The Blackwater Chronicles

Author Philip Pendleton Kennedy and The Blackwater Chronicle

Author Philip Pendleton Kennedy has penned a book titled The Blackwater Chronicle. After a group of friends signed up for an expedition to West Virginia's uncharted, undiscovered regions, the concept for the book emerged. The explorers traveled along the Blackwater River for a while, stopping occasionally to socialize and go fishing. The north branch of the river was discovered. They referred to the location as Canaan there. When the expedition was over, they returned, and one of the explorers delivered a speech about it that had been written by Philip Pendleton Kennedy. The account has more of a journalistic view as well as having a comical aspect full of humor. Herein, we shall determine if his aim was to provide an accurate tale or to bring humor into the picture. However, the dominant aim was to inform the world as opposed to creating humor.

The Importance of Information

Information is power. There is a reason why Kennedy wrote the accounts from a first person's point of view. He and his four friends explored and found a place worth telling. That is why this book is more of an informative tool than a mere humorous piece. The timing of the exploration was in the 1850s when technology had not yet achieved its potential and as such, there was a vast land that had not been entered. Such was the example of the places. Kennedy presents this priceless information using various stylistic devises. The dominating style used in this book is humor.

Canaan: The Explored Area of the Blackwater

In the process of passing out the information there is a reason why the explored area of the Blackwater is called Canaan. The record of Canaan is found first in the bible where God told Abraham to leave his home to a place that he had was to be guided to. The place was to be a haven of earth. Later, when Abraham's descendants had gone into captivity, they did hope to go back to a land that is full of milk and honey. The writer herein in chapter eight of the book has used that allusion to explain the place was. He says it was a country that was so pleasant, having all forms of beautiful animals that are so beautiful. This was clearly a pro informative act as compared to a pro humorous account. His main aim was to inform the world that indeed, there lays a country side that is so amazing.

The Structure of the Book and the Use of Dialogue

The book is structured in a very interesting form with quite a number of dialogue intervals. It is within the dialogue that we do find the bone of contention between the four friends. Inside the dialogue, we are taken back to the woods to fit into the shoes of Peter, Powell, Mr. Buteut as well as Mr. Conway. The use of dialogue is very much calculated to present the aspect of humor. But right after the humor; once the dialogue ends, the writer explains the next exploration escapade; how they follow the river, how they find the falls and such like things. Clearly, the article is actually more of giving information than achieving the comical relief attached therein.

Vivid Descriptions and the Element of Informing

Further, in chapter eleven, the account given therein entails a black villa which has been given so much vivid description. That the Blackwater villa was arrayed in all sorts of beautiful colors ranging from red, grey and amber with ambience that was so amazing…(kennedy 123). This excerpt is more of an evidential portion to affirm that indeed in as much as the writer aimed to achieve some element of comic relief, the dominating aim was actually to explain and inform the reader of the unexplored area.

Exploration and Conveying New Information

The main reason why people usually explore is to find out new things. After finding the new information, the information would then be relayed to the world. Kennedy's book of Blackwater adventures is no different. Consider chapter twelve, the description given about the water falls that they had found. The chapter begins by the five explorers waking up to an unpleasant climate. There is a thought to end the expedition at that point but then proponents of continuing with the hike really have the firm belief that there could be larger falls. Peter seems to be sick and quite unwilling to continue. But after much persuasion, they do proceed to find the larger falls. Herein, they find exuberance and magnificence in nature. Notice how the writer describes this magnificence: he says that poetry itself cannot explain how nature is so amazing so divine.

A Conclusion of Informative and Humorous Elements

To conclude, it is clear that the Blackwater chronicle is a straightforward piece of literature that is packed with tales of an expedition that was carried out by a group of friends who sort to find lands unknown. This they did so well. They described the place as Canaan- a serene place that was artistically created to accommodate quite a number of animals. However, despite taking a pro-informative approach to this telling, the article also has elements of it much humor. The many dialogues that have been clearly shown to portray this sort of humor. For instance: "Mr Todd is insulted because of his sort of ignorance that is so innocent. He is actually insulted in a comical manner."(Kennedy 156) Clearly, the statement is quite humorous. However, despite this fact, in the end, the main aim was to pass the desired information about the haven in West Virginia. That is why this book is treasured as one that promotes and preserves nature and culture. Some historians actually consider it to be the base of civilization as we know it.

Works Cited

Philip Pendleton Kennedy, The Blackwater Chronicles, 1852

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