Mary Rowlandson Political Influence

What Mary Rowlandson writing was unethical despite the fact that some may feel sympathetic towards her. Although Mary’s grief may have led her to such extreme actions, which she believed to be justifiable under the eyes of GOD, her addition to the history of intolerance to others and this genocide were not ok. Although the tragedy she suffered in which she lost her children due to an act of violence from the native Americans who killed her children while in her arms is sad, it can, later on, be seen as how this moment in her life became a scapegoat for her actions. Upon hearing this sad story of her children dying before her, Rowlandson becomes an image of distraught and anguish that cries out for sympathy and here is also where we begin to see justification of her acts due to sympathy towards a woman (who was clearly a part of a movement to establish colonies in the name of Christianity) that looked emotionally and mentally abused. However despite looking like a fragile woman whose only intentions was to help the Native Americans let go of such gruesome lifestyles and actions by showing them the way of God, some claim despite the tragedy that occurred, it is not justifiable to sympathize with this women and the loss of her children due to the fact extreme acts of violence and her true underlying intentions.

As one sympathizes with her it is important to also keep in mind the white colonialist/ imperialist voice that asked for the voice of her people but not; where was the voice of the native Americans in all of this? Did the women in the Indians side not lose children due to the wars as well? But the fact of the matter is that women did have political influence caused by sympathy that reflected from one of the most “weakest” members of their society as well as the use of religion. Religion, Christianity is the key factor, to the type of power and influence it can have no matter what gender one may be. For instance, Thomas invites the comparison of both Anne Hutchinson and Winthrop’s feud: “Remaining confident with the belief that God remained within her, she countered Winthrop’s accusations intelligently over days of trial, but she would cement her fate as her character showed eminently whilst addressing the court in an impassioned outcry, ‘You have no power over my body, neither can you do me any harm…Therefore take heed how you proceed against me—for I know that for this you go about to do to me, God will ruin you and your posterity and this whole state.’” Anne Hutchinson was able to argue with Winthrop over religious beliefs by using religion against him thus proving that in a free and development an integration between the natives and the colonist, the woman also had a saying in the movement.

Mary is not so different, her works became propaganda to millions of puritans/or colonist to justify the murdering of people do to Indian retaliation.

Quote

Sure women did not have authority the same way man did, but they were really influential through writing,(as we can see with the case of Hutchinson v. Winthrop) because writing erases gender; that is if people do not view the name of the woman on a piece of literature; or if the woman writer uses a fake name to publish her stuff, as it was done around these times; or more unethically, the man in charge, allow for works like Mary to be spread around to gain “sympathy” and be justifiable of their actions to their own people, without even considering the fact that there is another side of the story, resulting in the justification to wipe the Native Americans which I theorize, might have been the beginning of the separation between the colonist, politically and ethically. Thus, fast-forwarding to the present, the creation of both political parties: Republicans and Democrats.  In short, although Mary Rowlandson may not have written her piece as a means of political involvement, it seems that maybe it was politically manipulated and pushed the religious ideas to back up the colonist view of the native Americans to be nothing but cruel people and savages.

Enrique Ramos

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One thought on “Mary Rowlandson Political Influence

  1. I never considered how gender was eliminated through the power of literature. The last paragraph was very well written and raises good points in how Mary Rowlandson, a woman, was able to start something so crucial in American history. However, I believe Rowlandson’s intention was to somehow ignite something within the religious colonists to do something about the Natives from her life story. Not sure if it was political (even though there are some implications) but it was very religiously backed. As stated in the twentieth removal: “And the Lord had not so many ways before to preserve them, but now He hath as many to destroy them.”

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