John Smith, the author of “General History of Virginia, New England and the Summer Isles” does not seem to be a reliable narrator, even though he is talking about his adventures from the times of colonization, he makes the story sound like an ode to himself and his deeds.
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The language John Smith used while writing “General History of Virginia, New England and The Summer Isles” contains a lot of colorful descriptions that most of the time look like exaggerations. John Smith sounds like an unreliable narrator because from the point of view of the reader his story is very subjective and includes detailed descriptions of his achievements and heroic deeds. It is hard to take seriously information that comes from a person, who can easily write two volumes openly boasting about their success. Some of the details are exaggerated and this makes them look unrealistic. Besides, John Smith used a very poetic tone, which made his writing sound like a ballad. He started telling the story from the first-person point of view and then he changed the type of narration addressing himself in the third person. This maneuver was used to add some realism to the story. John Smith started to apply third-person narration to create an idea that the adventures described in the story were witnessed by more than one person. Even though John Smith’s writing seems to be very far from true events, none of his stories were proved to be false. This is why despite all the colorful epithets and detailed exaggerations John Smith’s storytelling of how he “made the Indians bow into subjection” is still considered to be a serious reading (General History of Virginia, New England, and the Summer Isles 2014).
Smith, J. (2014). General History of Virginia, New England and the Summer Isles. Web.