The New World is set during the first British expeditions to North America. Captain Newport's ships approach under the gaze of Pocahontas and her tribe of Native Americans. The English quickly set up their new home, the fort of Jamestown. Unfamiliar with their surroundings and crippled by lack of supplies, the expedition seems doomed. Newport sails back to England to bring reinforcements while Captain John Smith is sent to negotiate with the locals. He is instead captured by a tribe and taken to their settlement where his life is spared by Pocahontas, the chief's daughter. A connection begins to form between the two. Smith embraces their way of life and falls in love with Pocahontas.
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Upon returning to Jamestown, Captain Smith is placed in charge of leading the men through the coming winter. Just as all hope is lost, Pocahontas arrives bringing food and clothing, effectively saving the English from death. When he finds out about his daughter's deeds, the chief exiles Pocahontas from the tribe and attacks Jamestown, though the superior weapons of the Europeans repel them.
Pocahontas is brought to Jamestown, but her relationship with John is cut short when he chooses to leave for England in pursuit of his career. During her stay, Pocahontas meets John Rolfe, a newly arrived settler. He teaches her about their way of life. They get married and have a child, Thomas.
When the opportunity arises for Rolfe and his family to travel to England, Pocahontas is stunned at the sight of London. There, she meets with Captain Smith and the two reflect on the paths they have chosen. They say goodbye, and Pocahontas sets sail with her family back to Virginia. Unfortunately, she succumbs to illness during the journey and passes away.
Best part of story, including ending:
The film places two different cultures at odds. One is not inherently superior to the other. Pocahontas and Smith's relationship is a microcosm of the struggle between nature and civilization.
Best scene in story:
The beautiful scenes of John's time with the natives. It's humbling to think that there is so much to the human experience that we never live through.
Opinion about the main character:
John Smith says of his time spent in the heart of the Native American tribe that it was like a dream, a moment of truth. I don't understand why he chose to give up that life, represented through Pocahontas.