Artistic Merit in ;A Narrative of the Captivity and Restoration of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson;
The Puritan community lived both piously and humbly.However, the Puritans were curiously drawn to the mysterious air of the wilderness and the wild natives that inhabited the America;s interior.This mix of piety and adventure greatly affects Puritan literature.The captivity-narrative becomes most popular from the late seventeenth to early eighteenth century.In many of the captivity tales, cannibalistic Indians force puritans to abandon their homes and follow them in bondage into the uncharted wilderness.The tales are designed to illustrate a moral lesson, wherein a person survives his ordeal through an unwavering faith in God.As Richard Slotkin notes, ;[One person, usually a woman], stands passively under the strokes of evil, awaiting rescue by the grace of God; (47).Indeed, many narratives follow this formula.One of the most popular stories following this archetype is Mary Rowlandson;s ;A Narrative of the Captivity and Restoration of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson.In!
the narrative, Rowlandson recounts her capture by the people of Metacomet during the period known as ;King Phillip;s War;.Throughout the story, Rowlandson describes many sensationalistic images designed to appeal and excite the puritan mind.Conjoined with the racy images of sex, food, and violence, however, are the images of moral piety created by Rowlandson;s description of God;s role in the captivity (i.e. special providence).Through the sharp contrasting images, Rowlandson;s captivity displays the divergent feelings of the Puritan community.
Rowlandson;s characterization of the Indians; ;satanic; qualities greatly contrasts the piety shown in the work.During her captivity, Rowlandson longs for the company of her husband who is away in Massachusetts when the town is attacke…