Summary: A Sea Of Misadventures

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Ships were responsible for transporting humans and products, both business and communities relied heavily on vessels. Unfortunately, sailors met many hardships out at sea and were often victims of shipwrecks. The people who survived shipwrecks wrote narratives to speak about God’s presence, give advice to future sailors, and for money. Accounts of shipwrecks weren’t only affordable entertainment but were also used to spread words of religion and positivity. In the book, A Sea of Misadventures, Amy Mitchell-Cook explores printed shipwreck narratives from the seventeenth century to the nineteenth century. Two questions that emerge from Amy’s analysis are the following: How did literature describe the shipping industry and shipping disasters…show more content…
Literature published in the seventeenth century focused on religion and redemption. Literature in the eighteenth century shifted away from religion and more towards sympathy for victims. Literature related to shipwrecks, appealed to audiences because of the excitement of human endurance. Instead of focusing on death and horror, the narratives showed positivity and the ability for survivors to remain calm during chaotic times and find solutions. Literature of shipwrecks were also alluring because it allowed people to escape their realities and engage in exciting tales.
Literature described the shipping industry and shipping disasters as a way to maintain social order. Amy states that shipwreck narratives reflected the important values of Americans. Narratives served as conduct manuals for society. Men were to be the protectors of woman and children and act as gentleman with self-control at all times. Women were often portrayed with supportive roles, instead of important dominating roles. Most stories carried with them the positive message that the people who remained true to societal norms would survive. Other survival stories emphasized God’s

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