Mary Rowlandson A Narrative Of The Captivity Summary

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Mary Rowlandson’s A Narrative of the Captivity and Restoration of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson has events which reinforce the stereotypical view of Native Americans in colonial times; however, she also has occasions when she encounters behavior contradicting her views. Many white settlers view Native Americans as godless barbarians and Rowlandson highlights that view with her account of the attack and subsequent forced march through the wilderness. The events in the first few days of captivity paint a picture of vicious killers and tormenters of Christians. During the attack on Lancaster, Rowlandson gives a vivid description of bloodthirsty savages senselessly killing settlers “like a company of sheep torn by wolves, all of them stripped naked by a company of hell-hounds” (Rowlandson 129). Portrayal of Native Americans as animal-like and devoid of …show more content…

While Rowlandson sees Native Americans as the enemy, in sharp contrast to Christians, she experiences occasions when the behavior of an individual Native American challenges her stereotype of the people. Compassion and generosity are shown to her in her search for her children and later, when in need of food and shelter. Grieving after the death of her daughter Sarah, she is denied access to her daughter Mary and despairs of seeing her family again. When her son finds her, she hears that it was due to the mercy of his master’s wife, saying, “In this time of the absence of his master, his dame brought him to see me. I took this to be some gracious answer to my earnest and unfeigned desire” (Rowlandson 133). On another occasion, after being forcibly evicted from her own mistress’ tent with no food or shelter into the cold night, Rowlandson went to several tents until “at last an old Indian bade me to come to him, and his squaw gave me some ground nuts; she gave me also something to lay under my head, and a good fire we had; and through the good providence of God, I had a comfortable lodging that night”

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