The Sovereignty and Goodness of God

Mary Rowlandson: Questioning Civilization College

Mary Rowlandson faced what would be many people’s worst nightmare, when she witnessed the slaughtering of her family and neighbors as described in her autobiography, A Narrative of the Captivity and Restoration of Mrs. Rowlandson. As if that horror were not enough, Rowlandson was kidnapped and held hostage by hostile Native Americans. Within her captivity, Rowlandson endured a complete culture shock and was both victim and witness to a series of events that understandably changed her life. The chaos and uncertainty Rowlandson faced in captivity led her to re-evaluate her perception of civilization and ultimately inspired her to have a deeper union with God and a greater appreciation for her life.

All of the ways in which Rowlandson perception of the world changes are a product her state of uncertainty in the face of the chaos of captivity. One could only imagine the chaos and horror in witnessing the sights Rowlandson speaks of during the attack on the colonists: “Some in our house were fighting for our lives, others wallowing in their blood, the house on fire over our heads” (258). The ransacking of her village was only the first of many chaotic experiences Rowlandson faces. In fact, throughout her story there is never a...

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