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Artistic Merit in A Narrative of the Captivity and Restoration of Mrs Mary Rowlandson The Puritan community lived both piously and humbly However the Puritans were curiously drawn to the mysterious air of the wilderness and the wild natives that inhabited the Americas interior This mix of piety and adventure greatly affects Puritan literature The captivity-narrative becomes most popular from the late seventeenth to early eighteenth century In many of the captivity tales cannibalistic Indians force puritans to abandon their homes and follow them in bondage into the uncharted wilderness The tales are designed to illustrate a moral lesson wherein a person survives his ordeal through an unwavering faith in God As Richard Slotkin notes One person usually a woman stands passively under the strokes of evil awaiting rescue by the grace of God 47 Indeed many narratives follow this formula One of the most popular stories following this archetype is Mary Rowlandsons A Narrative of the Captivity and Restoration of Mrs Mary Rowlandson In the narrative Rowlandson recounts her capture by the people of Metacomet during the period known as King Phillips War Throughout the story Rowlandson describes many sensationalistic images designed to appeal and excite the puritan mind Conjoined with the racy images of sex food and violence however are the images of moral piety created by Rowlandsons description of Gods role in the captivity ie special providence Through the sharp contrasting images Rowlandsons captivity displays the divergent feelings of the Puritan community Rowlandsons characterization of the Indians satanic qualities greatly contrasts the piety shown in the work During her captivity Rowlandson longs for the company of her husband who is away in Massachusetts when the town is attacked She often inquires about him to the Indians She notes Some of the Indians told me he was dead and they had killed him some said he was married againSo like were these barbarous creatures to him who was a liar from the beginning
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