Smith v Rowlandson
The New World – filled with new hope, new land, and new dangers. The latter is described through the sensationalized tale of John Smith in The General History of Virginia and reiterated by Mary Rowlandson in her Puritan didactic narrative in A Narrative of the Captivity and Restoration of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson. Both author’s exploit their experiences on the frontier in different ways.
Firstly, we have the famous Captain John Smith. A young, adventurous, capable young man whose exploits have earned him both fame and infamy. Smith an Englishman and explorer set on his adventure to the New World. In his account Smith seems to paint himself as the “survivor hero.” He continuously speaks in third person and represents the time spent in travel, as well as captivity, as an all-around adventure. Whether or not he used this as a means for good story telling or esteem his bravado is up to the reader to decide. Smith sensationalized his captivity as an adventure by the hands of these “savage” Native Americans. Sixty of seventy of them, some black, some red, some white, some particoloured, came in a square order, singing and dancing out of the woods, with their Okee (which was an Idol made of
skins, stuffed with moss, all painted and hung with chains and copper) borne before them, and in this manner, being well armed with clubs, targets, bows and arrow, they charged the English that so kindly received them with their muskets loaded with pistol shot, that down fell their God, and divers lay sprawling on the ground; the rest fled again to the woods (Norton, 85)
It was this with this account, Smith first painted his picture of what type of “savages” he was seeing. Smith offered his audience an excitable – entertaining – visual detail of Native Americans, which only made his story more like an action-adventure. Immediately after this description Smith made sure to mention that he and his men defeated the savages almost effortlessly, also...
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