Exploring the Transformation of Alvar Nunez Cabeza de Vaca in The Narrative of Cabeza de Vaca
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In "The Narrative of Cabeza de Vaca", Alvar Nunez Cabeza de Vaca’s fight for survival, while being deprived of the basic necessities of life, proves there is a change in him from the beginning of the narrative to the end. This transformation, though, affected multiple aspects of de Vaca, including his motives, character, and perspective of civilization. Cabeza de Vaca’s experience is crucial to the history of America, as well as Spain, because it was one of the first accounts that revealed a certain equilibrium between the mighty and superior Spaniard and the Indian, once the Spaniard was stripped of his noble stature. The idea of nakedness is consistent throughout the narrative and conveys the tribulations he experienced and a sort of…show more content…
The others also disagreed with the governor, but had different opinions of what the next step should be. The governor’s ignorance of their advice led the expedition to move inland from where they were, and further toward the dangers and misfortunes that laid ahead.
This decision of the governor was the turning point of the conquest, yet Cabeza de Vaca does not know it yet. Cabeza de Vaca’s suggestion to aboard the ships and look for better land elsewhere probably would have been a valid proposition looking back on it. The Spaniards would have avoided the rough estate and swampy grounds that caused them experience physical weaknesses that they were not accustomed to. Cabeza de Vaca, although he guessed it before they went inland, quickly realized that after a few days of traveling across the uneasy country this was going to be a struggle. Guided by Indians, the Spaniards moved north in search of a settlement called Apachale, where they were told they find all of the gold and abundance of food they needed. After a difficult journey through a thick forest, they arrived at Apalache, “where we wished to be and where we had been assured so much food and gold would be had made us forget many of our hardships and our weariness” (de Vaca, 16).
At this point Cabeza de Vaca is