Pointing the Finger

It is perplexing to try to relate with Mary Rowlandson’s perspective. I do not want to discredit her struggles- but it becomes difficult to understand that as an adult woman, she is not entirely a victim. Since her husband had particularly close relations with the natives, I felt Mary should have been the first to know if there were certain issues on the verge of rising. Torn between the thought of a war or if she is to be seen as a slave, I will try my best to pry apart the two viewpoints.

Mary Rowlandson is in an interesting possible exclusion when being related to John Locke’s rhetoric. I am moved by John Locke’s viewpoint in the sense that I feel the world would be much better if everyone respected each other’s ideals and treated each other equally. Ideally, this would have allowed for everyone to be seen as equal. Where it becomes interesting however is that the Natives are not playing by the same rules as the newly  arrived Europeans. I do consider the hostage situation of Mary to be a type of slavery. Even though Mary is sewing and providing her services as a form of bartering, she is not doing so willingly. I do see Mary trying to survive day-by-day. There is a warlike view on how the natives keep fleeing and moving randomly as the English are on their tails throughout the reading. Mary does use her religion as a way to help herself feel safe, even with the multiple deaths of some of the immediate people in her life.

I found extremely interesting how her children were named Joesph and Mary. I related this to the original biblical story of Joesph and Mary. Mary is questioned about her faith with the lord and her trust is tested. So I felt that when her kids Joesph and Mary were taken from her, she lost her trust. Of course, they are reunited at the end, but it builds a lot of biblical connection throughout as she is a devoted Puritan. I feel that by Mary playing victim and developing sympathy from the readings however, it contributes to the genocide. The natives are not seen as human or worthy of the lands and therefore are not taken seriously.

As treaties start to get broken by the new generations of Puritans and migrants, more chaos ensues for the Natives. King Philip pointed out how his father helped when the Mayflower arrived, and then slowly but surely there was more and more conflict as the years passed. The conflicts were possible because many of the newer generations were not true and as close to their Puritan faith. Therefore, it could be the ideals John Locke wrote of were not able to be met because people did not take the word of the lord as seriously and became more focused on colonizing, expansion, and obtaining as much land as possible. The natives were therefore seen as barbaric which brought upon war, kidnappings, genocide, and chaos.

 

-Daniel Estrada

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