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Mary Rowlandson and Religion

The colonial era in North America is known for violent opposition between the native population and new settlers. The Narrative of the Captivity and Restoration of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson is a book about a European woman who was kidnapped by the Indians and kept in confinement for eleven weeks and five days. She lost some family members, and her daughter was gravely injured during this vicious attack by the Native Americans. Still, she perceived this situation as testing from God: “But the Lord renewed my strength still, and carried me along, that I might see more of His power” (Rowlandson, 1682/2012, p. 26). Furthermore, biblical texts became enormous spiritual support when her wounded child died. Indeed, she was constantly reminded to remain strong and not lose faith by the Bible and other Christian captives.

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Rowlandson would not have withstood this hardship with dignity if she had not been religious. She always reminded herself that God loves her; thus, He gave her food, water, safety, and eventually freedom in this challenging situation. Furthermore, Mary mentally repeated that “God many times leaving us most in the dark, when deliverance is nearest,” helping her not to surrender prematurely (Rowlandson, 1682/2012, p. 50). When Rowlandson returned home, she realized that a societal position was insignificant in God’s view because she was quickly removed from a comfortable house to a camp of heathens. However, the author states that Christians who went through a test sent by divine power could tolerate it because “He is fully able to carry them through” (Rowlandson, 1682/2012, p. 56). Overall, this perspective was common for the Puritan society; therefore, they appeared to be constantly prepared for challenges to demonstrate their commitment.

Reference

Rowlandson, M. (2012). The narrative of the captivity and restoration of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson. In D. Hennessy (Ed.) Classics of American literature (Vol. 1, pp. 23-56). David Hennessy. (Original work published 1682).

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