Having read John Smith�s The General History of Virginia and William Bradford�s Of Plymouth Plantation, you are to choose which author you think was more objective and believable in his account. Support your conclusion by examining the three topics indicated below. Be certain to give specific textual references (quotations, summary, or paraphrase) from each author in paragraphs 2, 3, and 4.
Paragraph One: Introduction and Thesis Statement:
"While John Smith and William Bradford both wrote of the survival experiences of a young colony, I believe that (choose either Smith or Bradford here) was more believable in his providential history. Their accounts differ in three important ways."
Paragraph Two: Who gets the glory or the credit in each account? How does the author refer to this person or these persons? How does this affect the credibility of the two authors? (Give textual citation from each author.)
Paragraph Three: How do the accounts differ in their discussion of the Indians? Consider how the authors refer to the native Americans. Consider the reported actions of the native Americans. How does this affect the credibility of the two authors? (Give textual citation from each author.)
Paragraph Four: Do you think either author exaggerated in telling his story? Give any examples of exageration that you find. If you believe an author does not exagerate, give an example of his plain, straight-forward writing. How does this affect the credibility of the two authors? (Give textual citation from each author.)
Paragraph Five: Summary of main points; restate which author you think is more believable.
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The author John Smith, a pilgrim who arrived to the Americas, wrote a description of the new land in his book " A Description of New England ". In this book Smith shows a wonderful world of vast food and pleasure. Also, William Bradford another pilgrim who arrived to Plymouth on the coast of Massachusetts, wrote a book called " Of Plymouth Plantation " in which he describes what really happened their, how the pilgrims actually lived. The purpose of this essay is to compare and contrast both authors and their books. John Smith wrote about the wonderful place the New World was, on the other hand, William Bradford wrote about the realities and difficulties of the New World.
In " A Description of New England ", Smith starts by describing the pleasure and content that risking your life for getting your own piece of land brings to men. On the other hand, Bradford reminds us how harsh and difficult the trip to the New World was for the pilgrims. Smith also implies that building your own house, planting your own crops, and having a " God"s blessing industry " would be easy to have without having any prejudice. Bradford, instead, writes about the condition of the men who arrived to the shore. He also mentions that, in the New World there was no one to welcome them, more over there was no place to stay in, no houses, no inns. Smith argues about the pleasure of erecting towns and populating them.
John Smith mentions little of the Native Americans. And if he briefly does he says that they are good people and that they helped them when they arrived. Whereas Bradford mentions that the Native Americans greeted them with arrows. The biggest difference between Bradford and Smith is when they write about food. Just as Smith talks about fishing with only a stick and a hook and you will catch excellent fish; also that if you planted crops you could get as much as 50 shillings yearly, use this money for meat and beer, and still afford to become rich. In contrast, Bradford writes about the hunger that in the fist 3 months the crew suffered. He did not mention about the difficulties of planting in a frozen floor, or fishing on a frozen lake. Also that half of the people died in January and February due to the hard winter and harsh conditions. Similarly, England banned all trade with the New World and the pilgrims did not have all the supplies they needed for an average living.
Smith said that hunting was easy and that you could make a living, but what he did not mention was the dangers of the woods. The unknown animals and the ferocious bear, as well as the shortage of ammo and rifles because they did not have any contact with England.
Among the similarities about William Bradford and John Smith"s writings is that the New World was a land for opportunities, that nobody chased them because of their puritan religion
Also, Bradford and Smith wrote about God giving them the opportunity of being in the New World, the opportunity of having a new home away from England.
Smith, as well as Bradford, wrote about how hard the trip from Europe was, and also how the crew had hard and good moments. But, I think there are not many things that Bradford and Smith had in common. One had the negative pessimist side of the trip, and the other fantasized about a marvelous place.
There are always two sides on a coin. By this I mean that a positive person (Smith) will always look for the best, like the joy of adventures, the unexpected, the getting away from a routine. The negative person (Bradford) will always emphasize on the difficulties, inconvenience and dangers. Therefore both authors are speaking with the truth; but about different aspects about the same reality.
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