Popular Culture and Jamestown

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Student’s Name
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Popular Culture and Jamestown
John Smith was exploring the newly discovered land when he was captured by Chief
Powhatan’s brother, who kept him captive. As a result, the enslaved was torn between chasing
the white men away and forming an alliance with them. Smith was positioned on the ground, his
head placed on a stone and Indian Warriors appearing to club him until they took away his life.
Suddenly, Pocahontas (the chief's daughter) appears, and she throws herself to Smith to bar the
warriors from killing him. She then goes to her father and begs him to spare the prisoner’s life.
Accordingly, Powhatan accepts and allows Smith to leave (Williecharger n.p).
Differences between Powhatan and John Smith
Powhatan was a senior man ruling the Indians of the new land. In contrast, Smith was a
young European, holding a prominent position among the whites visiting the new area. Secondly,
Powhatan, as a leader, was well protected by the warriors from any harm. Thus, it was hard for
the enemy to attack him. Smith, on the other hand, was captured easily by the tribes' men
because he was exploring the new land all alone without any protection.
Does Pocahontas "Save" John Smith in the Film, or is it Part of an Elaborate Ritual?
The clip depicts Smith as having a mistaken interpretation of a sacrificial ceremony.
According to facts, there was a rite where young Indian males were taken through a mock
execution before a sponsor could save the victims. Therefore, if Pocahontas played the role of a
sponsor, it would explain the special relationship that developed between her, Smith and the
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colonists. She continued assisting them whenever a crisis occurred and continuously warned the
colonists and Smith about her father's warriors planned ambush (Lewis n.p).
Do You Believe this Event Ever Actually Occurred?
Yes, the event took place. First, John Smith is favored as an honest man. His descriptions
of Early Virginia and Eastern Europe have been depicted as accurate. Therefore, why would
some historians want to convict him of falsehood for writing that Pocahontas saved him? Adams
and Deane did not believe Smith, arguing that between 1608 and 1612, when Smith initially
wrote of his captivity, he portrayed chief Powhatan as a favorable man and never mentioned
about how Pocahontas saved him, until after she had died with her husband.
The argument enveloped by two main flaws resulting from Adam and Deane’s
anachronistic historical methods. One, the two assumed that the episode of Pocahontas would
have been necessary for the 17
century to the Englishmen as it was to the Americans in the 19
century; hence, failure to mention it shows that it never happened. However, in the days of
Smith, the story did not take the romantic dimension that it assumed in later centuries. As such, it
should not be a surprise that he left the bits out. Two, Adam and Deane accuse Smith of
inconsistency in his writings because, in one book, he says he had enough Venison to serve 10
men, only to argue in later years that it was enough for 20 men. Nonetheless, during Smith’s
time, writers who followed the Jacobean, Romantic style did not pay close attention to search
details. What is important is that it was a lot of venison (Birchfield n.p).
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Works Cited
Birchfield, Stan. "Did Pocahontas Save Captain John Smith?" 3 March 2017. Accessed 2 January
2018 https://cecas.clemson.edu/~stb/doc/pocahontas.html
Lewis, Jone Johnson. "Did Pocahontas Save Captain John Smith from Execution?" 1 June 2017.
Accessed 2 January 2018 https://www.thoughtco.com/pocahontas-saves-captain-john-
Williecharger. The New World - John Smith saved by Pocahontas. 24 June 2011. Accessed 2
January 2018 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=viD3yNn6v30&feature=youtu.be

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