Comparing And Contrasting Personas: Best And Hariot

1046 words - 5 pages

In George Best’s A True Discourse and Thomas Hariot’s A Brief and True Report of the New Found Land of Virginia, both men share a common goal, which was to get people to America. George Best used a persona that portrays someone logical, or a thinking man; but does not stray from his religious background and the beliefs of the time period. Thomas Hariot presented an authoritarian persona, someone who knows the ways, people, and the commodities of the colony. While both men chose a different persona, they knew to use what would be best for their purpose and their audience. Each persona was chosen for its effectiveness and each came across differently in these works. They both, however, wanted ...view middle of the document...

Best also made sure to include many human aspects in his work, he knew that some would be persuaded by showing what is similar in all of us, not what is different in each of us. This was important because his persona had more of a separatist tone; but his goal was not to separate, it was to educate.
Thomas Hariot took a different approach; he presented himself as an authority on all aspects of his topic. In his opening words, he immediately begins using the pronouns I and you. This creates a relationship that suggests the reader is ill informed or has a misconception, and he is going to correct that with his first-hand knowledge. His only purpose is to tell his audience the truth. He does this with the formatting of his work, but also by creating his role as the one of the authority, or the expert. While Hariot does create this distinction, he knows when to exclude himself from the natives. He states, “If there fall out any warres betweene us and them, what their fight is likely to bee, wee having advantages against them so many maner of wayes, as by our discipline, our strange weapons and devises else, especially Ordinance great and small, it may easily bee imagined: by the experience wee have had in some places, the turning up of their heeles against us in running away was their best defence” (Hariot 83). This immediately allies Hariot with his readers and not with the natives. This is a very smart distinction; it allows him to be an authoritarian, but still be seen as a patriot. This technique is effective for his audience; he must be perceived as educated on this subject, but cannot afford to alienate himself from his countrymen. This differs from Best only because it is more important for Hariot to be an expert for his audience, but still connect with them. This is why he specifically uses the pronoun us when referring to war with the natives; an important...

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