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 Themes

***** 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, "the Narrative of the ***** and the Restoration of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson," however, it is not the victors, but rat***** the captive who writes history. Because of this, Rowlandson's work can be considered a monumental piece of lite*****ure. In fact, University of California pr*****essor Harvey Pierce writes that ***** type of work, later called the captivity novel, ***** an important ***** in the literary realm as a ***** of historical literature ***** which "***** fact" ********** second to "what the narrative was for ***** readers from whom it ***** wr*****ten" (Pierce 1). Pierce ********** ***** "what the narrative was" for its readers can range ***** "religious confessional" to "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 ***** God and religi***** during her *****, Rowlandson not only establishes ***** narrative as part "*****ous *****al," but also suggests the impenetrable cultural differences between herself and her captors. The most straightforward 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 wi*****d to rest, considering it was the Sabbath *****, and would do much more on the consecutive day. This logic ***** received with ***** *****tives' threat ***** "break [her] face." After this exchange, Rowl*****son contemplates why God has allowed the Native Americans' 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 ***** the muskets of Christian men—but one also realizes ***** stark difference between the Native's religious beliefs and hers. Contemporary observers reading Rowlandson's account would readily understand the differences between the two cultures' religious beliefs b*****ed on the vast amount ***** scholarship, research, and study available about both faiths. According to Ameri***** Passages: A Literary Survey's renditions of Native ********** creation stories through ***** ancient oral tradition ***** contemporary poetry of Luci Tapahanso, Native American 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 ***** rigid view of creation, life, death, and life after *****. Religion, therefore, represents a major ***** between the ***** cultures. Because Row*****son portrays the Native American religion as wrong or inferi*****, ***** can quickly grasp ***** cultural gap that exists between the English and the Natives in this situation, allowing human sociology


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