B-52 Stratofortress by Jeffery L. Ethell

By Jeffery L. Ethell

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Moreover, a hunting motif is active in the Boone narratives and in the literature and writings that grow from it. Boone’s source of power is hunting, and hunting becomes emblematic of life in the wilderness. Oppositions found in the Boone material highlight extremes and borderlines between extremes. Lines of demarcation denote actual borders. Indeed, a study could be made of all the surveying accounts found in the Boone narratives. Borderlines impact Boone’s life throughout his career as surveyor and scout, and indicate his liminality in other arenas.

These individuals hunt in groups by the light of day. He ascribes negative characteristics to solitary, adolescent hunters who pursue game at night, using nets and snares. It is as if youth connotes not only the transitional phase of the hunter, but the negative pole of oppositions between dark and light, youth and age, solitary and social, cowardly and brave. To take Vidal-Naquet’s observations a step further, we can link the hunter figure and his country. European hunting was an aristocratic and Pocahontas and John Smith 29  highly organized activity, while American hunting was an independent, individualistic one.

Unlike the Spanish who came to the Americas for conquest and trade with little intention of permanent settlement, the English sought to establish colonies. The settlers who hunted had to adopt many of the skills of the Native Americans. ” The hunter figure becomes virtually the only “comfortable” amalgamation of the two peoples. The settlers had conflicting loyalties between England and America. They were not ready for the demands that the physical landscape presented: the severe weather; the intimidating topography of forests and mountains; the uncooperative inhabitants who were surprisingly reluctant to have their land wrested from them.

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