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Native Americans in the United States and Pocahontas Incident John Essay

AMERICAN LITERATURE I Instructor: Dr. Le Thi Thanh Troy University – STU Campus The Pocahontas Incident John Smith Group members: Ho Truong Phuong Thao TranThi Hong Nhung Nguyen Van Huy Objectives: Understanding author’s biography and his work Understanding Pocahontas’s biography Answer three impotant questions about his work A. John Smith’s biography John Smith (1580 – 1638) had have a heroic life since he was not only a English soldier but also became explorer and author.

He contributed a part of his life to be the Captain of the first ship which made a landfall at Massachuselts in 1602 to explore New England. He was also memorized for the founder by setting up the English settement at James Town, Virginia. John Smith’s life experienced many adventures when he was an adolescent in Europe. His life time had been through many coups such as fighting with the Turk, becoming a slave which was sold to Asia Minor, killing his captors… At twenty-seven years old, hesailed to New Wold and explored the Chesapeake Bay, the shores of New England.

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He also got a friendly relationship with Native Americans. Moreover, he also was a famous writer and made some well-known books included A True Relation (1608), A Map of Virginia with a Description of the Country (1612), The General History of Virginia, New-England. The Pocahontas story appeared in the Summer Isles (1624). John Smith had been probably offer an important role to the first colonial writing in America. B. About the work: This work described the episode that John Smith had been saved by the princess Pocahontas since he was captured and in the hands of Indians.

This account was narrated by “him” – the third person to told the audiences how the story happened. There were some detaited we should pay attention to this work: Who were the characters? John Smith, Powhatan, Pocahontas How many other Indian people were at the judiscation? more than two hundreds Where did the judiscation happen? Meronocomoco, Virginia How did it happen? Firstly, John Smith was brought to meet Powhatan and his courtiers. When he was prepared to be killed, Pocahontas had saved him by getting “his head in her arms” and laying “her own upon his” (p. 3). Two days after, John Smith was led to a great house and was going to be fired, Powhatan absolve him from death and “esteem him as his son”– called “Nantaquoud” (p. 43) Why was he alive? Thanks to the Pocahontas’s altruistic, he had been rescued. New words: bravery (n) s? l? ng l? y, s? an m? c sang tr? ng robe (n) ao choang train (n) doan tuy tung bedeck (v) trang hoang, trang di? m, trang tri babarous (a) da man, man r? contented (a) b? ng long disguised (a) tra hinh, c? i trang mat (n) t? m th? m, rem esteem (v) quy m? n

C. Pocahontas’s Biography: 1. What is the major in Pocahontas’s life? Matoaka was the beautiful and lively daughter of Powhatan, ruler of the land that the English named Virginia. “Pocahontas” was her childhood nickname, translated as “little wanton,” meaning she was playful and hard to control. When she was born, Powhatan sent her mother home to her own village, to raise Pocahontas. That was his custom. When she was about school age, Pocahontas left her mother to live in her father’s capital, with her older brothers and sisters.

As they grew up, Powhatan appointed some as chiefs of his other tribes. Pocahontas became her father’s favorite, “the apple of his eye”. In this new account, his capture included the threat of his own death: “… at the minute of my execution,” he wrote, “she [Pocahontas] hazarded the beating out of her own brains to save mine; and not only that, but so prevailed with her father, that I was safely conducted to Jamestown. “[Eight years later, in his Generall Historie, Smith expanded upon the story.

Writing about himself in the third person, he explained that after he was captured and taken to the paramount chief, “two great stones were brought before Powhatan: then as many as could laid hands on him [Smith], dragged him to them, and thereon laid his head, and being ready with their clubs, to beat out his brains, Pocahontas the Kings dearest daughter, when no entreaty could prevailed, got his head in her arms, and laid her own upon his to save him from death .. When Smith returned, there were only 38 colonists left (out of 104).

