A critical view of the excerpt reveals that the British and the Europeans had interest that surpassed mere geographical discovery since they also aimed at enlightening the inhabitants by replacing their cultural and social norms. They regarded such as a great strategy in broadening the minds of the natives, meaning that considered them inferior. Essentially, the British perceived themselves as superior to the locals. The voyages laid the necessary foundation of the subsequent colonization. Evidently, the aim of Captain Cook's voyages was to determine the common aspect of the two cultures (European and the local) and then use such for the establishment of the colonial quest. That is why that Captain Cook analyzes the belief systems, the living conditions, the distinctive attitudes of the natives, and the cultural habits since he perceives his community (the British community) as a symbol of development and enlightenment.
The British viewed the natives as the symbol of ignorance, barbarity, and backwardness since they impose dominance over women, kill fellow humans, restrict women in the participation proving their capabilities and participating in social life. Additionally, there is male hegemony, the degeneration of the institution of marriage, and high levels of perceived corruption. Captain Cook posits that locals do not hesitate in committing heinous crimes and in spreading immorality to the other communities. Cook is the ultimate representative of the British colonizers, meaning that his observation or attitude towards the locals, albeit skewed, is the representation of the European or the British position on the local people, their mannerism, and culture. Cook defines the natives as cannibals, brutal humans, and barbarous. He then emphasizes his superiority by focusing on the weaknesses, inferiority of the locals.
The Attitudes of the Locals towards the British (Europeans)
The locals consider the Europeans, the British as somewhat disillusioned in thinking that they are superior. Such is evident in Forster's assertions that no culture is superior to the other since people have different perspective about the environment, culture, and religion. Geographical position, climate, and the height of the mountains define the cultural practices of a given community according Forster, meaning that the claim of superiority or inferiority is utterly false. The locals also view the Europeans as hypocritical in that they are the custodians of Western civilization religion (Christianity) and formal education, but still use oppression and suppression to the people two have different view about life. The ironical enlightenment and the education process stir feelings of rebellion among the locals. Despite the Western civilization and the purported cultural superiority, they are even worse than the locals are since they take to the battled field and cut each other's throat, which seemingly is worse than cannibalism.
Reasons why the Europeans View the Locals as Inferior
The British, the Europeans regarded themselves as superior because they were more enlightened, learned, and refined, and they thought that the locals subscribed to wrong applications in terms of cultural and social manners, and religion. In terms of religion, the locals sacrificed humans to the god, which was in absolute contrast with the dictates of Christianity. Christianity condemned polytheism and human sacrifices. The killing of innocent people for sacrifices amounted to barbarism and cruelty according to the westerners. The sacrificing of the "bad" men is barbaric since people do not have the permission to question the traditions. According to Cook, the locals are wild and primitive as depicted in their values, regulations, doctrines, and practices, thereby making them inferior.
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