Mary Rowlandson Questions: Removes 1-8
Directions: Based on what we have read so far, answer the following questions. Make sure to use textual evidence to support your response.
Does the narrator appear as victim or victor? Where does the text highlight submission to both God and her captors, and where does it allow a glimpse of Rowlandson as an active shaper of her fate?
Consider the following statements and evaluate which seems to prove more true (at what point in the narrative):
Mary fashions herself as a victimized, fallen woman, who regains her sense of devotional direction/faith by submitting to a trial of faith.
Mary reveals herself as a tough, victorious survivor who adapts to her situation by using strategies of trade or even manipulation?
How does the Puritan faith in predestination and the depravity of man determine her narrative? Especially, how does it inform and complicate her ability to interpret her own actions as well as the events beyond her control? Who is in charge here?
In what ways does Rowlandson use her experience to reaffirm Puritan beliefs? How does she view herself and her fellow Christians? How does she see the Indians? What do her dehumanizing descriptions of the Indians accomplish?
Choose TWO of the following passages. Then complete the following for the two you have selected:
Its significance/importance to the message Mary Rowlandson is trying to convey.
“We had six stout dogs belonging to our garrison, but none of them would stir, though another time, if any Indian had come to the door, they were ready to fly upon him and tear him down. The Lord hereby would make us the more to acknowledge His hand, and to see that our help is always in Him.”
“I had often before this said that, if the Indians should come, I should choose rather to be killed by them than taken alive; but when it came to the trial, my mind changed; their glittering weapons so daunted by spirit that I chose rather to go along with those (as I may say) ravenous beasts, than that moment to end my days. . . .”
“Then I went to see King Philip. He bade me come in and sit down, and asked me whether I would smoke it (a usual compliment nowadays amongst saints and sinners) but this no way suited me. For though I had formerly used tobacco, yet I had left it ever since I was first taken. It seems to be a bait the devil lays to make men lose their precious time. I remember with shame how formerly, when I had taken two or three pipes, I was presently ready for another, such a bewitching thing it is. But I thank God, He has now given me power over it; surely there are many who may be better employed than to lie sucking a stinking tobacco-pipe.”