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Christopher Columbus the first voyage

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    Christopher Columbus the first voyage

    The tone of Christopher Columbus` letters is distinctively different from each other. In the first letter written to Luis de Santangle regarding the first voyage in 14th February, 1493 Christopher Columbus is found to be very energetic and positive. He shows keen interests in the description of the islanders and each of his descriptions is presented in a manner that depicts the astonishments and elations of discovery and success. No wonder in this letter we find Christopher Columbus to be extremely optimistic and positive. The very first line of this letter indicates the ecstasy of the writer when he indicates that “you will be pleased at the great victory with which the Lord has crowned my voyage.” (Columbus, 1493) The enthusiasm is manifested too through his description of the flora and fauna of the islands. He mentions them with high notes saying that “there is honey and there are birds of many kinds”. (Columbus, 1493) No wonder the writer is very positive and extremely optimistic about his new found lands.

    But in sharp contrast the second letter, written to Ferdinand and Isabella regarding fourth voyage in July 7, 1503, depicts a man completely devastated and destroyed and sound cynical and negative all along the text of the letter. He mentions that “I have no hair on my body that is not grey, and my body is infirm”. (Columbus, 1503) This is the voice of a man who has lost all hopes and thereby pleads for the well being as little as possible. This is not the confident sailor of the first letter but a rather dejected and defeated man.

    References:

    Columbus, Christopher; 1493; Letter to Luis de Santangle regarding the first voyage;

    Columbus, Christopher; 1503; Letter to Ferdinand and Isabella regarding fourth voyage;

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