to the top there is a promise of prosperity, a better life, and security.

Since their inception in 1872, national parks’ popularity has been vast. National parks are prominent in America because they display it’s beauty. Americans love for it’s beauty is shown everywhere; for instance, the song “America, the Beautiful”. Is it literally said that “God shed His grace on thee”; and this song is celebrated for verbalizing this elegance.

Finally, the only way to end a good, American day would be to enjoy the one this that challenges apple pie in “Americanness”; the wonderful cheeseburger. Even better, to enjoy this cheeseburger in the company of your friends at a renowned local restaurant: Tip Top.

What Every American Should Know

1892_small_fullsize  (Immigrants on Ellis island)


The two interpretations of the article go as follows: a statement of contemporary America’s desires; and an attack on “classical” American’s beliefs. A modern American would view this as an article that addresses inequality in America. One who has traditional American views would deem the article as one that talks of unnecessary, untrue problems in America today.

Great Gatsby Quote

“By seven o’clock the orchestra has arrived, no thin five piece affair, but a pitful of oboes and trombones… the cars from New York are parked five deep in the drive, and already the halls and salons and verandas are gaudy with primary colors, and hair shorn in strange new ways, and shawls beyond dreams of Castile.”

Why does Gatsby attempt to lure Daisy to his house by throwing large parties, rather than contacting her directly?