“Love and Hate in Jamestown” essay
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“Love and Hate in Jamestown” by David Price, is a narration that describes the robust events that happened in the badly run, wretched, yet sprouting Jamestown settlement in Virginia. It further edifies the tale promoted by Disney for youthful audiences. The author, Price, brings to light numerous details from past documents concerning the account of Jamestown as well as other upcoming settlements. In addition, he highlights on the relationship between Smith and Pocahontas. He creates a very compelling story through the events that happened. All through the narration, the characters bring out the various themes that the author intended to pass across, particularly theme of hate and love (Price 14). The novelist illustrates the development of the Virginia and also provides fascinating descriptions of the fresh colonists. In addition, Price has made some parts of the narration sound astonishingly modern.
It is illustrated in the tale that as much as the thrill and excitement of inhabiting a new settlement in Virginia led to love and joy to the colonists, the constant dread of limited opinions and experienced workmanship, as well as survival issues, brought much desolation and hatred among the colonists themselves and between the settlers and Indians who were the natives. The narration starts by recounting the departure of a thrilled team whose purpose was gold searching. Their earlier knowledge on the Spanish’ gold enrichment led to the creation of a group controlled by riches thirsty, yet prosperous individuals. In the course of searching for this gold, the group went to the extent of boarding ships. The three ships, which included “The Godspeed”, “The Susan Constant”, and “The Discovery”, left the town of Blackwall in England in the year 1606. The author shows the enthusiasm of this group through the several documents that had been written during their trip to Virginia. The group was so determined to achieve their desires as illustrated by their utterances, “And cheerfully at sea…Success you still entice...To get the pearl and gold…And ours to hold Virginia…” (Price 63).
Loaded with many rich gentlemen and no women, it was unfortunate that the ships could only have a few soldiers and workers. With regard to this situation, some problems could not be averted. These conditions evidently called for laborious efforts. Among the small number of commoners on the ship was an ex- solider who worked in Turkey. He was called John Smith. Although looked down upon by the upper class members of the exploration, he was a hard worker and would prove to be a key to the survival of the colony once they reached their destination. When the crew arrived in the country of Virginia, they were given a brochure that came from their supporter, the Virginia Company. The brochure had instructions on the methods of setting up the colony, the ruler of Jamestown and Indian affairs. In addition, the brochures included directions of the town and the ways of dealing with the Indians. It was highlighted in the pamphlets that the settlers would, initially, “employ peaceful means but yet utilize scare tactics” when dealing with the natives. These guidelines were very comprehensible. Soon after, a total of seven men constituted the settlement’s council. These individuals were Edward-Maria Wingfield, a rich investor, Christopher Newport, the chief officer of the Susan Constant, Bartholomew Gosnold, leader of the Godspeed, and John Ratcliffe, the leader of the Discovery (Price 67). Other names were also included and these were mostly of prominent individuals, which the colonists had expected from the first day. Nevertheless, the name of John Smith in the list surprised many. This was because, Smith had been locked up the crew's jail yet he aws meant to be among the seven Council members.
Though several days passed without Smith assuming his duty as a leader, ultimately, as a result of hard times, the settlers were compelled to agree to any achievable means of assistance, even if this required a leader they often detested. The settlement seemed to experience a trail of bad luck right from the start. Jamestown was not only located in a swampy region, but was further surrounded by adversary Indian tribes. This was far from the friendly tribe that was located down the waterway. The domination of rich individuals and the lack of motivation and “survival skills” among the settlers, led to many hardships. By the year 1609, merely two years following the crew's arrival, food was in short supply and death cases were increasing (Price 121).
Smith astonished a lot of people by being an important leader and a sign of optimism in an otherwise, hopeless situation. He tactically allowed the Indians to participate in development issues in order to boost the prospects of survival in the settlement. This approach enabled him to create personal contacts with the Indians, even though some bad. Even though Chief Powatan incarcerated and condemned Smith to death on two occasions, he was saved by Pocahontas, the daughter of Powatan. However, quite a good number of historians suppose that Smith was not saved by Pocahontas as the historians believe that Smith had mistaken an espousal formal procedure for his execution (Price 94).
