John Smith Point Of View In The General History Of Virginia

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The General History of Virginia by John Smith is his third person account of the trials of early Jamestown and his personal, pivotal role in the colony’s survival. John Smith uses the third person point of view in an attempt to go back to Jamestown and re-establish his leadership among the colonists. Even though Smith seemed to be using the third person point of view because he was arrogant and boastful, his main incentive for writing in this manner was in an effort to return to Jamestown. Smith tried to show that he was the best leader for Jamestown by highlighting his achievements within the colony, comparing himself to the prior leaders, and justifying his failings. John Smith used an omniscient point of view to emphasize his successes within the colony. He makes the point that he was a good leader and responsible for the survival of the colony. When describing the colony after he made peace with the Powhatan, he states, “[T]he state of the bounty of the Powhatan . . . so relieved their [the colonists] dead spirits . . . as all men’s fear was abandoned” (Smith 95). Smith was able to set up trade with the Powhatan, which allowed the settlers access to must-needed…show more content…
He justifies the death of one of his men during a raid by saying “Commanding none should go ashore till his [John Smith’s] return . . . but he was not long absent but his men went ashore . . . [this] gave both occasion and opportunity to the savages to surprise one George Cassen whom they slew” (93). By stating that the only reason Cassen died was because of his disobedience, Smith alleviates himself of any responsibility for the death. Because he was not held accountable for the death of Cassen, Smith was also not questioned as a leader. Although the death was made out as a tragedy in his work, it also stresses the colonists, under Smith’s command would be protected from any

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