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A Narrative of the Captivity and Restoration of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson

            All Puritan communities lived both humbly and piously. But many Puritans were drawn to the mysterious atmosphere of the wilderness and the wild natives that resided amongst them. This mixture of adventure and piety affected Puritan literature greatly. In many of the captivity tales, "savage" Native Americans force Puritans to abandon their homes and follow them in bondage into unknown wilderness. The tales are written to illustrate a moral lesson, wherein the person(narrator) survives his/her ordeal through an unwavering devotion to God. Many narratives follow this formula. One of the most popular stories following this motif is Mary Rowlandson's "A Narrative of the Captivity and Restoration of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson". Her narrative is arguably the most famous captivity account of the English-Indian era. Rowlandson gives a vivid and graphic description of the eleven week captivity by the Native Americans. Her narrative gives a first person perspective into the conditions of her captivity. She gives insight on her personal views of the Indians, both before and after her capture. Rowlandson displays a change in her perception on the term "savage" and "civilized", despite the fact that her overall world view remains the same.
             In this narrative, Mary Rowlandson, a wife of a pastor and a mother of three from Lancaster, Massachusetts recount the invasion of her town by the Native Americans during King Philip's War. During the eleven week time span, Rowlandson deals with the death of her youngest child, the loss and separation of her family and friends, and her terrible living conditions all the while she strives to keep her faith in God. She learns to cope with the Native Americans, which causes her attitude towards them gradually changes. She is first shocked at the lifestyle and actions of the "savages", but suppresses her dependence on them.

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