Mary Rowlandson Non Literary Analysis

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What is Literature?
Literature is considered emotional, imaginative and contains many elements of figurative language that helps readers understand an overall idea. For centuries, literature has shaped the way many have recognized written work. Dating back to the 17th century, literature formed an overall attraction to the Colonial community as it appealed to emotions and sensitive-subjects through pleasing expressions. For many years, scholars have debated what exactly classifies a writing as literature or non-literature. Within the Colonial period, non-literature was expressed to voice historical and factual events, where literature explained overall emotion and sensitivity among various groups. Although a defined line has been drawn between
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Non-literature, can be detected as it often displays a narrative or story that contains many elements that do not appeal to emotion or images. In essence, non-literature is often seen as it is written in hindsight of personal experience. Consequently, Earnest explains, “A more subtle way to destroy literature is that practiced by those scholastics who turn it into a catalog of dates, types, and sources” (15). For example, Mary Rowlandson, a female figure within the 17th century, represents non-literature as she explains her experience of Indian captivity. Rowlandson’s piece of writing is not considered literature since she focuses on the factual and historical elements of her experience, rather than a narrative of an emotional encounter. Rowlandson introduces her narrative as “On the tenth of February 1675, came the Indians with great numbers upon Lancaster” (127), showing a specific historical date. Similar to Rowlandson, John Smith, an important figure in the establishment of Jamestown in the 1600’s, wrote on account of his experiences with the building of his colony. “Smith newly recovered, Martin and Ratcliffe were by his care preserved and relieved, and the most of the soldiers recovered with the skillful diligence of Master Thomas Wotton our general surgeon” (Smith, 60). Due to Smith’s textbook-like writing, it…show more content…
Dating back to the Colonial period, literature was based on imagery, figurative language, and its appeal to emotion. Non- literature, however, details historical or factual events through its writing. Although there is a line between what is determined as literature or non-literature, it is a fine line as elements of both are found within each other.

Works Cited Earnest, Ernest. Forward to Literature: The Nature of Literature. D. Appleton-Century Company, Inc., 1945
Henwood, Dawn. “MARY ROWLANDSON AND THE PSALMS: The Textuality of Survival.” Early American Literature., Vol. 32, Issue 2, September 1997, Pg. 169-183. Accessed 20 January 2018.
Van Engen, Abram. “Advertising the Domestic: Anne Bradstreet’s Sentimental Poetics.” Legacy, Vol. 28, Issue 1, 2011, Pg. 47-68. Accessed 20 January 2018.
Penner, Allen Richard. “Edward Taylor’s Meditation One.” American Literature. Vol. 39, Issue 2, May 1967, Pg. 193-199. Accessed 20 January
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