The New World, By John Smith, And Pocahontas Of The Powatan Native American Tribe

The New World, By John Smith, And Pocahontas Of The Powatan Native American Tribe

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The historical-drama film, “The New World” portrays the establishment of the Jamestown, Virginia, settlement. The film also showcases the historical figures Captain John Smith, the Englishman John Rolfe, and Pocahontas of the Powatan Native American tribe. The movie has portrayed some well-known myths such as the romantic relationship between Pocahontas and John Smith, Pocahontas’ name, and her age when she first met Captain Smith. Films tend to distort historical accuracy in order to make history “entertaining”, which does more harm than good since people don’t tend to research historical events.
Contrary to popular belief, John Smith did not pursue a romantic relationship with Pocahontas. The movie portrayed their relationship as lovers rather than friends. In John Smith’s journal he depicts Pocahontas “befriending him” and “assisting the starving Jamestown colony” countless times (Biography.com Editors). The film also portrayed how Pocahontas saved John from being killed by her father, which is one thing the movie portrayed accurately. In Smith’s journal he states how “he was brought in front of Chief Powhatan, two large stones were placed on the ground, his head was forced upon them, and a warrior raised a club to smash in his brains” (Morenus). Before Smith could be killed, Pocahontas “rushed in and placed her head upon his, which stopped the execution”, which was depicted in the movie and afterwards they became friends not lovers (Egloff).
The widespread story of the Indian Princess “Pocahontas” is well-known throughout America as people have been told this tale since they were youngsters. Though the name “Pocahontas” is known by many, her two other names are not known at all by the public. In fact, “Pocahontas” was her nic...


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...ty of food” (Morenus).
The film had also inaccurately portrayed Smith’s departure from the Jamestown settlement. In the movie he was ordered by the King to leave Jamestown, and Pocahontas was told he had died on the trip to England. In reality, he had a “gunpowder accident”, and had suffered severe burns (Morenus). Smith had to “leave to England” and “recover from the accident” (Morenus). Another inaccurate scene shows Pocahontas being kidnapped by the settlers while Smith was still in Jamestown. In actuality, “at the age of seventeen, Pocahontas was treacherously taken prisoner by the English while she was on a social visit, and was held hostage at Jamestown for over a year” (Crazy Horse). Lastly, when Smith and Wingfield got into an argument he was shot and killed by a pistol, but in actuality he lived to be “eighty-one years old and died of natural causes” (Zacek).

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