English 6110: Seminar in American Literature I Dr. Patrick Erben Reading and Discussion Questions John Smith from Generall Historie of Virginia ______________________________________________________ i. How does John Smith fashion himself into a hero? What kind of a hero? ii. Which myths of the discovery, exploration, and settlement of America does his captivity narrative affirm, which does it debunk? iii. Analyze the period of his captivity! What literary genre does this remind you of? What is the relationship between events, telling, and readers? What is the purpose of the account? iv. What role does Pocahontas play in Smith’s narrative? Why does he need Pocahontas in this narrative? v. What kind of a fantasy does Smith create here? Especially, what archetypal fairy tale roles does he create or reflect? Why or how would this appeal to readers in Europe, and what does it say about the newly discovered America? vi. Why/in how far did the John Smith-Pocahontas story become one of the central founding myths in American culture?