Captivity stories have become a popular genre throughout the American culture. The idea has gained popularity because America’s history with captivity has left unforgettable memories for all Americans. Stories like A Narrative of the Captivity of Mary Rowlandson and The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano have become very popular because of this. Although there are many differences between these stories, they both are similar in one way or another.
Americans have been intrigued by captivity novels and works for centuries. It could be the sense of danger and unpredictability that makes them so interesting and popular. Or maybe the idea that captivity was quite possible for readers in previous centuries made captivity narratives popular in Colonial Times. Speaking of Colonial Times, two popular captivity narratives that took place in that era that have many similarities and differences are; A Narrative of the Captivity of Mary Rowlandson and The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano.
Throughout Mary Rowlandson’s “A Narrative of the Captivity and Restoration,” Rowlandson repeatedly makes mention to the idea of Puritan dominance over Native Americans. Rowlandson exemplifies this through the use of harsh diction, imagery, and biblical allusions. Rowlandson employs these methods in order to create a chasm between her people, the Puritans, and her captors, the Native Americans. Throughout the text, Rowlandson paints the Puritan community as “God’s chosen people,” justifying their forceful taking of Native land that lead to the onset of King Philip’s war. Ironically, many of Rowlandson’s techniques unintentionally portray her as more savage and immoral than her Native captors.
Food is an essential thing needed to survive. In A Narrative of the Captivity and Restoration of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson; Rowlandson faced many challenges that she had to overcome. During her captivity, her biggest challenge was finding food every day. Her captors’ food was different compared to the food she was used to in her Puritan society in Europe. This forced her to adapt to her captors’ eating habits if she wanted any food. Although, these eating habits went against Rowlandson’s religious beliefs, she realized that she was willing to eat nearly anything to make it out of captivity alive. Rowlandson’s attitude towards her captors’ food changes drastically over the course of her captivity because she wants to survive.
The emotional and sexual abuse was awful for Jacobs. In her narrative she talks about how horrible it really was for women "My master began to whisper foul words in my ear." Her master told her she was property "He told me I was his property; that I must be subject to his will in all things." She says how she had to give up their children "The children were sold to a slave-trader,
Mary Rowlandson was kidnapped from her village and held captive by Native Americans. While in captivity, she portrayed a negative picture of the Native Americans in her narrative “The Captivity and restoration of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson.” In her narrative, Rowlandson disparaged and ridiculed the Native Americans in a negative way to show or reason to her peers that the Native Americans were like savages and ruthless animals. In my opinion, Rowlandson portrayed the Native Americans in a negative manner to show others their savage behaviors but also to show the power of God and how he will save those who believe in him.
Mary Rowlandson’s captivity narrative, A Narrative of The Captivity and Restoration, written with many dominant motifs and different story structuring methods which provide to the overall interpretation of the story. During King Phillips War, Mary Rowlandson and the English explorers in Lancaster, Massachusetts were under attack by the Wampanoag Indians on February of 1675, Rowlandson was one of 25 in the community taken captive and held prisoner for 11 weeks following the attack, to create the captivity account known as “A Narrative of The Captivity and Restoration” Written by Mary Rowlandson. Rowlandson shows extreme anger, hatred, and discomfort towards the Indians in the narrative. She uses motifs such as “othering,” using the Indians food, style, demeanor, and religion as supporting facts to help portray the Indians as a terrible group of uncivilized savages. Using expressions like “savage” and “barbaric” to describe the Indians repetitively. Religion is also a huge part in this captivity narrative, how
Harriet Jacobs’s tone on her work was forthright. By this I mean that she was direct in other words that she was frank and that she did not hesitate when she shared all of the tragedies that she went through. Jacob’s tone can also be described as reflective, and by this I mean that she illustrated all of her inner thoughts or her personal thoughts and mainly all of her personal emotions.
Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl opens with an introduction in which the writer, Harriet Jacobs, expresses her purposes behind composing her life account. Like all other slaves, her life story was story was horrific and shocking enough that she would have rather kept it private, however she felt that making it open may help the abolitionist development and will probably make others aware that what all of them went through. An introduction by abolitionist Lydia Maria Child puts forth a comparative defense for the book and she thus keeps the story of Jacobs’ in front of the world.
Mary Rowlandson was a woman that relied on God. Rowlandson is comforted in her “low estate” by Biblical passages that [take] hold of her heart” and enable her to survive (Mary Rowlanson’s Captivity and the Place of the Woman’s Subject). She believed that if she kept the faith and believed in God she could survive her period of captivity. Rowlandson was a wife of a minister who was
Harriet Jacobs was a very important African American women during the hard times of slavery. Harriet was an example of how African American women were treated. Although she was tough and went through a long journey she survived and accomplished her goal of gaining freedom for herself and her family. Harriet was also an author who wrote a popular book Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl which told her personal story including all the barriers in her life so that people could be aware of the cruel treatments and the lifestyle some of the helpless enslaved women had to go through during the 1800-1900’s.
In times of contentment and peace, it is easy to say that one will always trust in the Lord no matter what may come. Despite this eager and somewhat overconfident approach to faith, many Christians often are found questioning the Lord when actual trial and tribulation come their way. In A Narrative of the Captivity and Restoration of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson by Mary Rowlandson, she shows readers that even through all she faced during her eleven weeks of captivity, her faith remained unwavering. Mary Rowlandson is the colonial image bearer of what it means to trust in the undeserved mercy that God shows his children, as well as in his nature regardless of your circumstance.
Reading this week’s assigned reading about Mary Rowlandson was interesting. Mary Rowlandson lived a Puritan life and she devoted her life to God. She had strong feelings that her actions and the followers around her did the right thing when they were confronted by the wilderness and people they did not understand. Her faith prevented them from understanding what was happening in the New World.
Harriet Ann Jacobs is the first Afro-American female writer to publish the detailed autobiography about the slavery, freedom and family ties. Jacobs used the pseudonym Linda Brent to keep the identity in secret. In the narrative, Jacobs appears as a strong and independent woman, who is not afraid to fight for her rights.
“A Narrative of the Captivity and Restoration of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson” by Mary Rowlandson gives a first person perspective into the circumstances of captivity and cultural interaction and an insight to Rowlandson 's attitude towards the Indians, both before and after she was held captive.