Narrative of the Captivity and Restoration of Mrs Rownlandson

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Narrative of the Captivity and Restoration of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson Mary Rowlandson’s captivity narrative describes her experience as a captive of the Native Americans during the King Philips War in 1676. Her diary accounts for her capture to her return, although written a few years post to her release. Her capture spanned around 11weeks and is recounted in twenty ‘removes’. Specifically, Rowlandson observes her experience in relation to God and the bible, her capture being expressed as a trail from God which she must endure with faith; only in doing so would she survive and remain a true Christian woman suitable for Puritan society. It is through this Christian perspective that she judges the Native Americans, creating an obvious bias against their culture. Mary Rowlandson wrote her story with the intention of having other’s read it, including those around her. Given this her narrative can be understood in terms of how she would wish to represent herself and her captivity to those readers, and so not wholly understood as a completely accurate account. Rowlandson was a respected woman within Puritan society and as such would be expected to represent all that was customary of fine Christian women. Therefore, any account of her capture which seemed contrary to conventional beliefs could risk her status and respectability. Toulouse argues that Rowlandson would be competing for status in the new social setting as a result of the war(1992:667). The motivation for publishing her account seems to have been to promote the puritan belief that God is the active agent who punishes and saves Christian believers (Scarbrough 2011:124). Hence, her freedom to voice her own opinion was greatly restricted by both social expectations and for the sake of endorsing the good of Christianity. Her account would not have been published had it wavered from her faith, any suffering had to be understood to have come from God and to have been endurable to the point of justifiable. Continual...
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