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Summary Of The Gift Of Cochise By Louis LAmur

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Louis L’Amour - Not as Progressive as He May Seem
Louis L’Amour’s The Gift of Cochise is a piece of frontier literature that has a strong female lead, Angie Lowe, and praises the Apache as proud warriors and people. Written in the 1900’s this piece is set in a time where women and men are not seen as equals and the Native Americans are treated as second class citizens (as they arguably are today). Do to the nature of the story, on the surface, Louis L’Amour seems like an incredibly progressive writer in who pushes against the boundaries of his time. However, despite having a female lead and depicting the Apache in a good light, Louis L’Amour is not incredibly progressive as a writer. In The Gift of Cochise, L’Amour cleverly hides within his writing justifications for westward expansion and the removal of the Apache. Throughout the short story, the Author portrays the Apache as proud warriors but hidden within this praise L’Amour actually belittles the group of Native Americans. Examples of said backhanded compliments are when Cochise decides to no longer attack Angie because “(t)he Apache was a fighting man, and he respected fighting blood” and when Ches Lane tries to gain his freedom through a duel because he hoped “mercy might lead to mercy, that the Apache’s respect for a fighting man would win his freedom” [L’Amour 56,65]. While this may seem to be a praise of a high warrior code that the Apache follow strictly, in reality this demeans them by calling their way of life
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