I figured since Ruth and Cleo had written posts on this book recently, I would transfer this one over next from my old blog. You should definitely check out their posts, which are longer and have more interesting things to say about the work than I do. I originally read the work in 2008, and I don’t even know if I own a copy of it anymore!
The most popular and famous Indian captivity narrative was written by a puritan woman by the name of Mary Rowlandson. She watched as her village was burned down and her children captured by the Native Americans during the period that later became known as King Philip’s War. Her account delves into the horrors she faced under the captivity of the Native Americans. The book offers high drama as the Native Americans attempt to elude the Colonial army who are trying to save the kidnapped hostages, while also watching as Mary herself struggles with the psychological pains of hunger and keeping her faith in a time of distress, such as the death of one of her children from wounds in captivity.
The book also offers some insight into Native American culture, but this must be taken with a grain of salt when we consider the biased viewpoint. Likewise, Mary transforms her non-fiction account into true literature by her constant allusions to the bible, seeing her own harsh trials as scenes straight out of the holy book and turning to the psalms for comfort. In this text, we see the power of the Bible to inspire hope in an individual. Despite depicting the Native Americans as cruel heartless savages that have reduced their captives to a state of indentured servitude, Rowlandson also remembers to depict the Native Americans as individuals. For every cruel Native American who forgets to feed their captive, spits and snarls at them, there is another who will share their ground nuts and meat with a starving captive and show kindness to them.