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


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Mary Rowlandson's Narrative

***** ***** The Narrative Of The Captivity And The Restoration: An Examination of Culture Clashes Through Literary Themes

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

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

***** this episode, one can not ***** conclude that Rowlandson uses the captivity narrative as a confessional—questioning a God ***** allows "heathens" to escape the muskets of Christian men—but one also realizes the stark difference between ***** Native's ***** 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 American Passages: A ***** Survey's renditions of Native ***** creation stories through the ancient oral tradition and contemporary poetry ***** Luci Tapahanso, Native *****merican faiths "link people to the culture, myths, and land" through elaborate symbolic mythology ("Native Voices"). Similarly, contemporary students understand that the Christian faith presents a much more rigid view of cre*****tion, life, death, and life after *****. Religion, therefore, represents a m*****jor gap between the ***** cultures. ***** Rowlandson portrays ***** Native American religion as wrong or inferior, ***** can quickly gr*****p the cultural ***** that exists between ***** English and the Natives in this situation, allowing human sociology

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