John Smith and William Bradford

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John Smith and William Bradford are both explorers that came to the New World in hopes of a better life. There are many comparisons and contrasts to be made between the two. You can elict from their writing styles that in both writers’ works, their purpose is to inform and persuade. Both of their stories began the same, entering the New World as callow foreigners trying to start a colony while fighting off starvation, disease, and Native American (or ”savages” as John Smith calls them) attacks. However, John Smith’s target audience was current English settlers, trying to persuade them to come and join him in the New World. While, William Bradford’s audience was the future generation, making sure that they don’t make the same mistakes that he did in his voyage. William Bradford wrote a diary about his actual experiences in Colonial America from the ships to his first steps on land, writing a diary discussing the hardships he faced on his voyage. Bradford said, "But that which was most sad and lamentable was, that in two or three months' time half of their company died…" explaining how everyone who boarded the ship did not make it off due to disease, hunger, and natural disasters. When he finally reaches land, he emphasizes how religious his company is when he states,” They fell upon their knees and blessed the God of heaven, who had brought them over the vast and furious ocean, and delivered them…” although instead of rejoicing with them Bradford stands in awe and looks at the condition his people are in as they spew religious drivel from their lips, not yet realizing the state they are in. He even compares them to the Ancient Hebrews, who wandered in the desert after fleeing Egypt before reaching the Promised Land. While reading you get the impression that William and his companions expected more when they arrived when he says, “They had no friends to welcome them, nor inns to entertain or refresh their weather beaten bodies, no houses or much less towns…” On...
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