Mary Rowlandson, Narrative of the Captivity and Restoration

Rowlandson's narrative fits the genre of early American writing called "captivity narratives." Reflect upon the purpose of such narratives--is Rowlandson's narrative, for instance, merely a personal account, or does it have a didactic intention? What might be the nature of that intention?

How is Rowlandson's account illustrative of Winthrop's "city on a hill" mentality?

At the end of her narrative, Rowlandson says, "I hope I can say in some measure, as David did, 'It is good for me that I have been afflicted.'" How is it possible that she feels her captivity and loss of family has been good? How does this attitude reflect the typological (i.e., explaining through Biblical analogue) framework of her narrative?

The Puritans believed that individual lives could be symbolic of a nation. How is the experience of Mary Rowlandson symbolic? In other words, how does her captivity narrative embody the experience of Puritan theology or history?

Why do you think the chapters are entitled "removes"? How do geography and physical space figure into Rowlandson's narrative and/or worldview? How does Rowlandson's depiction of the landscape, for instance, contrast with John Smith's description of New England ?

How does Rowlandson's depiction of Native Americans compare to others we have read this semester? How do they fit into her typological framework?