Mayflower Book Report

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The author of Mayflower, Nathaniel Philbrick, was born in Boston, Massachusetts; it is therefore not surprising that Philbrick, a historian, is enticed to write about the people who landed over 400 years ago in his own backyard. Philbrick is also an avid sailor and has written multiple books involving maritime affairs, this justifies why he would have such interest in the quasi-legendary voyage of the Pilgrims. One day, upon stumbling on archives relating to King Philip’s War at a community library near his residence on Nantucket, he decides to investigate the Pilgrims’ story of the war. After all, didn’t the fighting happen in the swamps of the New England forests? After much research, he writes Mayflower in a neutral and objective way, portraying…show more content…
The Pilgrims' story is one of struggling to hold onto personal identity even in the face of annihilation. Away from their homeland, they face losing their national identity but at home they are shunned for their religious beliefs. Thus comes their motivation to "purify" their religion by founding a colony with English traditions, yet far from the authority of the British crown. Philbrick also writes of the Pilgrims encounters with their Native neighbors. The Natives are largely responsible for the Pilgrims survival that first winter and, in the beginning, they realize a mutual need for one another. However, over time, through fear, greed, and outright hatred the Pilgrims nefariously destroy the peace and a people that have reigned for thousands of…show more content…
At one point Massasoit becomes ravaged by a fever and seems on the verge of death. The governor of Plymouth sends Edward Winslow as a representative to attend his death. Winslow is able to save Massasoit through feeding him, administering medicine and scraping the fur of the virus off of his tongue. Over time however, the Pilgrim’s begin to view the Natives as a lesser than human force and moments of compassion such as this, become rare. This notion of racial superiority takes a dramatic pitch during King Philip’s War when the “Praying Indians,” though uninvolved completely in the war, are segregated on Deer Island and captive Natives are sold to the West Indies as slaves. The Pilgrims also go as far as attacking Natives in the Pequot War and even attacking neutral tribes like the Narragansett in King Philip’s War. As the Pilgrim’s children grew up they began to disconnect with their parents’ views and identity, just as their parents fought so hard to prevent in Leiden which results in this journey to the New World in the first place. They become greedy capitalists competing to stay the most profitable colony in New England (emphasizing their human vanity). They would sell guns and “shot” to Indians and they would also buy anything the Natives would sell, and eventually the only thing

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