Pocahontas kept the colonists from starving to death that first winter, by visiting regularly with plenty of food. Pocahontas paid regular visits to her friend Captain John Smith, but in October 1609, she was told that Smith was dead. She stopped visiting after that. The following winter was known as the Starving Time. Actually, Smith wasn’t dead; his leg was badly burned in a gunpowder explosion, and he had returned to England for medical treatment. The colonists thought the death story would work better with the Indians. Several years passed, with no sign of Pocahontas.

Ralph Hamor heard that she had married one of Powhatan’s chiefs, named Kocoum. Captain Argyle discovered that Pocahontas was staying with the Patowamekes, and captured her on June 4, 1613, intending to trade her for concessions from Powhatan. Powhatan only met enough of the demands to keep negotiations open. During her captivity, leading colonists worked to convert her to Christianity. One of those colonists, John Rolfe, fell in love with her, and she’s with him. Pocahontas was baptized as a Christian, and married John Rolfe in 1614. Her new name was Lady Rebecca Rolfe. She gave birth to a son, Thomas Rolfe.

This marriage created the “Peace of Pocahontas”, six years of peace between the Jamestown colonists and Powhatan’s tribes. Pocahontas’ life ended on a high note, with a triumphal tour of England (arriving June 3, 1616) as a visiting princess. She visited many important people, including King James and Queen Anne. Sho also met John Smith and this caused a big shock for her as she thought he was dead. In England, her portrait was made and published. As she started home, smallpox – English disease took her life. She was buried in the church at Gravesend, England (Mar. 21, 1617) age 21 or so. (Her exact birth date is uncertain: roughly 1595. The meaning of Pocahontas’s life is that Pocahontas played a significant role in American history. As a compassionate little girl she saw to it that the colonists received food from the Indians, so that Jamestown would not suffer the fate of the “Lost Colony” on Roanoke Island. She is said to have intervened to save the lives of individual colonists. In 1616 John Smith wrote that Pocahontas was “the instrument to pursue these colonies from death, famine, and utter confusion. ” And Pocahontas not only served as a representative of the Virginia Indians, but also as a vital link between the Native Americans and the Englishmen.

Whatever her contributions, the romantic aspects of her life will stand out in Virginia history forever. Historic portrait of the real Pocahontas in London, age 21, dressed as the Christian lady she had become. Whatever her contributions, the romantic aspects of her life will no doubt stand out in Virginia history forever She died within months. This portrait hangs in the National Portrait Gallery of the Smithsonian, in Washington, D. C. This painting is a later copy of an engraving made during her London visit of 1616. It flatters and Europeanizes her more than does the original engraving, which failed to capture her celebrated allure. pic][pic] 2. Why did Pocahontas die? And what is her death’s significances? According to Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th Edition; Pocahontas was killed by smallpox – an White people’s disease in a ship which returned from England to her homeland.. She died on March 21,1617 and was burried at Gravesend. Her death was one of the case which represent for the cultural chiasma between Native American and White people. The death of Pocahontas and the subsequent death of her father led the relationship between the colonists and the natives become worse. D. Understanding John Smith’s work: . What specific details of Indian life and Indian nature does the account reveal? Indian life which was decribed by John Smith was familiar with current audiences since they could easily find out many similar characteristics which concerned to Native American on television program, newspapers or history researches. The first thing we could conclude about the Red people was they lived a simple life which closely to the nature as they used almost things made from the environment such as using feathers “instead of a towel” to dry hand, wearing skinned robe with “all the tails hanging by” (p. 3). “Their head and shoulders painted red” and used “white down of birds” to help them more beautiful (p. 43). They seemed not have any idea about tresury metals like gold, diamond which White people were looking for. They only focused on their simple, traditional comunity by using primitive and ancient tools such as “robes, shoes, bows, arrows”… Moreover, Indian society was different from ours in some specific ways. Equality and justice was emphasized and took stock in each citizen no matter who they were, what their social status was.

