Fueled Hate

The history of intolerance against indigenous people during the English colonization of eastern North America is neither confirmed nor contradicted through Mary Rowlandson’s captivity account, if anything, it allows one to see how this exchange can complicate the way in which we see history.  Damage was being done on both sides, even though the English colonist were who started the conflict initially. The Native Americans who held her captive are what she had heard them to be. The Indians killed her children and showed no respect for her religion thus confirming that they were in fact savages. Yet later Rowlandson sounds like she might be sympathizing with the Indians which she tries to hold back on doing because of the position she plays in the society in which she lives in, both as a pastor’s wife and Christian woman. Racism seems to play a part in both Mary Rowlandson’s narrative and Dryden’s The Indian Emperour. In both stories there seems to be something “wrong” with the Indians, for example in both stories the fact that the Indians do not practice or have respect for Christianity seems to be what makes them inferior. There was a lot of back and forth damage done on both sides and none of it was right. What was ultimately done to all Native Americans was horrible and this is just one account from one person who experience what she experienced within the Indians who captured her during the time in which Native Americans were being extinguished. It is interesting that the colonist were Christian people who believed in God and had to abide by certain moral standards, yet these “Christians” tortured and killed many Native Americans. The idea that a person or a group of people can serve to generalize a whole population of people is ignorant, and this ignorance is what fueled the hate that fueled the wars.

Karla Nichols

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