Reflection Paper of Sparrow Hawk

The story of the sailors and survivors of the Sparrow Hawk is a sympathetic one referring to the fateful incidences they faced. Their saddening experiences can be traced right from the time they left Batavia, the occurrence of the accident to their life experiences in the Korean Kingdom.

Everything looked good for them by the time they left Batavia for the port of Taiwan where they successfully reached and later proceeded to Japan. The waters between Batavia and Taiwan seaport were calm and safe as they lacked any fateful incidence reported. The triumphant arrival of His Excellency Caesar at Taiwan and the subsequent instructions for the sailors to proceed to Japan is an indication they hoped for the best throughout their journey to Japan. The voyage from Taiwan to Japan was full of misfortunes and marked the start of the miseries faced by the sailors.

It is clear that the sailors were well prepared for the entire sea adventure because they had carried with them enough provisions to sustain themselves while on the sea. The survivors of the wreckage were able to secure some of the food materials from the broken ship, and they continued to use them till the time the Koreans found them. The sailors were organised in an excellent way to have different people who were used to perform different roles as they continued with their journey. The coordination of activities made it easier for the sailors to control the ship even as winds became strong and visibility diminished. The strong winds must have distracted most of their activities while at sea to the extent that their cook was not able to cook for them. It shows that the sailors had concentrated a lot in making sure that they landed safely without paying attention to some of the basics, such as food.

The sailors seemed to be faithful to their religion, and they kept referring to God as they only help whenever the winds continued to overcome them. Human beings tend to simulate high levels of faithfulness to their creator in times of troubles, especially in cases where personal efforts to save life become void. The controllers of the ship at one time told the rest of the team that they had done their best and that only God could save them. The sailors seemed courageous to keep doing their best to save their lives even as things kept on getting worse. The determination in them was the main reason which made it possible for them to get to the shores where the wreckage occurred, killing almost half of them. The poor visibility at night can be blamed for the accident which occurred after hitting the rocks. The controller of the ship by the time the accident occurred had seen the land and instructed the colleagues to anchor the vessel.

It was unfortunate that the wreckage occurred at a time when they were about to land on the shores. The sailors must have done a lot to bring the ship to this far in waters which they did not have prior experience with. It was unfortunate that a significant number of the sailors lost their lives, but none of them can be blamed for the accident and the losses which ensued. Lack of technological applications in the navigation of ships during that time is a primary reason for all that happened. There lacked a way through which the sailors could communicate with people back in Batavia to let them know of what they were going through while on waters. Excellent communication with people on the land would have facilitated a rescue mission when the winds at sea became unbearable.

Use of technology in navigation would also have helped to make a forecast of the expected weather changes, which would have helped the sailors to make informed changes in terms of sailing directions. It could have been possible for them to improve visibility, especially at night, which was the main reason why the accident occurred. The safety of the sailors during their voyage was solely dependent on fate and lacked a way through which they could have sought help while in the waters. They must have been lucky to have fallen in the hands of Koreans who were friendly to them and helped them get out of the shores. The treatment they received was not bad considering that the Koreans ended up offering basics to them, such as food and shelter. One would have expected the Koreans to mistreat them on the ground that they did not know them in addition to the fact that they could not communicate well verbally.

The relationship of the survivors with Koreans who came for their rescue portrays a lot of humanity in the manner the strangers associated with one another. One would have expected the Koreans to mistreat the sailors since they did not know them, but they ended up being friendly to them. The sailors must have been witty in the manner they associated with the Koreans to make them happy with the little they had managed to rescue from the wreckage. It is for this reason that they served them with wine using a silver cup, which made them enjoy a lot. Serving the Koreans with wine can be said to be a tactic the sailors used to reinforce their friendship. Getting well with the Koreans was the only way the sailors could have survived because their food reserves were getting depleted and their ship was no more. The Koreans were opportunistic as they ended up burning the remains of the vessel to obtain iron which they carried with them by the time they evacuated the sailors from the shores.

The commander of the Koreans was an excellent person considering that he got angered by some of his soldiers who ended up stealing from the sailors. He must have been angered by the fact that the soldiers were taking advantage of the desperate sailors to steal the little they had secured from the wreckage. The soldiers who stole were subjected to extreme punishment, which saw some of them lose their toes. The soldiers must have gained confidence with the leadership of the Korean troops through the discipline of the soldiers who mistreated them. The commander must have sympathised with survivors making him harsh to his soldiers who were inhuman to the homeless sailors. Stealing from the sailors was terrible, and the commander was justified to punish those who were found to have taken anything from the survivors.

