After giving her any recognition in his personal
After reading this poem, many people may wonder if the relationship between Pocahontas and John Rolfe was romantic, or merely convenient. Throughout the poem, the tone reveals a sense of resentment from Pocahontas towards her husband as she explains how she taught him a way of life in the land he was unfamiliar with. Pocahontas stated that she saved her husband thousands of times because he was naive and had no knowledge about survival in the new land he had come to take over.Context clues provide readers with the notion that Pocahontas ultimately sacrificed herself for the sake of John Rolfe, and assimilation of their different cultures.
The relationship between John Rolfe and Pocahontas was not one of romance, or convenience, but rather deceit and assimilation because the shift towards westernization in the Native American territory was inevitable. This poem begins with Pocahontas stating, “Had I not cradled you in my arms,… you would have died. ” This line sets the tone of the entire poem and reveals Pocahontas’ attitude towards her husband.Immediately we know that she takes credit for saving John’s life.
As the poem progresses, the disconnect is clear when Pocahontas addresses all of the ways in which she saved her husband. Pocahontas gave John tasks and taught him the ways of the land so that he could begin a life in the new territory after his ‘masters far across the sea’ abandoned him. For example, she taught her husband how to plant and harvest tobacco. This was an interesting crop to reap because it has so much more value than a simple food staple. This monetary crop was a large part of Native Page 2American culture and according to Carly Scheer, a graduate from the University of Minnesota, in an article regarding this poem a goal of the Powhattan tribe was to introduce tobacco to the western world. Pocahontas gave way to this goal as John Rolfe became one of the chief exporters of this crop back to his native land. In lines 6-7 Pocahontas says that John Rolfe stumbled through ‘her world’ blindly, revealing the separation of the two in their marriage.
This separates them because a happy marriage is unity between two people and Pocahontas makes the separation evident through this specific line.She expressed her resentment towards her husband because he saw her as a simple foolish maid who was of little value to him. She also resented him for not giving her any recognition in his personal growth in the new land because he only strived to gain favor with his king as stated in lines 35-36. Overall, this poem showed how Pocahontas felt as though her husband believed she was a waste and she was completely drained of all parts of her being from trying to help him.
This poem at large is a depiction of the inevitable shift towards westernization that was taking place in the Native American territories at that time.I believe Pocahontas knew what was going to happen to her native land and she married John Rolfe to bridge the gap between the two cultures. This was a large shift towards assimilation and overcoming cultural differences and barriers. Pocahontas was aware of the ploy and continued to protect her husband and steer him in a productive direction. Although there was obvious resentment and deceit on both ends of this relationship, this marriage connected the two cultures in many different ways. www. digital.
lib. lehigh. edu, Carly Scheer, University of Minnesota