Mary Rowlandson Essay, Research Paper
A True of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson
In the times of colonies when land was untouched there was a distinct hatred between the native Indians and the new colonists. As one reads the essay: A True History of the Captivity and Restoration of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson, written by Mary Rowlandson in 1682, one will understand this hatred. Although the Indians captured Mary Rowlandson, with the faith of God she was safely returned. The reader learns of her religious messages and how she turns to God for safety and strong will. One sees how her Puritan beliefs are of the strong New England Puritans way of life. The reader also understands through her words how she views the Indians and their way of life.
Rowlandson’s theme is very simple; the capture and return of herself by the Indians. It was a strange and amazing dispensation that the Lord should so afflict his precious servant, and Handmaid (Rowlandson p. 22). She struggles to find answers in why she was captured and tormented for eleven weeks, when she shows such a high religious fate. Her theme shows that she begged God for mercy, not to be free but to have strength to travel each day. Before she was captured she was a very religious person; being the wife of Reverend Joseph Rowlandson and mother to their offspring. God was in her daily life moreover in her kids’ lives. After she was captured her religious life did not change, even though she was put through hellish conditions God still was her right hand man.
When the Indians burned the town and made way to Rowlandson’s house she turned to God for answers. Her house was set on fire forcing her and her kids to come out. When she came out she suffered a bullet to the arm and was hence forward captured. I had often before this said, that if the Indians should come, I should choose rather to be killed by them than taken alive; but when it came to the trial my mind changed (Rowlandson p. 28). Once she was taken she lost all hope, but there was one spark still left inside her weak and frail body. That single spark was the belief in God and his miracles. In all her times of despair and hardship she turned to prayer and deliverance from God. It is not my tongue or pen can express the sorrows of my heart and bitterness of my spirit that I had at this departure: but God was with me in a wonderful manner, carrying me along, and bearing up my Spirit, that it did not quite fail (Rowlandson p. 30). With the death of her child and the ever growing pain in her arm she managed to migrate with the Indians and relying on God for strength. But the Lord renewed my strength still, and carried me along, that I might see more of his power, yea, so much that I could never have thought of had I not experienced it (Rowlandson p. 30).
On the third remove she is given a key, a book that is the answer to all her troubles. I cannot but take notice of the wonderful mercy of God to me in those afflictions, in sending me a Bible (Rowlandson p. 34). A Indian had received a Bible and gave it to her. This present to Rowlandson was a light; a light that if used and worshiped could save her soul. As the Indians moved she moved too, no matter where they went it always lead to hell for her. She had no Christian Friends or anyone to talk too; all she had was the Bible for prayer and deliverance. With her head light and dizzy she began to read stating; I cannot express to man the affliction that lay upon my Spirit; but the Lord helped me then to express it to himself. I opened my Bible to read, and the Lord brought that precious Scripture to me (Rowlandson p.35). Thus saith the Lord, refrain thy voice from weeping, and thine eyes from tears, for thy work shall be rewarded, and they shall come again from the land of the enemy (Jer. Xxxi. 16). Rowlandson continued not knowing of the future but only of memories she had experienced.
To contrast and compare Rowlandson and Puritan is quite hard. Of course they had the same ideas and beliefs, but does Rowlandson show them. The New England Puritans believed that if the Indians did not convert to Christianity then they should not be interacted with. On the other hand, Rowlandson had to interact with the Indians. She did not try to convert the Indians but she did pray and read the Bible in front of them. As far as Rowlandson having Puritan beliefs and acting as a true Puritan, the Puritan society would have considered her to be just a bad as Indians. And I cannot but admire at the wonderful power and goodness of God to me, in that though I was gone from home, and met with all sorts of Indians, and those I had no knowledge of, and there being no Christian Soul near me; yet not one of them offered the least imaginable miscarriage to me (Rowlandson p. 42). I believe that Rowlandsons values and Puritans values are still the same, Rowlandson just has to use and stress hers because of the Indians and her captivity.
One knows that Rowlandson was captured for eleven weeks. Within those weeks she was put through Hell and back. She endured death, pain and suffering by the Indians. She formed opinions of them and how she personally viewed them. This was the dolefullest night that ever my eyes saw: oh the roaring, and singing, and dancing and yelling of those black creatures in the night, which made the place a lively resemblance of hell (Rowlandson p. 29). She viewed them as black creatures who have forced her to endure a living hell. Through her Puritan way she also refers to the Indians as heathens and hell hound because they do not turn to God for a pure way of life. Towards the end of the ninth removal she encounters some Indians that were different that the black creatures she was used to. And yet these were strangers to me that I never knew before ( Rowlandson p. 43). These strangers were nice Indians that offered food and warmth from the winter air. From this point onward Rowlandson had an idea that Indians can be nice and not all the time hell hounds.
Rowlandsons treatment was the worst that many should endure. She spent all day walking and carrying articles while the Indians rode horse back. Rowlandson was forced to weave for the Indians and give her clothing up for the comfort of the Indians. My head also was so light, that I usually reeled as I went, but I hope all those wearisome steps that I have taken are but a forwarding of me to the Heavenly rest (Rowlandson p. 43). Near the end of her eleven weeks of captivity Rowlandson wanted nothing more but to give up and let the Lord take her away. The Indians stood laughing to see me staggering along; but in my distress the Lord gave me experience of the truth and goodness of that promise (Rowlandson p. 51). Finally, after eleven long weeks of death, pain and suffering, the Indians gave heart. They leaded her near Boston where she would find some English men that helped reunites her husband to his long lost wife.