Thursday, October 6, 2011

The Sot-Weed Factor Cooke

The writings called the "Sot-Weed Factor" which is based on the character of Ebenezer Cooke can be summarized as being about one man's experience of going to America.  This poem had been written by John Barth, and was mostly likely based off of an novel he wrote that featured this character. Another name for this poem can be called "The Voyage to Maryland". One specific question that I had concerning the text, was that I could not help, but wonder what exactly was the driving force, behind the character of Ebenezer Cooke coming to the native lands. It is speculation, that he most likely came to America, in order to obtain land, that he had most likely lost in his native land of Europe.
This is due to the line "Condemn'd by Fate to way-ward Curse", that it had not originally been Cooke's intention to go to the Native countries. That it was by the hands of fate, that Cooke was driven to go to an foreign land. Also, the lines of "Of Friends unkind, and empty Purse", is an example of how Cooke most likely did not have any money to his name, when he made the journey to America.
 One connection that came to mind while I was examining the text was what it must have been like for the Native Americans, to have so many different settlers coming to their country. For some many centuries, the Native peoples had been used to seeing people of their own skin color populating the lands. Then over the centuries, there became more and more people of white skin, that began to take over the country that they knew and loved.The writings that comprised the "Sot-Weed Factor" made me think of another reading, by the name of  "Angela's Ashes.  I could not help, but take notice of the similiarities and differences between these two stories.
The reason that I thought this, was due to the fact, that this story is also one of someone wanting to go to other country, in order to be able to seek out an better life. However, in the case of Angela's Ashes, it was the story of an family that was venturing to Amercia, in search of an better life away from Ireland.  Also, in the case of the Sot-Weed Factor, the character was coming to Amercia, at an time when Native Americans were still viewed as being savages. However, in the case of Angela's Ashes, the family was coming to America, in the earlier times of the century. The story of this family's plight, was more heartfelt and sorrow-filled, than the plight of the character in this piece of writing. That is why it is of such interest, that you can be able to read different stories of people's lives as they become immigrants of another country. Also, you can read how these people adjusted to their new lives in another country, and read about the driving forces that caused them to go to another land, rather by force or hope.

1 comment:

  1. I just want to mention, what was discussed in class concerning this satricial poem. It was discussed, how the main character in the poetry piece, is considered to be arrogant and looked down on others, aboard the voyage. Many of the factors that was discussed in the first 30 lines or so, was predictions that I personally had made concerning the poetry.