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During my elementary school, I was not able to fully understand the story of the first Thanksgiving. I was a foreigner with little skill in reading, writing, listening, and understanding English. However, I do remember reading a book about it in Korean in third grade. The book depicted the first thanksgiving as a blessing from a failure. English colonists on the Mayflower left England to the New World to be free from the religious oppression present within the Anglican Church. While they brought many supplies, the winter came. Unprepared for the unknown climate, the pilgrims were suffering in the winter. Much of their food spoiled and many colonists had died from diseases. Due to their lack of knowledge of the land, they did not know what crops were able to grow in that climate and they were too afraid of the bloodthirsty Native Indians at war to ask them for help. Just when they were about to starve, a friendly tribe saw the pilgrims suffering and helped them out. They gave them corn, taught different methods of farming, and showed them hunting grounds. As a way of return, the pilgrims hosted a huge feast and invited the tribe as a way to honor them and thank them.
In the article “First “National Day of Mourning” Held in Plymouth” on Mass Moments, the author focuses the story of the first thanksgiving through the point of view as a third person observing both the Native Indians and the Pilgrims of the Mayflower. Unlike the traditional Thanksgiving story, this article focuses more on the “truth” of the actual event which occured. The article sets out to find the faults within the traditional Thanksgiving story and gives out the “real facts” as seen by historians. Additionally, the article brings in the views of the Native Indians, talking about the tribes who “considered all of nature to be a sacred gift from the Creator” and hosted celebrations of thanksgiving before the Pilgrims had arrived on North America. To support his or her point of view, the author includes facts which are supported by dates and very descriptive images. This creates a sense that the author has a very deep understanding of Thanksgiving and that he or she has a lot of informations and research. Additionally, the author cites quotes and sources from the colonists, researchers, and historians, increasing the credibility of the information presented within the article. This helps the interpretation of the story by showing the different viewpoints of thanksgiving and shows the flaws of the traditional Thanksgiving story.
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