Essay about The Unredeemed Captive

1211 WordsMar 10, 20075 Pages
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…show more content…
The order of these writings is important as are the time and the setting in which each one was composed. These writings reveal much of what captivity meant to him. In addition, Demos incorporates parallels from the Bible such as biblical passages to illustrate or compare the return of Naomi to Bethlehem in Stephen Williams' sermon to put pressure on his sister Euncie to return to Deefield (Demos 191). "Noemi, in effect was redeemed by returning to her home" (Demos 192). The circumstances of captivity were as varied as the number of people involved on both sides. Prisoner redemption was the process of prisoner exchange that had long been unfair. Captives were subject to ransom, trade for other key people, and sometimes prisoners decided to remain in captivity since escape was very dangerous. Acculturation which included adoption and repatriation were choices for some of them as well. For example, "Eunice's inability to speak English and her personal appearance announce her loyalty to other standards" (Demos 146). "She had been fully integrated or Indianized" (Demos 142). Eunice comes of age in her adoptive community, secure, and increasingly well integrated. The trauma of capture including as it did the deaths of her mother and siblings might call forth its own repression (Demos 147). Forgetting everything that happened to her would be a type of defense. Whatever her sources for change, the result
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