John Smith Essay

2632 words - 11 pages

The fabled Pocahontas saved Captain John Smith from inevitable doom. The story of Pocahontas is included in "The General History," a series of accounts from John Smith, one of the first Jamestown settlers. He tells of the colony's original struggles, but also promotes permanent settlement in the Americas. Jamestown was settled in 1606 under supervision of President Wingfield. Smith goes on to tell how he eventually became a prominent member in the settlement hierarchy and took over leadership responsibilities. Captain Smith's efforts were lackluster as the company's rewards were anything but. He was awarded a set of islands that were "of barren rocks, the most overgrown with such shrubs and sharp whins you can hardly pass them." The General History would become Smith's longest and most important work. In attempting to give "The General History" of Jamestown, Smith reveals underlying attitudes towards the people involved in the expedition.John Smith has an immense loyalty to the Council. He feels a duty to extricate the company from being blamed for the misfortunes of Jamestown. ""¦What we should find, or want, or where we should be, we were all ignorant"¦" (13) In order to protect the company Smith must lay blame on another. He chooses to lay blame on all parties onboard ship. No one knew what to expect, so if the mission were to fail, it was the settlers fault for not investigating the voyage before hand. ""¦What we could be thought fitting or necessary we had"¦" (13) The Council had provide all supplies, food, etc. that the settlers believed they would need. By no means was anyone to think that they ran out of food because their original provisions were lacking. In defending the company, Smith uses many words such as "we," "where," "want," "were," etc. The alliterative sound device allows Smith to portray his point. When he wrote the account, he wanted to be sure that the company was free of blame. Using alliteration causes the reader to consider his argument. Smith, a company man, will not tolerate others questioning the actions of their superiors. "And now where some affirmed it was ill done of the Council to send forth men so badly provided"¦" (13) Smith found it necessary to include in his writing the feeling of the settlers. They were beginning to think it was the fault of the company for their insufficient food supplies. Smith was elevated in the eyes of the company because Smith fulfilled his duty to prevent mutiny against the company. ""¦We both spent our victual and lost opportunity of time and season to pant, by the unskilled presumptions of our ignorant transporters"¦" (13) Many of the settlers are angry with the company for incorrectly calculating how long it will take to reach the New World. They believe the company to have doomed the seemingly ill-fated mission. The company pays smith's wages so he must defend them....

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