Mary Rowlandson's Narrative Analysis

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Firstly, I will discuss how the indigenous people are represented through the colonizer 's dominant gaze as the inferior Other and how this notion is used to assert the colonizer’s identity as the superior Self in America. The West Indies is a very different environment compared to Europe and the natives are unlike the European colonizer. Their culture, lifestyle and appearance would be considered alien, unusual and even primitive to the colonizer. And because of the profound differences between the colonizer and the indigenous people, between Europe and the New World, the natives are perceived by the colonizer as strange, peculiar, bizarre, primitive and overall different. Because the colonizer is unable to identify and distinguish himself…show more content…
0.1a), “ravenous beasts” (para. 0.4) and “barbarous creatures” (para. 1.1) which again portrays the indigenous people as barbarians and untamed savages. Rowlandson uses animal metaphors to further establish the identity of the native Indians as “wild beasts of the forest” (para. 4.2) such as labelling the natives as “roaring lions, and savage bears” (para. 20.5a). Lions and bears are predatory animals that ruthlessly kill their prey and Rowlandson relates the Indians to lions and bears because like the wild beasts themselves the Indians mercilessly attack and kill people. This is clearly illustrated at the beginning of her narrative where Rowlandson vividly describes how her kin and fellow Englishmen are murdered by the Indians. She describes how the Indians “went on, burning, and destroying” (para. 0.1a) houses, “split open [the] bowels” (para. 0.1a) of their dead victims and “strip[-ping] [them] naked” (para. 0.1a). To add, Rowlandson’s use of animal imagery also underlines how like wild animals, the Indians are also inhabitants of the harsh wilderness reminding her readers that the Indians are not identified as humans. They do not live in the colonizer’s society or civilization. Besides animal imagery, Rowlandson also makes use of hellish imagery when referring to the Indians. In her narrative, she mentions them as “a company of hell-hounds” (para. 0.3a) and states how the forest, the habitat and domain of the Indians, is “a lively resemblance of hell” (para. 1.1a) which further dehumanizes the Indians. By employing hellish imagery, the Indians are portrayed as wicked and corrupt beings of Hell, a spiritual realm of suffering and evil. They are presented as demons, the embodiment of evil or are associated with the Devil. In relation to her status as a Puritan, a Christian, by labelling the Indians as agents of Hell they are considered

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