Mary Rowlandson Essay, Research Paper
Mary Rowlandson wrote a narrative about hardships she faced during her captivity, in a journal. Despite her suffering she thanked God for her life and his mercy. Rowlandson wrote during the colonial period and is an example of a puritan writer for many reasons.
As a typical Puritan writer would, Rowlandson chose to write about God, religious beliefs, and her hardships. After the death of her child Rowlandson thanked God for, “preserving me”. This statement clearly reveals her faith in fate and God’s will. In the narrative she also describes her daily life as a capture. Rowlandson writes that she was “calling for my pay,” after she made a shirt for one of the Indians. After that, she was called again to perform the same task and was paid a knife.
Like the puritans Rowlandson uses a pain style of writing. The language she uses is uncomplicated and easy to understand. She dose not use references to other books except the bible. In one instance she compares the Indians to Jehu, the Israelite king who slew Ahab and all his men, “like Jehu, they marched on furiously”. She also compares her experiences to the bible. Rowlandson makes it clear that the Indians did not comfort her after “It” died. Trying to explain the way she felt at that moment, she writes, “as he said”. “He” is a Biblical allusion to Job. Like Rowlandson, “he” also lost his children.
Mary Rowlandson expressed Puritan beliefs in her writing. She wrote, “still the lord upheld me,” with her “sick child” in her lap. Puritans believed they must endure the hardships they faced in the New World and be faithful to their church in order to be forgiven for their sins. She also comments, on tobacco being, “bait the devil lays,” to make men loose their time. Puritans believe that idleness is the devil’s workshop.
In the narrative of her captivity, Rowlandson uses Puritan themes. The Puritans often choose themes that include thoughts about man as a sinner, God as omnipotent, life being simple and fate. She does not try to change her situation by rebelling or speaking for herself. Instead she gives in to fate, “and so it must be,” and the will of god. She also gives God credit for giving her “power over it,”(tobacco) when she decided to quite smoking.
Rowlandson’s journal is a captivity narrative, which is one of the kinds of genres that Puritans use. The Puritans also wrote nonfiction diaries, sermons, histories, and poetry. Rowlandson wrote this journal after she was held captive by the Narragansett Indians, during King Philip’s War in the 1670s.
In conclusion, Mary Rowlandson is a Puritan writer because of her topic of writing, style of writing, theme, religious beliefs, and the kind of genre she uses. All of her writing leads to God and her faith in the bible.