Mary Rowlandson: a hollywood superstar

The reason that the recurring theme of our literature thus far has been of “mass killing, pillaging, and conquest of indigenous peoples,” is because this is the history of our nation. Albeit, not the one the education system wants us to know, but our history nonetheless. Surely, it causes some to react—the way literature does—as it creates this uncomfortable verbal battlefield with justifications for genocides and heavy worded disagreements against it. However, this is essential for educating one another; I look at Mary Rowlandson’s didactic narrative as a way to educate those unable to sympathize for the indigenous people (choosing to ignore the clearly overarching racist tones).

Perhaps through Mary’s narration of her captivity, the people unable to relate to the mass murdering of the indigenous populace, can finally accept the disgusting truth (or sentiment at least) of this nation’s past. By writing about her captivity, she gives insight to the horrors and savagery of the events occurring in a genocide. It’s through her that the caucasian (with eurocentric tendencies) can relate to; one person, that is, that they can envision through the first-person narrative, the true terror of an invasion. One person’s viewpoint (first-person) vs. a mass populace viewpoint (those wiped out due to colonialism: voiceless). Sounding familiar? Mary serves as the “pleasant familiar face” in this text, in the same way that Hollywood uses a white familiar, friendly face. The message is being conveyed still, that genocide is bad, but how would an elitist, white-european feel when watching a screen above them filled with indigenous people? Nothing appeals to them, at least in the simplest sense of familiarity.

 

–Just an empty thought on how Mary’s narrative compares to cinema, I’ll return to it on Friday–

 

Daniel Lizaola Loepz

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4 thoughts on “Mary Rowlandson: a hollywood superstar

  1. “Mary Rownalson: a hollywood superstar” applies a unique take to Rowlandson’s narrative, firstly by revealing how in past literature and Hollywood films can relate to each other since they prioritize due to their eurocentrism. He argues how her story confirms mass genocide and pillaging of indigenous people, because it is an on-going trend to view natives as antagonists, especially since this is prevalent in film. Rownaldson does, however, see the natives as individually at some points like when she points out how her master is “dressed ith great Laces sewed at the tail of it; he had his silver Buttons, his white Stockings, his Garters were hung round with shillings; and he had Girdles of Wampum upon his Head and Shoulders.” With this in mind, the audience can see that Rownaldon does not have an overtly elitist perspective, because she notices and admires the costume of her native captor, which further complicates how she comes to view the natives as not only her captors, but as individual people as well.–Jessica Mijares

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  2. “Mary Rownalson: a hollywood superstar” applies a unique take to Rowlandson’s narrative, firstly by revealing how in past literature and Hollywood films relate to each other since they prioritize due to their eurocentrism. He argues how her story confirms mass genocide and pillaging of indigenous people, because it is an on-going trend to view natives as antagonists, especially since this is prevalent in film. Rownaldson does, however, see the natives as individually at some points like when she points out how her master is “dressed ith great Laces sewed at the tail of it; he had his silver Buttons, his white Stockings, his Garters were hung round with shillings; and he had Girdles of Wampum upon his Head and Shoulders.” With this in mind, the audience can see that Rownaldon does not have an overtly elitist perspective, because she notices and admires the costume of her native captor, which further complicates how she comes to view the natives as not only her captors, but as individual people as well.–Jessica Mijares

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  3. Although I do agree with you in regarding the history of this nation as being filled “horror” as Joseph Conrad would put it, and that it has been veiled by propaganda and glamorous paintings ofor Manifest Destiny, I think there is some importance in the dynamic of Rowlandson. When she is with the natives and interacts with them there is a certain relationship there that does something to the complexity of both sides–that there is more to the war and pillaging. In other words, it’s important not to look at history as just war and those who caused it.

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  4. I’ll start by making it clear that what you have written here is one that I would agree with on many ground, especially the ideas of how schools heavily avoid explaining to students the massacres that have occurred. I’m curious now to know how John Locke plays his role in this “movie”. Would you consider him the villain with his words of “[t]his makes it lawful for me to kill a thief who hasn’t done me any harm or declared any plans against my life.” (8), or is he some neutral party?

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