In Pocahontas the English Colonists and Native Americans are discovering one another. The movie explores the cultures through the new and, sometimes skewered, perception of the other culture. The love story between John Smith and Pocahontas presents an understanding relationship between the races. They are the first two characters to overcome their fear of the unknown and form a relationship; however most of this is built on a magical ability to understand each others languages. The love between Smith and Pocahontas allows for both characters to learn the others cultures. Pocahontas listens to Smith talk about civilization, houses and England when he tries to assert his culture. However, after his eager attempt Pocahontas points out the fundamentals of her culture as well. Smith learns about the respect for nature the Native Americans have and their importance of connection to spirits and the earth. An example is the Grandmother Willow tree, a symbol of the spirit world.
Still these lovers are opposite from the tribe and the settlers who are both preparing for battle upon meeting. This call to arms had been set up by the death of Kocoum who had caught Smith and Pocahontas together and attempted to kill Smith. Thomas, another settler kills Kocoum to protect Smith, however, smith is still captured and sentenced to death in the morning by the Native Americans. When the Native Americans are about to club Smiths head in with a rock Pocahontas throws herself on top of him to protect him. Her father the chief is moved by this compassion and so are the white men who had been ready to kill to get Smith back. Governor Rattcliffe, the leader of the white settlers, takes the opportunity to shoot the chief but Smith sacrifices himself by jumping in front of the bullet. He is only wounded and Rattcliffe is immediately imprisoned by the Settlers. The settlers, not having found their gold, return to England taking the wounded John with them....
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