The relationship of the survivors with the Koreans continued to strengthen right from the time they meant at the shore to the moments they started moving inland. It is clear that the Koreans offered horses to those who were able to ride while those who still had wounds were assisted and rode by others who were healthy and robust. Helping the weak to move and not leaving any of them behind is an indication that the Koreans were merciful to the sailors who had been involved in an accident. The Koreans knew that the sailors were headed to Japan, but they continued to help them. The sailors must have been pleased to fall in the hands of the Koreans who were welcoming because they did not have any other option left after their ship collapsed. The survivors gave all information about their origin and where they were headed to, and their openness helped to strengthen their relationship with the Koreans. They did not know that the friendship was a blind game to retain them in Korea.

The friendly nature of the Koreans can also be deduced from the fact the old governor was a considerate man who interacted with the survivors at all levels. The simplicity of the governor made it possible for the survivors to engage him to ask for favours as they awaited the response from the King. All their requests were granted, which cheated them that the Koreans were considerate people and were willing to help him. Interacting with people from different races and origins is the right way through which one can learn to communicate with strangers. It is also through interaction that the friendship of people becomes useful to help one person receive help from the other party. The excellent communication of the survivors with the governor made it possible for him to understand much about their language while the, in turn, enjoyed some privileges such as feasts and proper treatment for the sick. The governor was a hypocrite by doing while he knew the selfish interest he had in the friendship.

The Dutchmen must have been happy with the reception and encouragement by the governor, but their hope started to diminish after meeting Jan Jansz. The remarkable thing about Jan is that he was forcefully forced to stay in Korea after they were captured on their search for clean water along the Korean shores. Such a fate is what awaited the survivors who thought they were to be assisted in getting to Japan. The promises given by the governor were meant to blind the survivors so that they could not know that they were to remain in Korea for the rest of their lives. It was a good tactic used by the governor to silent them not to ask about his leaving the land. They had fallen on the wrong hands, but they did not know about it. How could the captives be allowed to question they say in a foreign land? They were truly blinded.

The change of the governor made things worse as the new governor ended up changing the laws which adversely affected the welfare of the Dutchmen. Their hope of ever getting out of Korea continued to diminish. Retrieval of the side dishes showed that there was nothing better they expected. Knowing the reality of what is happening helps a person to look for alternatives whenever the prevailing conditions are not conducive. It is after they knew that nothing was being done to facilitate their journey to Japan that the Dutchmen started planning how they could escape from Korea. The reality of what Jan had told them started unfolding, and the Dutchmen had to seek safe ways they could flee the land. The connections they had established helped them to come up with effective escape strategies.

The Dutchmen continued to learn about the Koreans and knew that they were not good people as they had believed for long. It was revealed that many people continued to suffer at the hands off the Koreans and subjected to a lot of inhumanity. The understanding was an essential one to let them know that the kind reception they had received was bound to blind them. The good life they enjoyed was meant to cheat them and keep them in Korea for long. The old governor who received them must have been a knowledgeable man in the manner he tricked the Dutchmen with fake promises that everything related to their stay in Korea was okay. All their requests were always approved to make them believe that the Koreans were good people.

The response given to the Dutchmen by the retired governor when they reached him for help is an informed one. Telling the Dutchmen that he knew about their fate and had written to the governor meant they had to continue waiting for more time for their fate to be decided. He indicated that he was unable to facilitate their release to Japan, but the sitting governor was to look into it. These were fake promises to show them that the leadership was concerned about their welfare, but it was not even doing anything about it. Escaping the land was the only way left for the Dutchmen who were to use every means possible to flee the area. The leadership of Korea must have had an interest in controlling the number of people getting to Japan. The Koreans had introduced their soldiers at sea to hold as many captives as possible. Even people who came to the shore to search for drinking water were being captured for no good reason, and their fate was to remain in Korea for the of their lives.

The life after fleeing Korea was not getting any better as they had to suffer a lot as they moved from one place to the other. The determination of the Dutchmen shows that if were it not for the wreckage of their ship, they would have reached Japan a long time ago. Fate was not their side, and they were required to keep up with all the struggles which kept on arising as the only way they could make it to Japan at last. The Dutchmen later learnt that Koreans feared Japan and that they hindered people from relating with them. The understanding revealed to them the reality behind the promises given by the governors, which were all false. They were to remain in Korea for the entire of their lives.

All in all, the Dutchmen had fallen in good hands of soldiers who had captured them. The soldiers acted with humanity in addition to being loyal to the governor. The narrative is full of humour and sadness as one follows the lives of Dutchmen after they had left Batavia for Japan. The loss of about half the crew members and subsequent stay in Korea out of their will is so moving.

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