Winthrop and Rowlandson: Common Puritan Ideals Essay

Winthrop and Rowlandson: Common Puritan Ideals Essay

Length: 1986 words (5.7 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Powerful Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

During the 17th century, many Puritans set sail for New England in order to escape religious persecution and re-create an English society that was accepting of the Puritan faith. John Winthrop, an educated lawyer from England who later became governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, was one of the first in North America to advocate Puritan ideals and lifestyle. Winthrop delivered his sermon A Model of Christian Charity, in hopes of encouraging his shipmates to establish a truly spiritual community abroad. Almost fifty years later, a Puritan named Mary Rowlandson, daughter of a wealthy landowner and wife of a minister, wrote A Narrative of the Captivity and Restoration of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson, describing her 11-week captivity by native Indians after an attack on Lancaster. Rowlandson recounts her story with heroism and appreciation for God. Although John Winthrop and Mary Rowlandson were in entirely different situations when composing their literary works, both writings reflect many of the same ideals that characterize the Puritan mind, such as the belief in God's mercy, the acceptance of one's condition in life, and the importance of a strong community.

According to both Winthrop and Rowlandson, if one has true faith in God, he will be able to witness God's mercy in his own life. Winthrop clearly underscores this point in his sermon, where he stresses that the Puritans must uphold their covenant with God in order to have a harmonious and successful colony. If one is faithful and obedient to God, he will be the recipient of God's providence: "Now if the Lord shall please to hear us, and bring us in peace to the place we desire, then hath He ratified this covenant and sealed our commission, [and] will expect a strict pe...


... middle of paper ...


...ve Indians. From the copious use of examples in Winthrop's work, and the concise detail in Rowlandson's narrative, one can imbibe such Puritans values as the mercy of God, place in society, and community. Together, these three elements create a foundation for Puritan thought and lifestyle in the New World. Though A Model of Christian Charity is rather prescriptive in its discussion of these values, Rowlandson's captivity narrative can certainly be categorized as descriptive; this pious young woman serves as a living example of Winthrop's "laws," in that she lives the life of a true Puritan. Therefore, both 17th century works are extremely interrelated; in order to create Winthrop's model community, one must have faith and closely follow Puritan ideals, as Rowlandson has effectively done in her A Narrative of the Captivity and Restoration of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Essay on Narrative of the Captivity and Restoration of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson

- Narrative of the Captivity and Restoration of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson From the violent and brutal clash between Indians [1], and British colonists in Massachusetts during King Philip's War (1675-6) grew a new literary genre. After their redemption, some colonists who had been prisoners of the Indians wrote autobiographical accounts of their experiences. These captivity narratives developed a large audience, and interest in the narratives continued into the nineteenth century.[2] After her capture and redemption, Mary Rowlandson published what some historians call "America's first best seller," entitled Narrative Of the Captivity and Restoratio;t of Mrs....   [tags: Mary Rowlandson's Captivity Narrative]

Powerful Essays
1379 words (3.9 pages)

John Winthrop's Journal Essay examples

- When reading famous works of literature, many qualities jump off the pages. Often, these will be in the form of differing contents, styles, themes, and purposes. In Mary Rowlandson’s Captivity Narrative, there is extremely vivid description throughout. She does not limit the severity of pain and discomfort felt by her and those in her surroundings. When caring for her wounded daughter, Rowlandson described the great discomfort she had in both sitting down and standing up without Christian support around her....   [tags: Literature Review]

Powerful Essays
577 words (1.6 pages)

The Narrative of the Captivity and Restoration of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson Essay

- The Narrative of the Captivity and Restoration of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson is a personal account, written by Mary Rowlandson in 1682, of what life in captivity was like. Her narrative of her captivity by Indians became popular in both American and English literature. Mary Rowlandson basically lost everything by an Indian attack on her town Lancaster, Massachusetts in 1675; where she is then held prisoner and spends eleven weeks with the Wampanoag Indians as they travel to safety. What made this piece so popular in both England and America was not only because of the great narrative skill used be Mary Rowlandson, but also the intriguing personality shown by the complicated character who has a str...   [tags: Mary Rowlandson Essays]

Free Essays
1372 words (3.9 pages)

