The Narrative Of The Captivity And The Restoration Of Mary Rowlandson

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On February tenth, 1675, an Indian attack on Lancaster during King Philip’s War resulted in the capture of twenty-four people. Mary Rowlandson was among these captives, and the resulting captivity narrative, titled The Narrative of the Captivity and the Restoration of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson, published in 1682, is formed based on her memory. Rowlandson’s captivity narrative carried great significance in that it came to be used as a didactic Jeremiad, leading its Calvinist audience back towards God’s path and away from an allegorical wilderness. As a devout Calvinist, Rowlandson believes her journey through captivity is a test wrought by her God. Her deep desire to prove herself to her God comes through clearly in several situations which…show more content…
Although she is quick to accept the events, it is merely because of her conviction that God allowed it to test Rowlandson’s perseverance. A lack of sympathy is shown in a few interactions with her captors, as Rowlandson remembers how an Indian “had brought some plunder, came to me, and asked me, if I would have a Bible, he had got one in his basket. I was glad of it […] so I took the Bible” (4), a much-appreciated gift. Upon returning from pillaging another English town, an Indian offers Mary Rowlandson a “gift” of a Bible, which he had stolen from a dead English townsperson. The use of the word “plunder” connotes the violent force used in obtaining the Bible, and works to enhance the situational irony of Rowlandson’s neglect of the fact that Indians murdered innocent people in order for her to receive her “gift.” Rowlandson’s Calvinist views, in this case having her believe God brought the Bible to her, outweighed any sympathy she may have once harbored for an anonymous English person. The intended demographic of reader undoubtedly would have agreed to place their God above any human person, no matter the circumstances. Furthermore, this idea presents itself when Rowlandson attempts to convince Goodwife Joslin, a pregnant captive who was becoming impatient and wanted to go home, not to run away, as she remembers, “I wished her not to run away by any means […] We opened the Bible and
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