The Narrative of the Captivity and Restoration of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson is a book that tells the story of Mary Rowlandson, a woman taken by the Indians as a captive. The genre of captivity narrative was popular during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries and was used as a way to promote colonialism (Marrs & Hager, 2019). Nevertheless, despite its primary aims, the narrative in question also highlights the negative influence of the Europeans on the Indians.
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The primary negative influence of the Europeans on the Indians is the fact that the former forced the latter to abandon their land and constantly move around the country, trying to escape the English troops. For instance, Mary Rowlandson describes a scene when the news about English scouts in the area caused Indians to change their route (Rowlandson, 1682). Essentially, the Indians were no longer safe in a territory that they occupied for many centuries.
Additionally, the Indian tribes were negatively impacted by the Europeans due to the latter’s aggressive attitude toward the former. Throughout the book, Mary Rowlandson continuously refers to the Indians as barbarous creatures and heathens as opposed to the Christians whom she praises (Rowlandson, 1682). Moreover, the negative impression of the Indians on the part of the Europeans caused local tribes to act mercilessly towards their enemies.
Finally, the Europeans brought Christianity to the continent, and many Indians converted to it, which led to a deterioration of their family ties and conflict in the communities. In the book, Mary Rowlandson depicts praying Indians as cruel and opportunistic; for instance, one of them betrays his father to avoid being killed by the English (Rowlandson, 1682). The book shows how Indian converts became estranged from their own culture, which negatively impacted the unity among tribe members.
Marrs, C., & Hager, C. (2019). Timelines of American literature. JHU Press.
Rowlandson, M. (1682). The Narrative of the Captivity and Restoration of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson. In D. Hennessy (Ed.), Classics of American literature (pp. 23–56). David Hennessy.