The Sovereignty and Goodness of God

The Sovereignty and Goodness of God Metaphors and Similes

Hail (Simile)

“Bullets seemed to fly like hail.” (68)

Rowlandson analogizes the Native Americans' bullets to hail during their attack on Lancaster. Hail is a Biblical plague and thus evokes the concept of divine providence. Hail is also a brutal, natural force that continuously and quickly pelts its victim. Thus Rowlandson's comparison emphasizes the furious intensity and inexorability of the Native Americans' shots. 

Sheep and Wolves (Simile)

“It is a solemn sight to see so many Christians lying in their blood, some here, and some there, like a company of Sheep torn by Wolves.” (70)

Rowlandson makes this comparison at the conclusion of the Lancaster attack. By comparing Christians to sheep, Rowlandson Biblically casts them as innocent, chosen people of God, who are entirely victims of the Native Americans, as opposed to victimizers. By comparing the Native Americans to wolves, Rowlandson casts them as a vicious, predatory enemy.

Trees (Simile)

“The Indians were as thick as the trees.” (80)

Rowlandson makes this commentary when, after traveling through the wilderness, she crests a hill and sees her whole company setting up camp below. By analogizing the Native Americans and the trees, Rowlandson frames the Native Americans as a part of the threatening, interminable, foreign environment that is so different from her home.

Dog (Simile)

“There they lay quivering in the Cold, the youth round like a dog.” (90)

Rowlandson uses this simile to describe an English youth suffering from dysentery and a Native American child dying in the cold. In this comparison, Rowlandson communicates the starvation experienced by the youth and analogizes his helplessness to that of a stray dog with no caretaker.

Flint (Metaphor)

“The sight was enough to melt a heart of flint." (90)

Rowlandson makes this comment in response to seeing the English youth suffering from dysentery and the Native American child dying in the cold. By saying this sight could "melt a heart of flint," a hard rock sometimes used to make weapons, she expresses her own sympathy while casting all those who have left the children in the cold - the Native Americans - as having hearts harder than flint, or no hearts at all.