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The Unredeemed Captive: A Family Story From Early America by John Demos - Book Report/Review Example

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Book Review “The Unredeemed Captive: A Family Story From Early America” by John Demos The book, The Unredeemed Captive: a Family Story from Early America was written at the time of ongoing war between England and France over the Spanish Throne. The story revolves around the family of Reverend John Williams the Puritan Minister from Deerfield, Massachusetts…
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The Unredeemed Captive: A Family Story From Early America by John Demos
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Download file to see previous pages The “unredeemed captive” of the story is William’s daughter Eunice who was only seven when she was captured by the Indians. She was taken to live in a large settlement of Catholicised Mohawk Indians near Montreal. She became a member of the tribe, been baptized a Catholic and she got married to an Indian. With a well respected life in Canada she then refused to return to her family in Massachusetts (Demos, 230). The story then goes on to narrate the tale of Williams and after his death his son Stephen’s repeated efforts to request Eunice to come back to her homeland. The author put forward the contemporary reaction of the Puritans towards the Indians who captured the William family along with many more inhabitants of Deerfield. The Puritans had such abhorrence for the Indians who were working for the French that they even desired that it would be better if the captives were killed rather than being held by the Indians. The book portrayed the cultural conflicts that reigned in those days. As Eunice became a member of the Mohawk tribe, she even forgot the language English and felt no attachment towards her own country. The fact that Eunice adopted Catholic faith was more a subject of concern for her family than her sanctimonious marriage life. It is interesting to read how a seven year old girl’s life changed totally when she was thrust from her Puritan life to a completely different culture through political events which were completely beyond her own control. Through the story of one family the author tried to draw the picture of the different religious and cultural scenario that existed between boundaries. More than worrying about their own lives the Puritan William family was more fearful of the fact that they may be forced to convert into the culture of the Indians. The novel, through the story of a family attempting to get back their captivated daughter, gives a very clear picture of the 18th century New England. Reading the book one can get a proper understanding of 3 constantly conflicting cultures which were English, French and Native America. It tells about how the lives of simple people of different communities were changed overnight by the ongoing political atmosphere. The attack was given a very solid foundation. It happened as a result of the conflicting philosophies and culture between the English and the French on one side and the Indians on the other side. The attack on the innocent people of Deerfield would not have happened if the English community of that era had this realization that the Indians were content with their own religion and culture. It was the attempt from the English side to force the Indians to convert into Christianity that resulted religious and cultural conflict between the English, French and the Indians. (Demos, 5) The book describes the danger of living in the frontier of America in the early 18th century. The book’s narration gave a vivid picture of religious, cultural, economic and psychological scenario. Eunice’s refusal to convert back to Puritan faith from French Catholism created a ripple of consternation in the minds of William and Stephen. The novel is a well documented expression of English and French conflict and the Puritan’s way of believing that there is God’s willing in every kind of massacre and they had their own theory on redemption. Academic historians have their own unique ways to narrate a ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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