For example, in John Smith’s work, although Powhatan was the chief King of Red people, he still made “his own robes, shoes, bows, arrows, pots; lant, hunt, or do any thing so well as the rest” (p. 43). In addition, democracy was the thing which could be revealed and complimented as well. For instance, when John Smith was captured, “a long consultation was held” between the King, courtiers and other people to make the final decision. Finally, their culture was special and colorful as they often “disguised” and “bedecked” themselves with tail, “white down of bird” (p. 43)…

Followed the account, the Indian nature was absolutely rich, wealthy and bounteous. It was also described through the Native people’s appearence with red color on their head, “great chain of white beads about their neck”… (p. 43) How much confidence do you have in the truth of these details as related by Captain Smith? In our group’s work, since we considered that John Smith’s account was veracious and had many similarities to the reality not only in Indian culture which we easily found in television, newspapers, films but also in the detail that Pocahontas had saved his life.

There were many researched told this story and proved that Pocahontas used to rescue him such as Pocahontas and Her World (1969) by G. S. Woodward or Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th Edition (2010). Thus, we concluded that there was about 90 percentage of John Smith’s work is true and the rest part might be hyperbolized by his imagine and mannerism. 2. How do you account for the popularity of this story in American legend? The story of Pocahontas is very popular. Almost people in America and also around the world know this.

So it really becomes the big inspiration for many people to institute their creation. For example: The very famous picture “The Baptism of Pocahontas” painted by John Gadsby Chapman in 1840. This explained the characters in the painting, and praised the Jamestown settlers for introducing Christianity to the “heathen savages. “[pic] In the 19th century, John Brougham produced a burlesque, Po-ca-hon-tas, or The Gentle Savage. It debuted in 1855 and became an instant hit. Po-ca-hon-tas remained a staple of theatre troupes and blackface minstrel companies for the next 30 years, typically as an afterpiece .

Several films about Pocahontas have been made and two of the most famous film are Pocahontas (1995), It was produced by Walt Disney Feature Animation [pic] The New World (2005) written and directed by Terrence Malick [pic] The song “color of wind” is also mention about Pacahontas. Performed by Vanessa Lynn Williams who is the very famous singer and had won the miss American contest in 1984. [pic] 3. What typical American traits do you find in Captain John Smith? John Smith was an adventurer, discoverer, writer, and the best founding father of America.

Captain John Smith risked his life, his reputation and property to establish a colony in America. He contributed a great deal to the creation and survival of the English Colony in America which is the birthplace of the United States. John Smith was a self-made man. He left his English homeland to seek a life of adventure with honor. His leadership quality during crisic was another American trait, optimistic and tolerance. Captain Smith did not have attention to revenge for his partners who was killed by Native Americans. That means he got generosity in his heart. Moreover, he got along with Indian well.

And he was also steptical when he was captured by Narive Americans. So John Smith’s characteristics look like the American people now. They are clever, self-made, friendly and especially they always like to find out a new change for their life Work Cited Hadas, Pamela White. “POCAHONTAS FROM HER NEW WORLD. ” Kenyon Review 5. 2 (1983): 24-34. Academic Search Complete. EBSCO. Web. 3 Oct. 2011. P. L. Barbour, Pocahontas and Her World (1969); G. S. Woodward, Pocahontas (1969). PhD. Le, Thanh Thi, ed. “Pocahontas Incident. ” American Literature. Ho Chi Minh: Education, 2007. 42-44. Print. “Pocahontas. Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th Edition (2010): 1. Academic Search Complete. EBSCO. Web. 3 Oct. 2011. Silver, Marc. “Pocahontas, for real. ” U. S. News & World Report 118. 24 (1995): 61. Academic Search Complete. EBSCO. Web. 3 Oct. 2011. TRATNER, MICHAEL. “TRANSLATING VALUES: MERCANTILISM AND THE MANY “BIOGRAPHIES” OF POCAHONTAS. ” Biography: An Interdisciplinary Quarterly 32. 1 (2009): 128-136. Academic Search Complete. EBSCO. Web. 3 Oct. 2011. http://pocahontas. morenus. org/poca_pic. html http://www. preservationvirginia. org/rediscovery/page. php? page_id=26 http://pocahontas. morenus. org/index. html

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