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Unredeemed Captive

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The Unredeemed captive

The Unredeemed Captive, by John Demos, is a narrative story beginning on February 29, 1704. On this morning, the Colonial New England massacre took place resulting in about 48 casualties and about 112 were taken into captivity and taken to New France (Canada). Revered John Williams and his family were among the captured victims. Demos continues on with the novel in a narrative form allowing the reader to follow the story of Eunice, a daughter of Reverend John Williams, and the hardships she faces.

Demos chose to organize the novel chronologically as Eunice’s life progresses as a captive. By writing in a narrative style, the reader is better able to follow along and get what feels like a first hand look into different arguments that Demos proposes at this time. Demos incorporates other sources in his novel such as John Williams’ published autobiographical accounts of the capture, Eunice’s letter written shortly before her 75th birthday, and a few other personal documents, but the base of the story, Eunice’s story, is assumed by Demos. Since there is no actual, tangible, documentary of Eunice, Demos is forced to assume her story based on documents that he has regarding accounts of her family members, and other captives at this time. He (Demos) takes on the persona of Eunice, turning into a detailed journey of the unredeemed captive.

One argument that Demos makes in the novel regards the Puritan ideas surrounding “redemption”. Since Eunice was taken captive at the young age of six, her loyalty to her religious beliefs and her complete understanding of the Puritan ideology was still being established. Eunice was not sold to the French as a captive, rather the Kahnawake Indians took her under their wing. Eunice remained with the Indians and overtime, she lost her ability to speak English, and she was also baptized into the Roman Catholic faith. As she progressed through her childhood, into adulthood Eunice adopted the Indian way of life...

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