The Captivity and Restoration of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson Essay

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The Captivity and Restoration of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson

In “A Narrative of the Captivity and Restoration of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson,” Mary Rowlandson, a Puritan mother from Lancaster, Massachusetts, recounts the invasion of her town by Indians in 1676 during “King Philip’s War,” when the Indians attempted to regain their tribal lands. She describes the period of time where she is held under captivity by the Indians, and the dire circumstances under which she lives. During these terrible weeks, Mary Rowlandson deals with the death of her youngest child, the absence of her Christian family and friends, the terrible conditions that she must survive, and her struggle to maintain her faith in God. She also learns how to cope with the
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During their “removes,” Mary becomes too weak to walk any longer, and the Indians, “like inhuman creatures, laugh and rejoice to see it.”They do nothing to provide for her comfort during their long journeys through the rough landscape. Her only refuge is to take comfort in her prayer and hope that God will help her through these hard times. After the first several days, Mary develops a dependency upon the Indians, and begins to get used to their means of living.

During their travels in the wilderness, Mary and the Indians must conserve every part of nature that they possibly can in order to provide a sufficient amount of food for the amount of people traveling in their group. Mary finds herself resorting to sources of food which she would never have considered in her normal life. In order to survive, she must consume the “filthy trash” that the Indians eat, and at her hungriest moments even finds it “pleasant and savory to [her] taste.” Although the Indians made sure to feed Mary and keep her alive and functional, they showed no respect to her Christian rituals. When she asks if she can rest on the Sabbath day, they answer her that if she does not work they will “break her face.”(130) Their disapproving attitude towards Christianity makes Mary wonder how God preserves them during their travels. As more time passes, some of the Indians become more