Darret B. Rutman's "Winthrop’s Boston: A Portrait of a Puritan Town" Essay

- Winthrop’s Boston: A Portrait of a Puritan Town, 1630 - 1649 by Darret B. Rutman was published by Norton Library in 1965. This non-fiction novel tells the story of John Winthrop settling and setting up the colony of Boston. Rutman also shows what Winthrop had ideally thought of the task and the actuality of the situation. Body Rutman’s main purpose for writing this book was to show the differences between what Winthrop thought his American life would be, and what it turned out to be. Winthrop’s Boston: A Portrait of a Puritan Town, 1630 - 1649, portrays the story of John Winthrop setting up his dream....   [tags: Winthrop’s Boston, Darret B. Rutman, ]

Powerful Essays
1265 words (3.6 pages)

Captivity Narratives - Our Nig and Restauration of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson

- Captivity Narratives - Our Nig and Restauration of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson   Our Nig; or Sketches from the life of a Free Black and  A Narrative of the Captivity and Restauration of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson  Harriet Wilson’s and Mary Rowlandson’s captivity narratives have three things in common.  First, they have a theme of sustaining faith in God throughout their trials.  Secondly, they portray their captors as savages.  Finally, they all demonstrate the isolation felt by the prisoner.     Our Nig: or, Sketches from the Life of a Free Black by Harriet Wilson is the story of a Northern girl, born into an interracial family and later abandoned by her parents, forcing her to become the servant of...   [tags: Restauration of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson Essays]

Powerful Essays
985 words (2.8 pages)

A True History of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson by Mrs. Mary Rowlandson Essay

- The Theme of "A True History of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson" by Mrs. Mary Rowlandson In the times of colonies when land was untouched there was a distinct hatred between the native Indians and the new colonists. As one reads the essay: A True History of the Captivity and Restoration of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson, written by Mary Rowlandson in 1682, one will understand this hatred. Although the Indians captured Mary Rowlandson, with the faith of God she was safely returned. The reader learns of her religious messages and how she turns to God for safety and strong will....   [tags: A True History of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson]

Powerful Essays
1274 words (3.6 pages)

The Captivity and Restoration of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson Essay

- The Captivity and Restoration of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson In “A Narrative of the Captivity and Restoration of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson,” Mary Rowlandson, a Puritan mother from Lancaster, Massachusetts, recounts the invasion of her town by Indians in 1676 during “King Philip’s War,” when the Indians attempted to regain their tribal lands. She describes the period of time where she is held under captivity by the Indians, and the dire circumstances under which she lives. During these terrible weeks, Mary Rowlandson deals with the death of her youngest child, the absence of her Christian family and friends, the terrible conditions that she must survive, and her struggle to maintain her faith...   [tags: Mrs. Mary Rowlandson Essays Native Americans]

Powerful Essays
1716 words (4.9 pages)

A Narrative of the Captivity and Restoration of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson Essay

- The Pressure to Assimilate in Mary Rowlandson’s A Narrative of the Captivity and Restoration of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson There are times when assimilation is not a choice but rather something is forced. In circumstances such as being taken hostage, the ability to survive must come at the price of assimilating one's own customs into another lifestyle. In February of 1675 the Native Americans who were at war with the Puritans obtained hostage Mary Rowlandson of the Plymouth colony. During this time she must perform a role that is uncommon to a colonial woman's way of life so that she may live among them....   [tags: Narrative Captivity Restoration Mary Rowlandson]

Powerful Essays
947 words (2.7 pages)

Analysis of White Over Black: American Attitudes Toward the Negro by Winthrop D. Jordan

- Analysis of White Over Black: American Attitudes Toward the Negro by Winthrop D. Jordan Winthrop D. Jordan author of White Over Black: American Attitudes Toward the Negro 1550-1812, expresses two main arguments in explaining why Slavery became an institution. He also focuses attention on the initial discovery of Africans by English. How theories on why Africans had darker complexions and on the peculiarly savage behavior they exhibited. Through out the first two chapters Jordan supports his opinions, with both facts and assumptions....   [tags: Winthrop D. Jordan Racism Slavery Racist Essays]

Powerful Essays
1182 words (3.4 pages)

Essay on An Analysis of Common Sense

- As the year 1776 began in the American colonies, tension with King George III’s England was at perhaps an all-time high.  Americans were frustrated with the actions of their rulers overseas.  Taxes and trade restrictions had been placed on them, and British and mercenary soldiers occupied their towns and cities.  There had even been fighting at Lexington, Concord, and Bunker Hill.  As America grew, England’s hold on it tightened, and a few voices began speaking of independence.  The loudest and most convincing of these belonged to Thomas Paine, born in England and living in Philadelphia.  His pamphlet, Common Sense, expressed the argument for American independence in a way no one had before...   [tags: Common Sense]

Powerful Essays
1679 words (4.8 pages)