Captivity Mary Rowlandson Analysis

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Analyzing Captivity Stories: How Different Tones Support Different Themes In A Narrative of the Captivity and Restoration of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson, Mary Rowlandson retells her story as a captive of the Wampanoag Indians. In Louise Erdrich’s poem “Captivity”, Erdrich responds to Rowlandson by telling a story about a captive of a Native American tribe through the eyes of the captive. Throughout their stories, both authors utilize diction to produce a specific tone that conveys their overall theme. Through analysis of both authors’ diction choice, it is evident that Rowlandson’s hopeful tone supports her theme of exclusive belief in God, whereas Erdrich’s desperate tone supports her message that beliefs are susceptible to change. In her narrative, Rowlandson frequently alludes to the Bible and asserts her undying faith in God. She produces an optimistic tone, even amongst the hardships she endures. For example, she mentions how “the Lord renewed my strength” (234) and “dealt mercifully” with her many times, and that she “fared better” than her captors (235). Rowlandson explains how God gave her the “strength” to persevere through her struggles, and that God treated her “better” than her captors because she believed in him. She uses diction such as “renewed”, “strength”,…show more content…
It is important to understand that different tones are created to support different themes, as revealed through both Rowlandson’s and Erdrich’s texts. Through specific diction, an author can achieve a captivating tone which will support the message the author is trying to communicate. Words alone are powerful, as they hold immeasurable value and meaning capable of leaving a lasting
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