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Rowlandson's self-presentation - Essay Example

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Name: Instructor: Course: Date: Rowlandson’s Self-Presentation In her captivity narrative, Mary Rowlandson provides a comprehensive description of her experiences while in Indian captivity.1 Throughout the narrative, Rowlandson gives a discussion of her Puritan beliefs and her individual role as a woman…
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Download file to see previous pages The purpose of this paper is to examine Rowlandson’s narrative, discussing her self-description throughout the captivity ordeal. According to Rowlandson ,2 prior to her capture, she lived in prosperity with all the comforts of the world, including wealth and family. She also disregarded others around her, dismissing their suffering, poverty and losses. As a consequence, Rowlandson believed that God was punishing her by taking away all her comforts in order to ensure that she became aware of all that God had given her. Rowlandson’s description of her plight under captivity typifies the Puritan culture and the purpose of religion and gender in the Puritan society. 3In accordance with Puritan beliefs, Rowlandson repeatedly quotes Bible verses so as to affirm her descriptions of the world of contrast, consisting of good and evil and light and darkness. Rowlandson’s utilization of scripture demonstrates how she drew strength from the Bible in her time of weakness, typifying Puritan beliefs in the providence and grace of God and how they shape all worldly events. For instance, when she was unaware of her children’s whereabouts, she opted to cast her burden to God in order to receive sustenance. Essentially, this narrative demonstrates the inherent differences between the cultures of colonists and natives. This account is valuable since it provides a female perspective in a field that is largely dominated by males. Rowlandson’s account of her eleven weeks in captivity provides a succinct description of the way non-Puritan individuals faced incredible devastations. Through Rowlandson’s experiences, it becomes clear how Americans considered other societies, including colonists with extreme disdain. Rowlandson shows how Indians captured Puritans such as herself in order to use them primarily for their skills. Indian natives required Rowlandson to knit clothes for them, allowing her to keep living since they deemed her skills to be beneficial to them. Rowlandson’s narrative is remarkable since it provided a way through which a Puritan woman could have an individual voice within the Puritan society. Rowlandson’s narrative was one of the best books of its time since it offered a long-lasting impact on the history of women within the colonial society.4 Throughout her narrative, Rowlandson grants a voice to Puritan women who were initially silenced by male dominance in a society that deemed women more as property possessed by men, than individuals capable of maintaining their individuality and self-awareness. In her narrative, Rowlandson details her struggles not only as an individual living in the Puritan society, but as a woman whose individuality was stripped by the Puritan society’s excessive focus on men. The vast majority of narratives written regarding Indian captivity were composed by women since they served as interesting subjects compared to their male counterparts. 5Rowlandson’s narrative is significant owing to the time in which it was composed; the account chronicles the early relations between Indians and Europeans. Rowlandson’s narrative shows how she attempted to affirm her sense of identity as a Puritan woman. In the Puritan society, women and men were deemed equal on the spiritual front but were considered inferior to men on the social scene. This is evidenced by women’s inability to vote or play a vital role in the public arena, akin to slaves and children. Through the account of her struggles in captivity, ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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