John Demos, The Unredeemed Captive: A Family Story From Early America,
(First Vintage Books, April 1995)
John Demos in a sense presents themes that are entirely familiar and conventional. The themes of sin, retribution, and repentance are very prevalent in his writing. The loss of piety, the failure of spiritual nerve, the absolute necessity of reform; and the certainty of God's punishment if reform was not achieved appear throughout his book (Demos). (In this instance, Eunice's failure to return to her native land is putting her at risk in the eyes of God). For approximately 60 years John Williams who had been a captive for almost two years, and is one of the main characters of the story writes different letters, sermons, in an effort to reach the captive daughter. According to John Williams, "God is the bestower and giver of all our good things. Our mercies come to us not by casualty or by accident. These mercies are not of our own procuring and purchasing" (Demos, 62). John Demos uses the story of John Williams to describe the conflict between the Puritans and Jesuits. "The Jesuits had their own cultural and religious ways versus those of the "savages"; the adjustments and compromises they feel obliged to accept, and the core of essentials they must vigilantly defend" (Demos 129). The conversion of English captives to Catholicism was the primary goal of the Jesuits. "The Indians were not mere imitators of an alien model; their culture, their history and their values contributed strongly to the evolving patterns of converting to Christianity" (Demos 171).
In John Demo's book, Mr. John Williams the main narrator uses four types of writing and one other last section to tell his story of captivity. The four parts are in chronological order: First the pastoral letter he wrote to those captives who returned home in August of 166; secondly, a lecture that he gave days after his own return in December; thirdly, his famous narrative, written during the...
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