Ethnic Symbolism in Pocahontas

In: English and Literature

Submitted By iwin786
Words 668
Pages 3
Ehsan Faraz
9/24/13
Film 160

Ethnic Symbolism in Pocahontas

In Walt Disney’s Pocahontas (1955), the adventures of a young Native Virginia Indian woman in her early twenties are portrayed as she roams the forest to search for what the meaning to her life truly is. She is a free spirit who lives with the nature of the world around her and is very attached to its beauty. Once the Englishmen invade the Indians’ territory in search of new land to conquer, things begin to change. There is a shift of tone from innocence to savagery as they come looking for gold and are willing to do anything to get their hands on it. Through this clash of two different civilizations, the filmmakers adequately display the mixing of two opposing peoples and how their relationship ultimately affects the outcome of their situations. Early in the film, Pocahontas is very lonely and often spends most of her time away from her village. When she first meets John Smith, she doesn’t approach him directly, but instead, her raccoon meeko sneaks up to Smith and eats a cookie from him. This is a common way of introducing two characters because there is often anther person or object that will initiate the conversation or make the first move. It also indicates that the Indians are modest and unaware of what is about to happen to them. When John Smith meets Pocahontas, he is at first as prejudice as all the other men and ignorant to the Powhatan tribe as being a friendly people. Nonetheless after Pocahontas shows him the land and convinces him that they don’t have gold and her people are not savages like the English say they are, he decides that he doesn’t want to hurt the Indians anymore. Soon after getting to know one another, Pocahontas and John Smith fall in love. This falling-in-love feature which Disney is known for in its fairytales, disrupts the balance of their two societies causing…...

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