Literature and History: The Development of American Culture to 1865

From a Narrative of Mary Rowlandson

When I first read the narrative of Mary Rowlandson, it just hooked my eyes and i kept reading without stopping till the last page.  I was quite surprised how brave and how strong she was. She could not even mourn from the deaths of her child and relatives. Seeing her children was not allowed to her either. She eventually became a servant of  Quinnapin, who was a Sagamore, and married King Philip’s wife’s sister. Wuinnapin was a subordinate chief among the Algonquin Indians and Rowlandson moved around as her master was leading. In this kind of hard situation, Rowlandson, however kept her hope for the future believing in her God. This narrative was great to show the strength of Mary Rowlandson under the strong belief in God. I was so moved when I read the Christians in Boston were trying to help her and her children to be freed from the Indians. They were sharing their properties to get them back. From the previous reading, I was kinda disappointed with Christians who claimed the land to be their colonies and tried to get the Indians as their servants, but in this reading, I was very moved that they were trying to help each other from the difficulties. It was a great writing.

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2 responses

  1. jacquibonaventure

    Though she wrote this 6/7 years after she went through the trauma, i still find it very fascinating that Rowlandson had such a consistent opinion of the indians and faith in God. She must have kept that faith to keep on going and surviving and to make peace with such horrible things going on like the death of her daughter and watching her town be destroyed and tortured. This narrative of her experience is a very good example of the time period and how important religion was to people. In the time we live in, you don’t come by many people who go through trauma’s on this level and use religion to give them the strength to survive. Ultimately, who to pity in this situation isn’t just black and white. Rowlandson and so many like her had hostile opinions toward these indians and for good reason. They tortured, captured and destroyed everything she knew and loved. It was barbaric what the indians did, but why the indians did it is one reason to find it hard to pity Rowlandson and the settlers. They lived on land that wasn’t theirs, they tore down hunting ground of the indians and made living overall difficult. The settlers were uninvited and simply arrogant in their way of going about living in north america. The ongoing hostility and violence between the indians and the settlers was wrong on both parts, but when you dwindle the battles down, ultimately the europeans are at fault for the lives lost and the unfortunate events that occured. Most people say that what happened in this time period is what needed to happen to bring people to where we are today and that’s because it’s our history, because it is what it is. Though i personally can’t help but to think that there could have been a more peaceful, less aggressive approach. Humans have a belief that when they want something like land or control, it must and can only be achieved through force. Perhaps it’s more difficult, but that isn’t the only way, and i think it is possible that events like the one Mary Rowlandson went through could have been avoided if brute force wasn’t the europeans way of settling.

    October 21, 2011 at 4:15 pm

  2. I found this to be one of the most inspiring, upsetting, captivating readings, yet I couldn’t stop reading. Mary Rowlandson had a great family (wife of a minister, quaint town, and children surrounding) however, this was all turned upside down when her down was captured by the Native Americans, and she was one of the few that was taken captive. She talked about her constant starvation, sleeping conditions, and being torn away from family members. It was really touching how she was able to reunite with some family members given the circumstances she discusses. Along her horrendous journey, she constantly relates back to the Bible to keep her going. She also would spread the word of God to her family members, when she would get to see them. One way she mentioned that she was able to survive was her knitting skills. She eventually started knitting for members of the tribe for trade (mostly food). Later she was ransomed for 20 pounds (which she worked off mostly from her knitting) and eventually was able to meet with the rest of her living family members (especially her husband).

    November 8, 2011 at 10:42 pm

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