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

From the epic poetry of Homer to the his*****rical logs of Thucydides, the victor has always earned the right to function as the historical storyteller. In her short book, "the Narrative of the ***** and ***** Restoration of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson," however, it is not the victors, but rather the captive who writes history. Because of this, *****'s work can be considered a monumental 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 piece of historical ***** ***** which "historical fact" ********** second to "what the narrative was for ***** readers from whom it ***** wr*****ten" (***** 1). Pierce notes that "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 both the themes of "***** [confession]" and "visceral thriller" to establish the cultural gap between herself and the Native Americans.

Through constant reliance on and references ***** God and religi***** during her captivity, Rowlandson not only establishes ***** narrative as part "********** confessional," 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 ***** Sabbath Day. ***** narrates that ***** captors "bade [her] go to work," to which she made the na ve reply that she wished to rest, considering it was the Sabbath *****, and would do much more on the consecutive day. This logic was received with ***** *****tives' threat ***** "break [her] face." After this exchange, Rowl*****son contemplates why God ***** allowed the Native Americans' continual escape from the Englishmen despite their ***** defiance of Christian *****ctrine (Rowlandson).

Through ***** episode, one can not only conclude that Rowlandson ***** the captivity narrative as a confessional—questioning a God ***** allows "heathens" to escape the muskets ***** Christian men—but one also realizes the stark difference between the Native's religious beliefs and hers. Contemporary observers reading Rowlandson's account would readily understand the *****s between the two cultures' religious beliefs based on the vast amount of scholarship, research, and study available about both faiths. According ***** American Passages: A Literary Survey's renditions of Native American 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 the Christian faith presents a much more rigid view of cre*****tion, life, death, and life after death. Religion, *****refore, represents a m*****jor gap ***** the ***** cultures. Because Rowlandson portrays ***** Native American religion as wrong or inferior, ***** can quickly grasp the cultural ***** that exists between the English and ***** Natives in this situation, allowing human sociology

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