Objective Captive Narration or Biased Propaganda

I believe that Rowlandson’s narrative confirms the history of intolerance and genocide because her narrative portrayed her struggles as a captive. One thing I noticed about the narrative was that Rowlandson wrote this as a memoir and through the first person point of view so there was bias in her entire story. This also means that she already knew the outcome of the story, that she would eventually end up free. She tries to portray her story as objective as she can, but she still tells us her emotions, thoughts, motivations, which as an outsider the reader wouldn’t know, making the story subjective. Since she already knows that she’ll eventually be freed, there’s a lingering hope throughout the entire story which threw me off course a bit. It left me wondering how could she be so hopeful when things do not seem to be going her way at all. She talked about God an awful amount of the time, saying that God got her through the entire ordeal of being a captive. It seemed a bit preachy to me. There was no moment where she just lost all belief that she would never leave captivity? Her intolerance for the Native Americans is evident because she calls them savages and frowns upon their actions. Her main goal is to return to civilization without succumbing to their savage ways, which she will do with the help of a bible she is given and her devotion to the lord. Rowlandson is a perfect example of Puritan intolerance and religious superiority according to Thomas’s post. Rowlandson would read her bible every moment she could, she would read it with other captives, she retrieved the book when one of the Indian woman tossed it out, and she even tried to get out of doing work because it was the Sabbath.

By Locke’s logic, the Native Americans had the right to attack and kill the colonists because they were in a state of war. The colonists had indirectly declared war on the Indians when they started taking their land and resources. In the state of war, the victim has the right to kill the aggressor and is encouraged to kill the aggressor in order to survive. That is what the Native American were trying to do, survive. Rowlandson was trying to do the same exact thing, but because they were in a state of war, she became a captive. There is so much Christian imagery in the story that it does sound like propaganda. Her story of hardship and constant danger calls you to action until you realize that the Native Americans were doing their best to survive because they were being forced out of their homes and land so the Puritans could create their City Upon a Hill. Her story is one that seems like it would anger many at the Native Americans and gather support for more attacks on the Native Americans. There is an inadvertent call to action/ call to arms motif in her narration. She basically said here is everything I ent through just to survive, no one should have to go through this, so lets wipe out the Native Americans once and for all.

-Andres Quezada


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