Violence In Early American Literature

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From our readings of early American literature, we see many themes and ideas that cause us to expand and find the deeper meaning or purpose behind these accounts. From our readings we experience a reoccurring theme of Violence as we see in the cases of Bartolomé de las Casas’ “Account of the Destruction of the Indies” and Mary Rowlandson’s “Narrative of Captivity”. In both of these writings our authors give us a first-hand look at their experiences in early America that weren’t exactly the easiest of times that they had expected or intended. In both of these writings we experience many scenes that depict grueling violent experiences that both of our authors experienced. These writings show us the accounts of violence that took place during…show more content…
In Rowlandson’s narrative we experience her encounter of her town being raided by Indians. Rowlandson mentions early in her narrative about violence as the townspeople were struck in the head with clubs by Indians. We then experience another who “begged of them his life” (Rowlandson 269) to no despair of the Indians as he was then clubbed in the head. This violence in the opening scene sets the tone for the rest of the narrative as what is to come from these violent natives. Children were stripped from their parents and houses were burned in this act of cruelty from the Indians. Throughout Rowlandson’s attack she is experiencing awful sights such as her brother in law was killed and stripped of his clothes. This violence would not stop at the end of the attack however as Rowlandson would be captured by the Indians and made to live with them with one small child who she would take in. Rowlandson describes one night as a “lively resemblance of hell” (Rowlandson 271) as she is witnessing the ruthlessness that is acted by the Indians in their treatment to wasting the bodies of horses, cows and the other animals that were present. Rowlandson’s accounts of violence give us another side to experience as de las Casas’ shows the cruelty of the Christians throughout their travels while Rowlandson experiences violence with the attacking of her town by the
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