Mary Rowlandson. The Soveraignty & Goodness of God, Together, with the Faithfulness of His Promises Displayed; Being a Narrative of the Captivity and Restauration of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson.
Group A: These are just some lines in Rowlandson that we thought were important in illustrating the journey that she undergoes. In the 1st remove, the Indians are feasting on the cattle and pigs had previously been the property of the pilgrims. This is, in a way, completion of Indian brutality. They have killed the men, women and children of the colony, burned their homes, and now they are destroying the fruits of the pilgrims' labor. IN the 3rd remove, there were 2 quality passages. Rowlandson says that god is wounding her with one hand and healing her with the other. This shows the dichotomy of her journey - the fact that she goes through extreme hardship to find an uneasy peace with her life on the other side. Also, Rowlandson's daughter dies in this remove. This is a point at which she appears to have lost the most. Jumping ahead to the 12th remove, there is an incident in which an Indian woman takes the bible from Rowlandson and throws it out. On a basic level, they are trying to remove from her vestiges of western culture and religion. On another, they are trying to take away her hope of escape and peace with the future. however, she chases down the bible and vows to keep her religion and hope secret. In the 13th remove, there is a scene in which she sees her son. Being able to keep contact with him allows her to keep some hope of the life that she lived previously, and to glimpse it on a somewhat regular basis. Though there are many more important passages in the reading, these were a few that caught our eye.
Group B: We found a few passages that we think are important to the understanding of Rowlandson's journey. In the first remove Rowlandson comments on her losses. She says that her children, relations, friends, house, and home are all gone. In the second remove, Rowlandson talks about how she must travel with the Indians into the vast wilderness. This travel enables her to look into herself and strengthen her faith in God. Evidence of her enhanced sense of faith in God is in the third remove where she is sent a Bible and she is amazed at God's mercy. We also thought that the section in the eighth remove where Philip asks Rowlandson to make a shirt for his son was important because she is paid for her work, signifying that she has gained value. These are just some of the passages that we thought showed what Rowlandson went through on her journey.
Group C: Our group thought that a significant part of Rowlandson's journey was her move away from her beliefs during her captivity. The first example of this would be in the introduction when she said that before this she thought she would rather die than be taken, but then changed her mind. The second is when her baby dies and she says, "I cannot but take notice how at another time I could not bear to be in the room where any dead person was, but now the case is changed." The third example was when she actually began to use them for her purposes. Example: at the beginning of the thirteenth removal when she makes clothes in exchange for food. Also in the nineteenth removal when she makes clothes for other material possessions. All in all she made a remarkable journey within herself from her beliefs and what she held holy to survival instincts by which she lived through the ordeal.
Group C: We thought there were a few key examples of what Rowlandson went through in her journey. The first is when the Indians took her away and separated her from her children. "The Indians laid hold of us, pulling me one way, and the Children another..." A second aspect of what Rowlandson went through is in the second remove when she goes into the unknown Wilderness. "But now, the next morning, I must turn my back upon the Town, and travel with them into the vast and desolate Wilderness, I knew not whither. It is not my tongue, or pen can express the sorrows of my heart, and bitterness of my spirit, that I had at this departure..." Another is at the end of the second remove when she is cold and sick and holding her dying baby and yet she still sees the glory of God. "Oh, I may see the wonderfull power of God, that my Spirit did not utterly sink under my affliction..." This is repeated many times through the story. Rowlandson then suffers through the cruelty of the Indians when her child dies and they don't let her bury the baby herself. "I went to take up my dead child in my arms to carry it with me, but they bid me let it alone..." A change that Rowlandson goes through is a change of philosophy on her life before being taken away. "I have seen the extrem vanity of this World: One hour I have been in health, and wealth, wanting nothing: But the next hour in sickness and wounds, and death, having nothing but sorrow and affliction." A final thing Rowlandson went through was the idea that she neglects to let this experience break her spirit, but to strengthen her spirituality.