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Most striking in Mary Rowlandson’s “Narrative of the Captivity and Restoration of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson” are the ways she interacts with her faith.  First, despite the horrors Rowlandson suffers during her captivity, her tone in the narrative is calm and unemotional .  Early on, Rowlandson demonstrates that she has accepted the tragedy she has suffered and the reader can easily infer that this is because of her faith.  Next, it’s interesting how Rowlandson directly compares the Christian narrative with her own. More than once she quotes biblical characters, drawing direct allusions between their mutual experiences.  Although the two previous interactions with Christianity bring Rowlandson a certain degree of clarity, a final example demonstrates that her total dependence on Christianity brings an equal degree of unclarity.  On multiple occasions, Rowlandson criticizes the Indians around her with disgust because they are not Christians.  This behavior, however, seems to be anything but Christianlike.  Of course, Rowlandson’s judgment does not particularly harm her, but the hypocrisy is nevertheless something that pervades her narrative and will likely appear in other pieces of colonial literature we read this semester.

5 Responses to “Christianity and Faith in the “Narrative of the Captivity and Restoration of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson””

  1. brf7nx says:

    You highlight an important contradiction in the tension between fact of history/action and fiction of interpretation (and the art of narration). The inherent hypocrisy of Rowlandson’s voice may very well be a reflex to this challenge of remaining objective but not meaning to be unbiased.

  2. Rochester says:

    It will be interesting to discuss this contradiction, as well as your prediction of continued hypocrisy.

  3. Blake says:

    Although the two previous interactions with Christianity bring Rowlandson a certain degree of clarity, a final example demonstrates that her total dependence on Christianity brings an equal degree of unclarity.

    Great point. Pointing out the author’s perspective in terms of what her world view allows her to see and NOT see is very interesting. I also think that the intended audience’s perspective would be interesting to ponder in relation to this question, how was this received by her community? Good job pointing out the unemotional tone of the work despite the horrors of her capture and the murder of her family members.

  4. ksw2s says:

    I find her unemotional tone unexpected and interesting! good thoughts.

  5. kes2u says:

    I think it is great that way that you pointed out the Christian aspect of Rowlandson’s narrative can be both clear and unclear. Perhaps this reflects the ambiguity of whether or not Rowlandson has changed during her journey?