Rowlandson’s Presentation of the Natives

Of interest in the text is the idea that Rowlandson’s presentation of the natives was awful and racist. While this is quite true, and the words “savage” and “barbarian” are thrown around quite a bit, it seems apparent that the work, over time, attempts to cast the natives in a progressively better light while the narrator herself continues to actively actively attempt to be racist.

By page 50, the natives are making her pancakes, allowing her some of their personal meat, and many other things that one would not expect to be done towards prisoners of war. On page 57, she calls her master “friend” and a few pages later even forgets that she is in captivity, and must remind her self that she is in the presence of “barbarians.”

It seems to be that one of the subtexts of the story is a woman’s struggle to maintain her racism. In fact, by the end of the piece, she is thankful for the ordeals that she has gone through. She has learned to “stand still and see the salvation of the lord.”

-Ross Koppel

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