The material I have read tells me about how white men could be so cold-hearted towards the faith of the Indians. The setting of this story was in the highlands of the Andes Mountains. There was a little boy who was ten years old, he was going to another village, he was being guided by a native Indian, a servant of the boy's father. The Indian was concerned about how the boy would react about the altitude sickness. So he asked the boy "Master, you are not concerned about getting altitude sickness?" the boy replied saying "no I have climbed with my father to the Manancancho" (Burns, pg 28) So they went along with their business.
When it was noontime, they reached a plain full of many boulders and rocks. The Indian knew that further down the trail they were going to pass the great Cross on High. The Indian asked the little boy if he wanted to carry a stone to the cross like all others before him, but the boy just said no. When the boy was not looking the Indian put two stones in different sides of the pack mule with bags. As soon as they got to the Cross the Indian stopped and got down off his mule. He was placing a stone on the cross on high as a sign of devotion, and also to bring them good health on their trip.
He then placed the rock and after doing it instructed the boy to do the same, but the boy refused. His father had told him before about placing stones on the cross, It was only something the ignorant Indians did. The Indian told the little boy stories about what would happen if he did not do what he was told. The little master did not follow directions until he left the site of the cross, his body then started to freeze. His face was bitten by the harsh Andes' wind. He finally realized that he should have put a stone by the cross and he should have listened to the Indian guide.
The Indian took him back to the cross and the stubborn little boy placed his stone at the cross just like everyone before him. This text tells us about the differences in the cultures and faiths of the Indians and the Europeans. The writer shows us the difference in cultures by having the stubborn white boy not want to adapt to the ways of the Indians. He represents all of the Europeans who came with too much pride and unwilling to use new ideas. I think a weakness in the text is not showing enough information about the boy's father. If it was so important to place the stone at the cross, how did the father get through without placing any stones.
I do not think the writer went into enough detail about the little boy's father and why he didn't want his son placing any stones on the cross. I decided to write on this story because it was very interesting and it showed the difference between the Europeans and the Indians. I thought it surprising that the father told the son not to place a stone on the cross. Even though everyone he knew who went through that pass in the Andes did, he told his son that only ignorant people do that. It was good that in the end the child went back and placed the rock by the cross, dismissing the beliefs instilled in his mind by the father.
This story relates to my life. My parents are Republicans. Through my childhood I have had unyielding Republican ideas implanted in my head, most of which I still agree with. Like the little boy in the story I used the ideas that were implanted in my head, not being able to think for myself when people tried to debate with me about things. I was taught anyone who comes to the U.S. to live should speak English. I found myself agreeing with that statement.
After my parents made me learn Spanish. I started to talk a lot more with Latin Americans. I realized that it is not so easy just to learn English here in Florida. Many of the people here speak Spanish, so it is very hard for some people to encounter a gringo to practice English. Really, there is no point for English in some places like Miami or San Diego. I feel like gringos in border states such as Florida, Texas, and California, should learn Spanish.
It is very common for the people in Europe to speak three, four, or five languages. This story relates to me because I have had ways instilled into my mind, but I have released them from my mind and raised my own opinion on this situation, like the boy when he decided to go back and place the stone when he was originally taught not to.