Essay - Mary Rowlandson's Narrative Mary Rowlandson's the Narrative of the Captivity...


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Mary Rowlandson's Narrative

Mary Rowlandson's The Narrative Of The Captivity And The Restoration: An Examination of Culture Clashes Through Literary *****mes

***** the epic poetry of Homer to the his*****rical logs ***** Thucydides, the victor has always earned ***** right to function as the historical storyteller. In her short book, "***** Narrative of the Captivity and ***** Restoration of Mrs. Mary Rowl*****son," however, it is not the victors, but rather the captive who writes history. Because of this, Rowlandson's work can be considered a monument*****l piece of literature. In fact, University of California pr*****essor Harvey Pierce ***** that ***** type of *****, later called the captivity novel, ***** an important ***** in the literary realm as a piece of historical ***** in which "historical *****" becomes second to "what the narrative was for the readers from whom it was wr*****ten" (Pierce 1). Pierce ********** ***** "what the narrative was" for its readers can range from "religious confessional" ***** "visceral thriller;" and Rowlandson's work exhibits a bit of both of these extremes (1). In fact, Rowlandson uses ***** the themes of "religious [confession]" and "visceral thriller" to establish the cultural gap between herself and ***** Native Americans.

Through constant reliance on and references to God and religi***** during her captivity, Rowlandson not only establishes ***** narrative as part "religious confessional," but also suggests the impenetrable cultural differences between ***** and her captors. The most straight*****ward example of this can be observed in "the fifth remove" on the Sabbath Day. Rowlandson narrates that ***** captors "bade [her] go to work," to which she made the na ve reply that she wished to rest, considering it w***** the Sabbath *****, and would do much more on the consecutive day. This logic was received with the *****tives' threat to "break [her] face." After this exchange, Rowl*****son contemplates why God has allowed the Native Ameri*****s' continual escape from the Englishmen despite *****ir ***** defiance ***** Christian doctrine (Rowlandson).

***** ***** episode, one can not ***** conclude that Rowlandson ***** the captivity narrative as a confessional—questioning a God ***** allows "heathens" to escape the muskets of Christian men—but one also realizes ***** stark difference between the Native's religious beliefs and hers. Contemporary observers reading Rowl*****son's account would readily understand ***** *****s between the two cultures' ***** beliefs b*****ed on the vast amount of scholarship, research, and study available about both faiths. According to Ameri***** Passages: A Literary Survey's renditions of Native *****can creation stories through ***** ancient oral tradition ***** contemporary poetry of Luci Tapahanso, Native *****merican faiths "link people to the culture, myths, and land" through elaborate symbolic mythology ("Native Voices"). Similarly, contemporary students understand that ***** Christian faith presents a much more rigid view of creation, life, death, and life after *****. Religion, therefore, represents a m*****jor gap ***** the ***** cultures. Because Rowlandson portrays ***** Native American religion as wrong or inferi*****, readers can quickly gr*****p the cultural gap that exists between ***** English and the Natives in this situation, allowing human sociology

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