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Two Different Perspectives Of Life Experiences With Indians

1198 words - 5 pages

Mary Rowlandson’s “A Narrative of the Captivity and Restoration of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson” and Benjamin Franklin’s “Remarks Concerning the Savages of North America” are two different perspectives based on unique experiences the narrators had with “savages.” Benjamin Franklin’s “Remarks Concerning the Savages…” is a comparison between the ways of the Indians and the ways of the Englishmen along with Franklin’s reason why the Indians should not be defined as savages. “A Narrative of the Captivity…” is a written test of faith about a brutally traumatic experience that a woman faced alone while being held captive by Indians. Mary Rowlandson views the Indians in a negative light due to the traumatizing and inhumane experiences she went through namely, their actions and the way in which they lived went against the religious code to which she is used; contrastingly, Benjamin Franklin sees the Indians as everything but savages-- he believes that they are perfect due to their educated ways and virtuous conduct.
Benjamin Franklin holds a completely different point of view than that of Mary Rowlandson’s. In “Remarks Concerning the Savages of North America,” Benjamin Franklin actually defends the Indians, and states that he does not believe that they should be looked upon as savages; they are the same as the English in their own unique way. Franklin stated “Savages we call them, because their manners differ from ours, which we think the perfection of civility; they think the same of theirs” (Franklin 476). As a deist, Franklin believes that human beings can become perfect through education and virtuous conduct. By observing their actions, Franklin decided that the Indians do have a “perfect” way of living and chooses to defend them by looking at things from their perspective. The English, in general, think that the Indians are savages because they have different customs and traditions than those of their society. Throughout his composition, Franklin provides different examples of the Indian’s actions in order to find more points that would favor them. Franklin looks at things from their standpoint and to defend them; Franklin expresses that they may indeed be better than the English men.
Mary Rowlandson’s narrative begins with a horror scene. An invasion of Indians has broken out and many people are being brutally killed as well as being aggressively held captive; this includes Mary Rowlandson herself. She is one of the twenty four people of her home who are held captive by the savages. Every single one of her experiences are written in twenty different “removes”-- the twenty locations she is moved to while being held captive. While being enslaved, she goes through many near death experiences and bad treatments. With each of these, she remains faithful to God and constantly reiterates her gratefulness to his glory. Mary Rowlandson, a puritan, is someone “who practices or preaches a more rigorous or professedly purer moral code than that which...

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