Hugh Willoughby’s Across the Everglades Essays

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Hugh Willoughby’s Across the Everglades

Despite the overall opinion of our class, I enjoyed Hugh Willoughby’s Across the Everglades. The short history he provided and the description of his journey through mangroves and saw grass was both enlightening and entertaining. He offered insight into the historical part of Florida that we, in 2004, will never know of by first hand experience. Willoughby’s journal was also the perfect handbook for an Everglades class canoe trip. From the intricate metaphors he weaves into his facts to the influence of opinion behind those facts, Willoughby’s work captures the minds of his readers.

Perhaps the most interesting aspect of Willoughby’s writing is that so much change has occurred in the
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He did not suppress the “romance and poetry for the sterner, material welfare of fellowman” (63). Instead, he wrote with romance and poetry to attract the sentiments of his readers.

Along the same line, Willoughby wrote a poetically engaging defense for Native Americans. He indicated throughout his work that the United States Government was wrong to go “against a people who was willing to live in peace” (17), and he claimed that he would fight on their behalf if ever he had the opportunity (163). He attracted readers with vivid descriptions of the blood that runs through Native American veins and his description of the unsightly shanty that replaced the native’s home. Willoughby’s implementation of descriptive writing helped further his opinion throughout his work, and it is this aspect of Across the Everglades that allows modern day readers to associate the writing with the writer and thus bring the past into light. During class on Friday, some mentioned that they found Willoughby to be writing for attention and approval, because he knew that his work would be published. I find that regardless of his motives, the fact that he included Native American history within his work expresses his true sentiments.

Willoughby’s descriptive sort of poetry continued throughout his work. Writing about deer and snakes silhouetted against the moonlight,

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