Mary Rowlandson’s Journey of Confusion

John Winthrop left behind the ideals that genocide and sexism were all in the name of religion. In fact, it’s the reason why many crimes that have happened in America throughout history, have been committed and tried to be justified through history books. Something interesting that Thomas Pham’s post mentioned was genocidal intent. This is something that was always a part of the plan; colonists wanted to take the land they felt belonged to them by divine right, while converting everyone to Christianity and if there was someone who didn’t want to have their home and beliefs raided, then they deserved to die. Mary Rowlandson mentions, “I have seen the extreme vanity of this world: one hour I have been in health, and wealthy, wanting nothing. But the next hour in sickness and wounds, and death, having nothing but sorrow and affliction.” But, this is what the Algonquian must’ve been feeling themselves because they knew there was genocidal intent; which is why I believe they responded the way the same way they were shown.

This emphasis on religion, specifically Christianity is seen in Mary Rowlandson’s “Narrative of the Captivity & Restoration of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson.” She would constantly mention: “no Christian friend near me” or “no Christian soul” was around her to help her. She explicitly stated that she wanted help from someone only if they were Christian. But, later in the narrative we see that cross-religion definitely created some confusion for her, as well as for those reading at the time. We talked in class about the fact that Rowlandson couldn’t seem to nice to the Algonquian people, but in some parts, she couldn’t help it. There’s a part in the narrative where the Natives came back from Sadbury and one of them told her they had just killed “two English men at Sadbury” (Rowlandson, 38). But, in the next paragraph she says, “Yea, instead of that, he many times refreshed me,” along with, “they would always give me something,” describing it as something she will always remember as, “sweet, pleasant, and delightful relish” (Rowlandson, 39). This definitely complicates the situation because it shows that Algonquian people were not just “ravenous beasts” as she described them in the beginning and even towards the end, they were people too. Despite the fact that they had killed her people, she was beginning to see beyond that. I can only imagine the frowns on people’s faces when they came across this part, thinking there was no way that they could be human too.

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