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Mary Rowlandson Narrative vs Reality Through out American history gender roles have been instilled in all societies the belief that women are subordinate to men and are to be domesticated into the home receiving no education was the ordinance of most societies The Puritan society of the 17th Century was one in particular that enforced and most importantly instilled these beliefs upon their women These degrading expectations placed upon their women were extremely evident in their personal depiction of society throughout their literature One example of this is the narrative A True History of the Captivity and Restoration of Mrs Mary Rowlandson Mary Rowlandson biases towards the Indians and her own accomplishments were due to the fact that she was fulfilling the role of a decent Puritan and even more important the supposed role of a woman Mary Rowlandson was a Puritan ministers wife in Lancaster Massachusetts and was taken captive by the Indians during the King Phillips War 1675-1677 Throughout her eleven-week captivity she wrote this autobiographical accounts of her experiences Even though her experiences may be accurate her portrayal of herself and the relationship between the Indians and Puritan colonists were flawed because of being instilled with her societies beliefs that she has to appear weak Ironically it is at the times that she tries to appear defenseless that she comes off independent and courageous One example of how she contradicts herself is when she complains about having to knit cloth at the supposed mercy of the Indians not realizing how resourceful knitting the cloth was because it enabled her to trade with the Indians for food and supplies The fact that she doesnt acknowledge her independence and resourcefulness within her writing represents how women were literally trained how to think I consider literature such as Trial of Anne Hutchinson by John Winthrop brainwashing material that instilled beliefs such as Mary Rowlandsons into Puritan women One example of these prejudices within his
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