A Narrative of the Captivity and Restoration of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson, written by Mary Rowlandson, is about King Philip’s War. The war started on June 20 in 1675 and was between English colonists and Native Americans. During the war, the Indians attacked English colonists’ territory. They burned the colonists’ houses, killed the resisters and captured some of the colonists. The living of captives was very tough. They had to move from place to place with the Indians. The Indians treated them very badly. If they didn’t listen to the Indians, they would be beaten or even be killed. Besides, the weather was cold and sometimes the food supply was short. As a result, lots of captives died during the captivity. As a victim of the Indian attacks, Mary Rowlandson wrote a vivid description of the eleven weeks and five days she spent living with Native Americans which owns very high value in American Literature.
First of all, the work owns high historical value in American Literature. In her description, she vividly shows her experience as a captive which makes people easily understand the situation at this period and the relationship between English colonist and the Indians. In her description, we can find that all the English captives didn’t be ruled by the same Indian master. There were different Indian masters. Each Indian master owned English captives and located in different places. According to the masters, the captives could be transferred from one tribe to another. Also, in the description, sometimes Mary Rowlandson communicated with the Indians.
From this point, we can find that some of the Indians could speak English. Besides, in the work, we can also know how English colonists deal with Native Americans. They trade by money, clothes, tobacco, liquors, seed corn hemlock, ground ivy and etc. This point shows that the living of the Indians was tough then. They lacked food and some daily necessaries, so it was effective to trade with them by something they really needed in their lives instead of money.
Secondly, this work also shows the high value of Christian point of view. As a Christian, Mary Rowlandson uses lots of quotes and passages from the Bible in the description. No matter how hard the captivity was, she always showed her piety to God. Instead of blaming the Indians, she used the stories in the Bible to console her sorrow and suffering. The Bible was the center of her life during the captivity. Even though her experience was so painful, she thanked God for everything. In the work, she strongly showed the positive side of Christianity which make readers offer high value to the Christians. A Narrative of the Captivity and Restoration of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson is one of the important works in American Literature. It offers readers high values of history and Christian point of view. By reading the story of Mary Rowlandson, we can clearly understand this period of American history. and also realize the virtue of Christianity.
Courtney from Study Moose
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