Captivity Of Mary Rowlandson Essay

2004 words - 8 pages

TREATMENT OF THE INDIANS IN THE AMERICAN CAPTIVITY NARRATIVESMarta Vilar Valcárcel.INTRODUCTIONIn this essay I am going to talk about the treatment of the Indians in the American captivity narratives, sometimes used as anti-Indian propaganda, but we can also find good relationships between the Indians and the captured (usually a woman) inside this genre.PURITANSIn 1620, a ship called Mayflower sailed from England to America. The 'pilgrims' who were there had the hope of starting a new life on the other side of the ocean, and they arrived with a different culture, from the political organization to the way they dressed.In 1630, a decade later, the puritans also arrived in America. Their fundamental dogma was the supreme authority of God. ''The puritans emphasized the pastoral responsibility of the clerical statement and the sermon became the central focus of religious life. They attacked any vestige of Catholic liturgy in their practices and were opposed to the recognition of the legitimacy of a higher ecclesiastical authority from an apostolic succession chain. For them, the church was a collective institution formed by a group of believers who chose a minister for service'' (Gurpegui). ''They adopted the five main points of the Calvinism established in 1619, which are known as T.U.L.I.P:T otal Depravity (also known as Original Sin).U nconditional Election.L imited Atonement.I rresistible Grace.P erseverance of the Saints.Puritanism was the dominant religious movement in North America during the 17th century and the first part of the 18th century'' (Ortells Montón, 82).CAPTIVITY NARRATIVES.According to Richard Slotkin, we have the following definition for captivity narratives:"In [a captivity narrative] a single individual, usually a woman, stands passively under the strokes of evil, awaiting rescue by the grace of God. The sufferer represents the whole, chastened body of Puritan society; and the temporary bondage of the captive to the Indian is dual paradigm-- of the bondage of the soul to the flesh and the temptations arising from original sin, and of the self-exile of the English Israel from England. The captive's ultimate redemption by the grace of Christ and the efforts of the Puritan magistrates is likened to the regeneration of the soul in conversion. Through the captive's proxy, the promise of a similar salvation could be offered to the faithful among the reading public, while the captive's torments remained to harrow the hearts of those not yet awakened to their fallen nature" (Regeneration Through Violence, qtd in http://public.wsu.edu/~campbelld/amlit/captive.htm ).Alden T. Vaughan and Edward W. Clark distinguish in the captivity narratives the phases of ''separation and gathering'' (ibid. 11, qtd in Ortells Montón, 86). In the first one, the victims had the possibility of thinking about the differences between the cultures. In the second one, prisoners considered their new relationship with the Indians as a...

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