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Mary Rowlandson's Story Essay

1180 words - 5 pages

Mary Rowlandson was captured from her home in Lancaster, Massachusetts by Wampanoag Indians during King Phillip’s War. She was held captive for several months. When she was released she penned her story, A Narrative of the Captivity and Restoration of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson. During much of her story she refers to the Indians as savage beasts and heathens but at times seems admire them and appreciate their treatment of her. Mary Rowlandson has a varying view of her Indian captors because she experienced their culture and realized it was not that different from Puritan culture.
Rowlandson watches as her family members are killed and kidnapped by Indians. At the beginning of her story she says she used to think she would rather be killed than taken captive by Indians, but when the time comes, she changes her mind and is taken by the “ravenous beasts,” (238). Rowlandson has never been around Indians. She knows only what she has been told about Indians, which is to fear and hate them, because they are savages. She feels she is being taken from civilization into the wilderness.
When she is first taken, Rowlandson is very adamant about noticing the difference between civilized Puritan life and the savage Indians. They eat horse and bear meat, things she finds uncivilized. When the Indians give her food, she often has it stolen from her by other Indians. The first week of her captivity she did not eat very much. She wrote that if was “very hard to get down their filthy trash,” (243). She was very ungrateful of the food they gave her, when they did not have to give her any at all. After she had been captive for a while she began to appreciate the food she was given. When she does eat and enjoy the uncivilized food the Indians give her, she quotes Proverbs 27.7, “ ‘For to the hungry soul every bitter thing is sweet,’ ” (245). She compliments the Indians, who she is supposed to believe are savage beasts. She has to, in good Puritan conscious, connect it to the bible.
One of her children died a little while after they are taken. She wants to keep it with her, but the Indians make her bury it in the wilderness. She realizes her baby is stuck in the wilderness and so is she and all she can do is commit herself and her baby to god. She hates the wilderness. They have to cross several river through out the story and Rowlandson believes she does not get wet and survives each time is because of her belief in god.
The wilderness is very dangerous. Rowlandson’s journey begins with an uphill climb. At the top of the hill she gets her last glimpse of civilization for weeks to come. She relies on the Indians for safety, but attributes her safe passage through freezing rivers and dark swamps to god. When she cannot find her way to her son her master helps her find him, but she attributes this to god as well. She does not believe the Indians are helping her. She ignores all the things they do for her and thanks, in traditional Puritan fashion, god for all her good...

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