Portrayals of a legend :how Euro-Americans have manipulated Pocahontas' image

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Vaught, Grace
Priebe, Anna C.
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Thesis (B.?)
Honors College
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Pocahontas has been a legendary figure in American history since before the nation's existence. Children learn that Pocahontas defied her people to save the life of John Smith, the man she loved. The perpetuation of this myth shows no signs of slowing down since Disney's 1995 release of the animated film Pocahontas. From the seventeenth century through today, images of Pocahontas have served as propaganda for white Europeans and Americans. Her portrait was used to show that the suppression and conversion of Native Americans was not only possible, but beneficial to the natives. Pocahontas' image was also used to sell Virginia tobacco products, as her likeness added historical value to the product. These visual representations undermine the young woman's courage in trying to bring peace between two vastly different nations. Pocahontas was certainly a tenacious woman in the early seventeenth century; however, the reproduction of her image has been manipulated to serve multiple white Euro-American agendas.