The Ransom of Mercy Carter

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British Literature 336

Merging Nurture and Nature of Opposing Societies

Invasion is inevitable and protection is useless for the isolated town of Deerfield, Massachusetts in the novel the Ransom of Mercy Carter, by Caroline B. Cooney. The early Eighteenth century feud between the English settlers and the Native American Indians was at its peak. Mercy Carter, a young girl living in the English colony of Deerfield, Massachusetts, is the main character of the novel. Her life changes abrupt when Indians brutally attack and demolish her past way of life. Mercy is separated from her family and taken into captivity to live in an Indian village where she is adopted into a tribe. As the years go by, Mercy struggles with her identity and the culture she belongs to. The one she was born into or the one that took her into captivity and changed her for the better.

Cooney lacks an attentive beginning and fails to grasp her audience from the start of her novel. As the story progresses, Mercy and the rest of Deerfield began their forced march to the tribes where the reader could feel he/she was right there with her. This story unfolds well-organized and unique to the point where I found it hard to put down. Each stage of the story allows the reader to view Mercy both externally and internally as she struggles to survive not only the march, but also the tough transformation along the way. Cooney creates a near tangible sensation as she changes Mercy into a dynamic individual who adapts to the world around her for survival. As for balancing fiction with historical fiction, Cooney easily blends exaggerated frontier life while keeping the framework of the original Deerfield, Massachusetts alive. For those who live on the thrill of suspense, this story is based on real events and provides an introduction to what life was like to be uprooted from the past, homeland frontier and into the control of the enemy. The hard working ways of life the Puritans built around them became...
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