English 328: Mary Rowlandson

In class today, we discussed the emergence of cultural hybridity in the cultural and spiritual life of colonial Spanish America.  Now let’s consider the Puritans.  Reading through Mary Rowlandson’s narrative of “captivity and restoration,” do you find a tendency toward mixing, separatism, or some combination of both?  Explain by citing examples.

Please respond in fifty words by 12pm on Thursday, 10/6/22.

7 thoughts on “English 328: Mary Rowlandson

  1. After reading “captivity and restoration,” I believe it is a bit of both but is leading towards a forced mixing than anything. In the quote “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; their glittering weapons so daunted my spirit, that I chose rather to go along with those (as I may say) ravenous beasts…” and throughout we see her go through this by believing in the Bible and God yet she still maintains bias and judgment towards even while she was still a captive.

  2. When reading “The Captivity and Restoration…” I found that many of her interactions and experiences were mixed with positive and negative connections. “I went home and found venison roasting that night, but they would not give me one bit of it. Sometimes I met with favor, and sometimes with nothing but frowns.” – The Tenth Remove
    This quote stood out to me because it reflects the interactions she has with the Indians and the way she engages with them, sometimes there are good interactions but sometimes there are bad ones.
    ” I told them, I could not tell where to go, they bade me go look; I told them, if I went to another wigwam they would be angry, and send me home again. Then one of the company drew his sword, and told me he would run me through if I did not go presently.” – The Twelfth Remove
    I found this quote to be another example but more or less an example of separatism in her experience. The threat and anger seen by Mary from these men are anything but welcoming. I find from the reading and these examples that many of Mary’s experiences were conflicting and confusing, it seems as if they could not decide to welcome her or banish her.

  3. In Mary Rowlandson’s “Capticity and Restoration” there wasn’t a lot of mixing through out. Throughout this whole ordeal she continues to talk about God and she remained faithful. She also continues to quote the bible for example “And my poor girl, I knew not where she was, nor whether she was sick, or well, or alive, or dead. I repaired under these thoughts to my Bible (my great comfort in that time) and that Scripture came to my hand, “Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and He shall sustain thee” (Psalm 55.22).” During times of hardship she really leaned into her faith. There was some mixing but not a lot compared to what we talked about in class on tuesday.

  4. After reading the Narrative of the Captivity and restoration of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson I thought that there was some mixed of both good and bad connections or rather, both positive and negative. “And as miserable was the waste that was there made of horses, cattle, sheep, swine, calves, lambs, roasting pigs, and fowl… who were joyful enough, though we were disconsolate.” This stood out to me because at a first glance it feels very negative, that by using the word “miserable” but at the same time we have “those who were joyful enough despite being ‘disconsolate (meaning without comfort, unhappy). it feels almost like making the most of a bad situation but while not ignoring those bad feelings.

  5. Mary Rowlandson’s “Captivity and Restoration” showed elements of both, but I would argue it leaned toward separatism. The focus on religion in her writing makes her being held captive more extreme, coming off as a type of religious persecution. When she describes their actions in ways like “outrageous roaring and hooping,” it also shows the bias that she had before ever being captive and that she continued to hold.

  6. Learning about cultural and spiritual life in Spanish America, there are some clashes between cultures involving the Puritans. In Mary Rowlandson’s ” Captivity and Restoration,” culture is mentioned and it is determined whether these types of cultures and identities merge, separate, or a mix of both. In this reading, there is much judgment occurring, causing separatism, but also merging through the belief in God. With separatism, the Tenth Remove in Rowlandson’s reading mentions “ I went home and found venison roasting that night, but they would not give me one bit of it.” With this, people are prejudiced even thought there is still hope for peace and merging.

  7. It can be argued that the two cultures are still very much separate in their ways. With the Puritans being “butchered by those merciless heathen”, Mary presents little hope of a cultural hybrid. However, it is interesting to see that in one passage, she describes how the Native Americans both triumphed over taking “some Englishmen’s scalps” and gave Mary a Bible to read. Here we can see the mixing of cultures, even whilst they are at war with each other. It appears that either the Native Americans respect her differing religion, or that Christianity may have taken hold in their community.

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