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Compare and Contrast Essay on Red Jackets and Tecumsehs Speeches

3 pages
581 words
University of Richmond
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The speeches by Jacket and Tecumseh, The Great Spirit Has Made Us All and The White Men Are Not Friends to the Indians respectively, are great oratorical ever put in the record. The two Ancient Indian Chieftains use literary skills exceptionally. They are a perfect embodiment of what one would emulate when attempting to unite people who hold divergent opinions, especially about religion. Despite both of the speeches being decades old, they are still relevant even to todays intolerant world. This paper gives an in-depth analysis of the two addresses with meticulous attention to detail, pointing out similarities and differences exhibited by them in two sections namely thematic and literary devices.


The theme of Religion: Both Jacket and Tecumseh begin their speeches by acknowledging a deity they refer to as The Great Spirit (Vanderwerth 43). Jacket and his counterpart both credit provisions of nature to the Spirit's work and love for their people (Red People) as well as their enemies who are white people. They emphasize that in as much as the whites insist that only the deity, God, (Wister 20) of the whites is the only true one that all the people should worship, they also have their deity. In fact, if the God of the whites is the universal deity, then he must have given the reds a different style of worship.

The theme of War: this topic is given much attention by Tecumseh as he is even seen charging his people to come together, and then stand up to fight. He says that his people will no longer be intimidated by their enemies and that they would fight ad stain the rivers with the blood of their enemies. He acknowledges the wars that the whites caused and also killed many reds. Jacket on the other hand only takes about war as reference topic. He approaches this issue with even more pacifism as he is seen towards the end asking the white missionary to shake hands with them.

The theme of History: this topic dominates the two speeches. Both of the speakers start by narrating the past to their addressee(s). They use the account to remind their audience who and where the problem is between the white and red people.

Repetition: Tecumseh repeatedly uses the word "Brothers," to emphasize the unity among them, and fully capture the attention of his audience lest they lose focus. The jacket uses the word "Brother" repetitively to reinforce his message to his addressee that the white people are not any better than the reds; that they are all the same and should put their differences aside and coexist peacefully.

Flashback: both Jacket and Tecumseh take their audience back in the time to show them how far they have come. While Tecumseh uses it to incite his people into fighting back and destroying the whites, Jacket uses it to ask the whites to appreciate the reds and part ways with them if need be.


Simile: Tecumseh uses this literary device to give his audience a clear picture of the white people. He tells them to be wary of them and likens the whites to poisonous serpents to say to his audience just how dangerous these people are.

Rhetorical Questions: Jacket uses rhetorical questions towards the end of his speech. These reveal a lot of hypocrisy and insecurity in the white mans religion.

Works Cited

Vanderwerth, Will. Indian oratory; famous speeches by noted Indian chieftains. University of Oklahoma Press, 1971.

Wister, Owen. Redmen and white. Harper & Brothers, 1906.

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