As I’ve already mentioned in my last essay, Adventures by Cabeza de Vaca was the account of a soldier in the 16th century who survived among the native American tribes in the South of the modern U.S.A. for ten years. He then was able to return to his home, Spain, and write down this account.
A contemporary of Vaca’s was Bartolome de Las Casas, a spanish friar who went to the New World to preach Christianity and convert the Natives. He wrote his account, A Brief Account of the Destruction of the Indies, in 1552. It is almost all about how cruel, in Las Casas’ eyes, the Spaniards were and how innocent the native tribes were.
Which of the two books was most enjoyable? I enjoyed reading Adventures by Cabeza de Vaca much more for a couple of reasons.
First off, it is more interesting. Period. Who wants to hear about what horrors were committed to the Natives (Las Casas’ book) versus reading about how a man survived for ten years in a rather hostile environment, surviving by the skin of his teeth (de Vaca’s book)?
Cabeza de Vaca also had a very strong faith in God and that comes across throughout the account and in the way he writes. And although Las Casas was a religious person, he didn’t seem to be as joyful and happy in God. It was much more enjoyable and uplifting to read Cabeza’s book. The other was a little depressing, to be honest.