Mary Rowlandson

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Mary Rowlandson and Others
A Comparison of Female Captivity Narratives
Sarah Daugherty
Collin College

The first question to address is what captivity narratives are. “Captivity narratives are stories of people captured by "uncivilized" enemies. The narratives often include a theme of redemption by faith in the face of the threats and temptations of an alien way of life.” (Wikipedia 2011). Women such as Mary Rowlandson, Mary Jemison, and Hannah Duston we are all held captive by the natives and Indians and managed to live to tell about it.

To begin with, I want to discuss Mary Rowlandson and her narrative. Rowlandson had written a narrative about the chaos and troubles she had faced during her time being held captive. She did this in a journal that she kept throughout her experience. The most important thing that I had noticed was that despite her painful times, Rowlandson continuously thanked God the life she had been given and to spare her life. Rowlandson wrote during the colonial time period. She is a great example of a puritan writer. For example, as any good Puritan writer would, Rowlandson wrote about God, her religious beliefs, and her hardships, including the death of her family, even her child. Following the passing of her child Rowlandson thanked God for “preserving me.” (Rowlandson 240). By her doing that, it clearly reveals her religious beliefs in fate and God's will. She also describes her daily life to the reader as a “capture”. However, my definition of capture is not what is described in her piece. The Indians fed her, clothed her and treated her like a lady. They had even provided her with a bible. She wrote that she was "calling for my pay," (Rowlandson 247) after she had made a shirt for an Indian. Following that incident, she was told to execute the same request, except this time she was paid with a knife. Corresponding to the puritans, Rowlandson writes about her life using a pain and straight forward style of writing. The...
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