An Analysis of John Smith's A General History Of Virginia

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Sharukh Khan
Period 5
John Smith
The General History Of Virginia
The General History of Virginia is the story of John Smith on his way to the New World and his encounters with the Native Americans. John Smith writes in first person and then changes to third person later during the story when referring himself. He also refers to the Native Americans as barbarians and savages. John smith uses numerous amount of literary elements such as Diction, Tone, Syntax, Unity and Persona, while writing his experiences with the native americans. The most important literary element is his persona(Voice). Persona is the narrator of or a character in a literary work, sometimes identified with the author. John Smith's example of persona is shown when he changes to third person when he is caught by the native americans. John Smith changes to third person point of view in order to speak highly of himself without seeming conceited. For example, in paragraph seven, he says, "Captain Smith, who, by his own example, set some to mow, others to bind thatches, some to build house, others to thatch them, himself always bore the greatest task for his own share, so that in short time he provided most of them lodgings, neglecting any for himself" (pg 68). Also, in the tenth paragraph Smith says, "He so demeaned himself against them, as he not only diverted them from surprising the fort, but procured his own liberty, and got himself and his company such estimation amongst them, that those savages admired him” (pg 68). This passage shows Smith’s cleverness and intelligence. John Smith's uses his persona to make himself appear more powerfull, heroic, and brave.
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