The Sovereignty and Goodness of God

The Sovereignty and Goodness of God Irony

English Innocence

Ironically Mrs. Rowlandson casts the English as innocent lambs and the Native Americans as a scourge on the English colonists' land. The Native Americans occupied the land before the English and made many accommodations for the English, while the English made few to none, seeking only to expand their settlements further into Native Americans' territory. 


Ironically Mrs. Rowlandson refers to Native Americans as barbarians. She herself exhibits literally savage behavior, in contrast to more "civilized" behavior by Native Americans. For example, a Native American woman gives her and an English child horse feet to eat, and Mrs. Rowlandson steals the food from the child and doesn't feel guilty about it. The Native Americans bury Mrs. Rowlandson's daughter, and when her mistress's child dies, she is unsympathetic and glad for more room in the wigwam. Mrs. Rowlandson's master has to tell her to bathe, as she neglected to do so for a month.

Christian Charity

Ironically Mrs. Rowlandson explains her gratitude for life among the Christians instead of among "cruel Heathens" by discussing the charity of Christians raising money for her ransom and their welcome of her and her husband into their homes. It is ironic that she uses such examples of kindness because she frequently found the same kindness among the Native Americans, who gave her food and shelter even though they did not know her and had few resources themselves due to the war. 

God as Protagonist

Ironically the Preface to the Reader establishes God as the protagonist but Rowlandson includes many events, details, and descriptions that make her appear to be a protagonist with individual agency.