Koolau, the Lepper

In: English and Literature

Submitted By ElenaPetrova
Words 736
Pages 3
Ideas about the superiority of the white race in J. London’s “Koolau the Leper” “Koolau the Leper” is set in the 1890s and tells the story of a Hawaiian leper colony on Kauaʻi that bravely fought for its freedom of life lead by the courageous Kaluaikoolau known as “Ko'olau”. It is based on a true story about the Leper war on Kaua’i or to be more exact the version told by Bert Stolz. Through the individual story of these people Jack London paints a picture of the larger happenings of that time – the colonization and usurpation of Native American’s lands by the white race - expressing ideas that in some ways confirm its superiority and deny it in others. The first argument that speaks for the superiority of the white race is the enslavement of the Hawaiians and other races, like the Chinese, and the tricks used to accomplish it. Koolau’s opening monologue gives us a clear picture of the situation in the Hawaiian Islands. In his eyes, and the eyes of his people, the white people are all tricksters, liars. The trust shown to them by the Natives was broken and torn apart in the moment when they took their land, their freedom of choice and also of life, imprisoning them in Molokai after they get sick. “Brothers, is it not strange? Ours was the land and behold, the land is not ours. What did these preachers of the word of God and the word of Rum give us for the land? Have you received one dollar, as much as one dollar, any of you, for the land? Yet it is theirs, and in return they tell us we can go to work on the land, their land, and that what we produce by our toil shall be theirs. Yet in the old days we did not have to work. Also, when we are sick, they take away our freedom.” Second, the fight described in this short story is not a fair one by any means. The white have men and fire power that greatly outnumbers any rebel colony, in this…...

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