The atmosphere of which a writer adapts to affects his/her works. The
writer's environment, and the churnings of history that feed the writer,
gives him the material whereby he can construct, and create in. History, in
this instance the colonization of the American continent, dictates what and
how he is to write. Authors such as John Smith, William Bradford, and St.
Jean de Crevecoeur are all examples of this. The atmosphere or society these
authors were in directly affected the attitude, tone, genre, etc. of their
works. This can be shown both by facts in history and their actual writings
of that period.
During the 17th century Pilgrims, which were a ...view middle of the document...
. . .And his sister Pocahontas, the
King's most dear and well-beloved daughter, being but a child of twelve or
thirteen years of age, whose compassionate pitiful heart, of my desperate
estate, gave me much cause to respect her. . . ." Smith prevented Virginia
from disintegrating. This is shown in his piece, as he tries hard to
persuade people to come to America as shown by his statement "And surely by
reason of those sandy cliffs, and cliffs of rocks . . . . who can but approve
this a most excellent place, both for health and fertility." This is also
more evidently shown in the statement "My purpose is not to persuade children
from their parents, men from their wives, nor servants from their masters . .
. but that each parish, or village, in city, or country . . .or young married
people that have small wealth to live on, here by their labor my live
exceeding well." He concludes by saying that even though hard work is needed
to be a successful colonist in America, it is all worth it and is for the
better. All of these examples show that the environment Smith was in
influenced his writing (because his writing was mostly convincing people that
America was a good place to colonize). In general, his solicitation was
purposed to secure new colonists in America.
In contrast to Smith's piece, which tried to reflect a strong image of
America, de Crevecoeur's Sketches of Eighteenth Century America discussed in
more depth the hardship of living in America. His writing describes the
flaws of America because the environment he was in must have influenced his
thinking. He wrote that to a typical American colonist ". . . all that
appears good, just, equitable, has a necessary relation to himself and
family. He has been so long alone that he has almost forgot the rest of
mankind except it is when he carries his crops on the snow to some distant
market." He also wrote that "He has had to struggle alone through numbers of
difficult situations and inconveniences; he, therefore, deals hardly with his
Bradford's Of Plymouth Plantation also described the colonization of New
England, in particular a colony in the mouth of the Hudson River. He
describes the voyages, which included many storms and other tribulations, on