plot summaryCould somebody help me out I have to write a plot summary on the Chesapeake and I was wondering if someone could give me a general plot summary on the book and the major conflicts in it.

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mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Perhaps, the major conflict in Michener's novel is the ownership of the land, an ownership which empowers the families to whom the land belongs.  After the Colonial Period, the Steed family comes to own the good land.  On it they build a powerful life as the great landowners.  But, later, the Sneeds lose this land to the very family that once worked the land for the Sneeds.  The Turlocks, who have begun as indentured servants eventually become the real-estate owners and salespeople while the Sneeds become decadent and effete.

stolperia eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Certainly, the changing attitudes toward slavery are also embedded in the novel. Ruth Brinton's efforts to change attitudes of others and to improve the lot of her husband's slaves through the radical act of teaching them to read serve as insights into the thought processes of those opposed to slavery, while Edward Brinton, the Steeds, and others saw justification and realized great physical profit from slave ownership - at least for some time.

accessteacher eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Very briefly, this massive novel covers about 400 years of development of the United States as we have come to know it, focusing on the early days and the interactions between the first white settlers and the Indians and then how the white settlers organised themselves and developed, taking over more and more territory.

coachingcorner eNotes educator| Certified Educator

One conflict you could mention is that between Roman Catholics and Quakers. This is a religious conflict, but there are others which touch upon this too such as the tensions about slavery. Poverty also causes conflicts too, as people are forced to prioritise, some perhaps wrongly.

litteacher8 eNotes educator| Certified Educator
In answer to your second question, I think much of American pride and philosophy is tied up in owning land. The American dream is also to become better than your father before you. Everyone wants to own their piece of America, and some will work for it for a lifetime.
mikslice | Student

THANK YOU!!!! All of these really helped a lot. I am presenting infront of the class next and I don't want to sound like an idiot and say part of the story wrong so could somebody give me a summary... It doesn't have to be too long but I just don't want to get a major point incorrect.

mikslice | Student

How does Chesapeake reflect American thought?

mikslice | Student

Thank you, both of you!

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