Essay on Mary Rowlandson's Captivity Narrative

Essay on Mary Rowlandson's Captivity Narrative

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The Puritans played a large role in early American history and society. Most Puritans escaped the tyrannical rule in England to gain religious freedom in America, which helped create an early American society. Not only did the Puritans help form the early American society and religion, they also contributed to the earliest stories and narratives to help create a rich literary history for America. Puritan literature has helped many scholars and readers learn about early American history. One of the most famous American narratives is from Mary Rowlandson, who was the wife of a Puritan Minister. Mary Rowlandson’s captivity narrative is about her story of how she was captured and treated by Native American captors. Throughout the narrative Mary intertwined her experience with her Puritan beliefs. The narrative has helped gain a better historical understanding of the struggle of power between the English Colonies and the Native Americans, as well as providing the reader with a basic understanding of Puritan beliefs. While Mary Rowlandson’s narrative is about her survival experience with the Native Americans, the narrative helps expose Puritan theology and Puritan thoughts toward Native Americans.
Mary Rowlandson constantly quotes the Bible during her captivity narrative, as well as giving praise to God in helping her overcome trials. Since the captivity narrative was written after the captivity experience, it is not clear whether or not Mary was well versed in the Bible before the incident, though she probably was due to her husband being a Puritan Pastor. It becomes apparent that Mary was not the best or most devout Puritan before her experience with the Native Americans. Mary recounted, “I then remembered how careless I h...


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...also showed how poorly the colonists treated and thought of Native Americans. In conclusion, Mary Rowlandson’s captivity narrative is a great resource in exploring early American religion and conflict with Native Americans.



Work’s Cited
Derounian, Kathryn Z. "Puritan Orthodoxy and the "Survivor Syndrome" in Mary Rowlandson's Indian Captivity Narrative." Early American Literature. 22.1 (1987): 82-93. Web. 3 Apr. 2014. .
Derounian, Kathryn Z. Woman's Indian Captivity Narratives. New York: Penguin Books, 1998. 12-51. Print.
Weckenmann , Christian . Mary Rowlandson’s captivity narrative – Applied Puritan ideology?. GRIN Publishing, 2007. 1-21. Web. .

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