During the Age of Exploration, many explorers set out on expeditions to search for land for each of their investors. One explorer that is commonly known as the famous Italian explorer named Christopher Columbus. Christopher Columbus wrote “The Journal of the First Voyage to America” to attempt to convince the Spanish Monarchy to subsidize his voyages to scour for the new world. On Columbus’ first journey he comes across a small island, which he named San Salvador. In his journal, Columbus states his findings on the new island of San Salvador, which today is present-day Cuba. To further explain his findings, he uses his perspective & point of view, imagery, and diction to persuade the Monarch. The reason for most expeditions is for economic increase, honor, and to spread religious beliefs for the monarch or investors that subsides the explorer’s expedition. It was the same for Columbus but his ultimate goal for his expeditions was to search for a route to India, to trade for spices.
Christopher Columbus uses his perspective and point of view of the island to further convince the Monarch to subsidize him. Columbus uses the first-person point of view in his journal. Using his point of view, he is able to connect the Monarch with what he has discovered. Columbus wanted the Monarch to be able to live vicariously through him, so that he may be able to adventure and voyage across the seas. An example of Columbus’ type of perspective would be when he stated, ”The island even exceeds others in beauty and fertility. Groves of lofty and flourishing trees are abundant, as also large lakes, surrounded and overhung by the foliage, in the most enchanting manner.” (Columbus 62). This journal entry helps to persuade the Monarch about what he can discover and what he has to offer to them because he uses his words to explain what he is experiencing around him. This allows for the chance that the King and Queen will allow him to venture for Spain.
In his writings, Columbus uses imagery to explain the sight of the isle and how great the beauty of San Salvador is. He uses his words to paint a luscious island, teeming with life. His imagery is very exaggerated to make the isle seem appealing. An example of his imagery would be,” The melody of the birds was so exquisite that one was never willing to part from the spot, and the flocks of parrots obscured the heavens.”(Columbus 62-63). This example helps paint the image of San Salvador because Columbus is using the sense of hearing and seeing to help boost the mental image. He wants them to imagine themselves in San Salvador listening to the birds sing their lovely songs and imagine flocks of parrots flying above them with their vibrant wings. He wants them to feel what he is feeling when he sees the island. This is why imagery is the most present in his text.
Columbus now uses diction to further convey the island and his foundings of the isle. Columbus’ diction is very abstract as well as concrete. Columbus uses expressive and descriptive language to show the beauty of the island of San Salvador. Columbus is attempting to evoke interest through his targeted audience with his words. An example of his use of diction would be,” A thousand different sorts of trees, with their fruits, were to be met with, and of a wonderfully delicious odor.”(Columbus 63). The text aids in his mission to convince the Monarch because of the eloquence of his journal. His work is extravagant because he uses his words to explicitly expresses his surroundings as well as exaggerate them a little. Columbus’ descriptiveness and extravagant writings in his journal make the isle seem as if there has never been an isle more beautiful than San Salvador.
In conclusion, Columbus is an interesting writer and explorer. Normal people would have written the Journal for themselves to remember their journeys. However, Columbus did not write this Journal for himself. He only wrote the journal so that he can persuade the Spanish Monarchy. Even on his journey, he also brought back gifts to show what he can do and bring them up to the table for the Spanish Monarchy. He uses his extravagant words and well-crafted sentences furthermore convince the Monarch. Eventually, he succeeded because he embarks on three more journeys throughout the Atlantic Ocean. Columbus uses his words and gifts to show the King and Queen that he was an excellent explorer and voyager which in return got him to be able to continue his exploratory journeys.