Mary and Johns Captivity

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How Mary Smith and John Smith survived captivity

In The Account of Mary Rowlandson Captivity Narrative, Mary Rowlandson describes in detail the tragic events she had to face after being taken captive by the Wampanoag’s in 1676. She is certain that the only reason she has been taken captive is because god is punishing her for her wrong doings. Like Mary Rowlandson Col. John Smith also was taken captive against his will. In Col. James Smith Captivity Narrative he is not treated poorly or beaten but adopted by the Native Americans. Both Mary Rowlandson and John Smith write about their time during captivity. While Mary Rowlandson’s focus is religion and how everyone should be more dependent on god, John Smiths main focus is the culture and ability of the native Americans to be so successful in there day to day life. While some may say Smith was successful in surviving because he was adopted and Rowlandson because of god, both Rowlandson and smiths survival were equally do to them being able to become acculturated with their surroundings.

Many people may think that Smith was successful in surviving his captivity because he was adopted by the Native Americans and not taken for ransom or revenge. He was taken by the Native Americans at the age of eighteen. They had taken him captive because one of their tribe members had died. When a tribe member dies the tribe captures a person and “adopts” them, which they did with smith. Smith so young and not knowing that he was going to be adopted was fearful of his life. He was especially worried about dyeing during the event where he had to run between the Indians as they flogged him. He said “Before I lost my senses I remember my wishing them to strike the fatal blow, for I thought they intended killing me” (Smith. 4). At the time he did not know this was a rite of passage. He couldn’t tell anything that was going on because he had not yet been acculturated in their way of living and language. Even though the Native



Cited: Rowlandson, Mary. The Account of Mary Rowlandson and other Indian Captivity Narratives. New York: Outing Publishing Company,2005 Smith, John. The Account of Mary Rowlandson and other Indian Captivity Narratives. New York: Outing Publishing Company,2005

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