Price asserts that there existed no other way of describing the events other than an imminent execution. He says, "Nothing is known about seventeenth-century Powhatan adoption ceremonies, nor is any other tribe in North America known to have had an adoption procedure comparable to what was undergone by Smith"(Price 243). On the other hand, the relationship between Pocahontas and Smith, which were highlighted in children's tales, seemed impossible. This was due to the fact that by the time Smith would be acquainted to Pocahontas, he would be eleven years old. Pocahontas directs her passionate desires on Smith. However, she ends up marrying a rich colonist called John Rolfe, who happens to be the originator of tobacco farming in Virginia. As indicated in this account, the birth of Thomas took place in London when Pocahontas and Rolfe had gone for a business trip. Before going back to Virginia, a tragedy befalls them as Pocahontas passes away in England.
Increased efforts to have authority over the Indians led to modest effects in which the settlers were harmed by assaults and affairs. In the month of March, 1622, Indians exterminated several Jamestown settlers. As highlighted in the tale, Price says, “ We have, to our extreme grief, acknowledge the immense massacre that led to the execution the people in Virginia., and that in such manner as is more miserable than the death it self”. He goes on saying, “…to fall by the hands of men so contemptible; to be surprised by treacheries in a time of known dancer… and almost guilty of the destruction by a blindfold and stupid entertaining of it; which the least wisdom or courage sufficed to prevent even on the point of execution: are circumstances that do add much to our sorrow” (Price 214).
The heightening hate brought a lot of anxiety. On the other hand, the supremacy struggles led to more executions and scores of hardships. As time progressed, the Indian population, as compared to the settlers’ population, decreased since more immigrants came to Virginia. As brought out in the narration, even though life Virginia seemed tough, the immigrants were eager to increase their riches by establishing businesses with the new-fangled goods found in their new home. Due to this, the Indians did not cause any troubles to them. In the long run, these settlers were given ample time to focus on developing the colony so as to advance their riches. Soon after, the wealth hungry individuals embarked on tobacco farming. As much as these individuals desired to increase their wealth, their work ethics, which called for hard work, was faced with some few challenges. They knew that by adhering to this requirement, they would attain their desired economic jackpot, particularly from tobacco farming. This circumstances sets up the initiation of slave trade as forced labor was used in order to boost the settler’s profits. Their detestation for work and adoration of wealth created a crisis from the beginning. However, as tobacco earnings increased, their morale was elevated and pockets grew bigger. Tobacco earnings made several Jamestown gentlemen richer. Price indicates that an individual was able to; “graph a correlation between tobacco profits and the happiness of the colonists” (Price 164).
The actual tale of Jamestown was multifaceted. In spite of an incredibly rocky set up, the business boom, based on the hard work of the slaves, and the significant leadership of John Smith played a crucial role in the development of Jamestown. The leadership might and flaws of Smith evoked an insightful effect on the colony of Jamestown. The reality that he came as an ordinary captive and was given leadership responsibility is astonishing. His inventiveness and understanding of particular aspects saved the settlers from assaults and hunger. Some of the regulations he put in place as a leader were significant in saving the settlement. His expertise in handling matters concerning the natives enabled him to win their support and carry on with the trade that ensured the survival of the settlers. Price perceives Pocahontas differently. To begin with, he avoids using her actual Indian surname, Mataoka. In addition, the author differs with various historians on Smith's perception of an execution. The account of the settlement and affairs within it touch on the lifestyles of the settlers. As a result, the author digs deep in the colony’s history and sentiments in an effort to clearly illustrate their lifestyles.
This story is in a novel format as it has a prologue, chapters, as well as a marginalia. The novelist, David Price, employs expressions that describe the existing state of affairs perfectly. He includes a lot of past information and this makes the whole narration interesting. The manner in which the author describes the various events makes the understanding of the story easy. This is because; he employs quotes in this narration. In addition, the manner in which the story is formatted further contributes to the easy comprehension of the narration.
Many children may think that the Jamestown story was a straightforward love tale. Nonetheless, with regard to Price’s account, it is evident that this tale had additional themes. The author draws attention to the slip-ups, hatred, afflictions, achievements, as well as love in the colony. He manages to make the reader to see Jamestown in real life. In the course of reading this convincing and enlightening story, “Love and Hate in Jamestown,” by David Price, the feelings of both hate and love towards the first settlers may be developed by the reader. Generally, the author has successfully highlighted the various themes and issues that arose in the first American settlement and has given an opportunity to his readers to understand the story easily.