The Faith of Mary Rowlandson
In her writing titled “A Narrative of the Captivity and Restauration of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson”, Mary lies out for the reader her experience of being held in captivity by Indians during the King Philip’s War. Perhaps one of the most significant aspects of this writing is the glimpse that the reader gets into Rowlandson’s faith and religion. Faith was a major aspect of life in the Colonial Period. It was of widespread belief that God was to be feared, and that he was the only way to redemption (Kizer). Mary Rowlandson was no different, but the extreme conditions of her captivity caused her faith to occasionally waiver. Most of the time throughout her journey in captivity, she depended on God, and the scripture to get her through the nightmare that she was trapped inside of, however; there were moments when she questioned even that.
There are many instances in Mary’s narrative where she mentions the state of her spirit. In the section titled “The Third Remove”, she starts to wonder if she is cursed. She worries that God will not show her mercy and she is afraid that there are no more blessings left for her. By this time, she had been separated from her family (those who were still alive), she watched her youngest child die, and she was hungry and overworked. It’s hard to imagine how she could suffer these tragic events without her faith wavering. Even Mary, devout and determined to stay true to God, has moments of questioning. That’s not to say that she ever looses her faith completely; She struggles, yet she always finds her way back to God. In this instance, when she fears she is cursed, she turns to the next chapter in her bible, and learns that mercy is hers once again (Rowlandson 449).
In another instance, Mary is told by the Indians to work on the Sabbath. She asks them if she can rest, but they threaten her and force her to labor. While working, she starts to consider that fact that somehow the Indians were...
Kizer, Kay. "Puritans." University of Notre Dame. 2007. 7 Jun 2009.http://www.nd.edu/ ~rbager/www7/puritans.html>
Rowlandson, Mary. "A Narrative of the Captivity and Restauration of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson." 1675. The Heath Anthology of American Literature. Ed. Paul Lauter et al. 5th ed. Vol. A. Boston: Houghton, 2006. 437-468.
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