The Complicated Victim

The exchange between Mary Rowlandson and her native Algonquian captors complicates the discourse of discrimination against indigenous people. A previous student’s blog post, “A City Upon Intolerance and Genocide,” illustrates the savage genocide experienced by the natives. However, in Rowlandson’s narrative, A Narrative of the Captivity and Restoration of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson, she experiences abhorrent brutality from the indigenous people. Who is the true victim? Unfortunately, the devastating brutality illustrated from both the colonists and the natives is an unceasing cycle of suffering and violence. Furthermore, this tragic cycle is represented in Dryden and Winthrop. Dryden and his unsanctioned love illustrates the discrimination against the colonized people, whilst Winthrop justifies their intolerance through religious superiority. Mary Rowlandon’s narrative provides insight to the cruelty experienced by the colonized. I do not believe that the violence can be condemned to either the colonists or natives, rather both inflicted and experienced the savagery. Unfortunately, the biggest tragedy is the death of innocent people from both sides.

– Hongxi Su

One thought on “The Complicated Victim

  1. The post is a little bit generalist but is evocative of strong emotion and truly captures the importance of both the literary work and discussion held in class. The criticism of Winthrop’s discrimination under the guise of religion is also a very well articulated and fascinating point. The work may have been enhanced had more contemporary associations and parallels been drawn to it however. It focuses primarily on the literary but not the immediate.


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