What typical American traits are found in Captain John Smith in the story, "The Pocahontas Incident"?
I wuold like to focus this question for designing two activities in teaching literature with the story"the pocahontas incident"
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The story of Smith and Pocahontas reveals some characteristics that become an embedded part of American History. Smith's pioneering spirit to blaze new frontiers is a trait that is evident in the Pocahontas incident. He sets out to colonize the new world, an example of the expansion of boundaries, as he sees something as what could be and not meely what is. Another trait is seen in his interactions with the Native Americans feature difficulty, proved by the fact that he is taken hostage by the Indigenous People and two of his other colleagues are killed. This theme shown here is conflict with other groups. America has had a history of conflict within groups. Smith, being a White Englishman, experiences difficulties with a group of a different ethnicity. This highlights the theme of interculture conflict, another theme in American History. Throughout the challenge of trying to settle the new world, Smith is besieged with difficulties:
The inexperienced colonists struggled for their survival in the harsh environment they now called home. Disease, severe weather, Indian attacks, laziness, internal squabbling and starvation all threatened to destroy the colony. Smith's firm leadership (he was soon elected president of the colony) held the colonists together and narrowly avoided extinction. Wounded by an explosion of gunpowder, Smith sailed to England in late 1609 to recover. He never returned to Virginia. (www.eyewitnesstohistory.com 2003)
Smith's leadership qualities during crisis reveals another American trait: Grace under pressure. His ability to bring people together to endure the difficulties of settling the new world highlights this characteristic. Finally, the interaction between Pocahontas and Smith shows the American trait of tolerance and understanding. Americans have traditionally endured challenge when interacting with new cultures, but there has been a historically evident trend of understanding and pluralism and certainly after Pocahontas saves Smith, there is that level of acceptance between them and in their interactions.
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