Narrative Of The Captivity Mary Rowlandson Analysis

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In February 1676, an army of Indians attacked the Puritan settlement of Lancaster in the Massachusetts Bay Colony. They took numerous captives as prisoners, including Mary Rowlandson, a Puritan housewife. Following her eleven week captivity with the Indian people, Rowlandson wrote A Narrative of the Captivity and Restoration of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson, a memoir describing her interactions with her hardships that she believes were only endured thanks to her unceasing devotion to her Christian faith. Despite originally referring to the natives as “savages” and “heathens,” a shifting tone towards her captors over the course of her experience, exemplified by her attitude towards their food, begins to suggest a change in her understanding of her captors. Rowlandson begins demonstrating behaviors she previously would only have …show more content…

Rowlandson’s lack of criticism or ability to see any wrong in Puritan society and truthfully portray her experience due to fear of persecution is a vivid demonstration of the danger of cultivating societies that promote the devout following of harmful, narrow-minded ideologies. As evident in the case of Rowlandson’s memoir, confinement to a set body of beliefs prevents any flexibility in knowledge, perspective, or beliefs, which leads to lack of respect and willingness to relate or understand those with differences. Rowlandson’s inability to understand the Indians allowed her to maintain her prejudice and continue to submit to Puritan society’s expectations. Rowlandson’s experiences with the food, people, and overall culture of the Native Americans should have demonstrated that the distance between she and the Indians is actually not so great. Rather, she only takes away an affirmation of what Puritan society wants her to

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