Unredeemed Captive, By John Demos: Analysis

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Historians approach history in various ways to catch their reader’s attention and make sure that their books are interesting at the same time. They tend to write histories based on concrete evidence from the past− ethnography, journals, and research. However, John Demos went beyond the normal stereotype. He approached history unconventionally by drawing hypothesis from certain historical evidence and connecting history to his subject rather than just speculating; he made it personal. In Unredeemed Captive, he made it clear that he wrote this historical novel based on research, also, journals and diaries left by the Williams family. Moreover, the evidence that he had in hand was incomplete, leaving him stuck in times. Yet, he managed to turn it into a novel based on history by drawing hypothesis from the incomplete evidence. He significantly drew hypothesis from two distinct sources, one from common senses and one from references. When he provided a piece of history that limited his path to continue his novel, he started to question the evidence and answered the question himself from his own common sense. For instance, Demos brought up a question “ Had John exploited his position (as host) to lord it over the visitors?” right after he attached a piece of letter from Stephen Williams to Kellogg regarding the problem between John and the visitors. At the same time, he answered the question directly saying that the…show more content…
For instance, Foner talked about the “New World” in his first chapter, started from describing Native American and their existing land till different colonies conquering the land of America. So the way Demos connected to history differed from other historical
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