The Name Of War Essay

1291 words - 5 pages

The Name of War

In this historical and culturally divided book, Jill Lepore examines and tries to define the King Philips War and how people wrote about it. At the beginning of the colonies it was a start of a “New England" and after the King Philip’s War with all of the religious conflicts and war stories, a new American identity was born. Throughout this book she tells gruesome tales about murders, massacres, and battles. Even thought his book jumps a lot in chronically order she successfully tells the tales for both sides pretty accurately. I enjoyed reading some parts of this book. Especially the beginning and the middle because I thought the End dropped off and slowed down.

Starting even before the war begins, she tells the tale of John Sassamon which she uses as the basis of ideas. This is a center point of the first part of her book. Why Sassamon was either killed for no reason or assassinated? New England Indians at the time were to become accustom to English goods and some were even converting to Christianity. Soon after the war begins she shows how the Indians use Christianity as a part of their war. Also after the war begins she writes about how many writers try to capture the war in words so that the colonies don't loose their "Englishness". This is ironic because by trying not to loose their "Englishness" they form an American identity.

Inside the John Sassamon story lays the true reason why he was killed. Sassamon was an educated man, which was very rare considering he was a Native American. Even though he was growing apart from some of his friends in the colonies he still had strong ties with them. There are many reasons why he would be killed but none as strong as turning on your own people. Treason is considered a great offence to our country, imagine the offence taken by the Native Americans. Reading this book I found great similarities with the Native American culture and one with a gang or a mob family. All of them seem to have great penalties for one of their own turning against them. The major difference would be that the Native Americans religion was also a great deal of their culture. A mob family’s religion (catholic or instance) would conflict with the killing of another human. But the Native Americans were not that way, if one was killed and they took hostages then the one killed could be revenged by killing a hostage.

John Sassamon was not only killed because he turned against his people when he tried to warn the colonists. He also represented something that King Philip didn't like, a Native American turned English. In the book it says "The first casualty may have been the Pequot man whom an Indian interpreter, possibly Sassamon himself: 'What are you, an Indian or an Englishman?' The answerableness of this question would eventually kill Sassamon too." pg 47.

The killing of John Sassamon was with out a doubt the beginning of the war. Even though that no shots were fired at any colonists war was...

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