Mary Rowlandson 's personality is very similar to that of many Puritan women at that time. A devout, God-fearing woman, she places her trust in the Almighty to deliver her from her captivity. She also sees her captivity as a trial sent by God to test her faith, a trial...
Mary Rowlandson's personality is very similar to that of many Puritan women at that time. A devout, God-fearing woman, she places her trust in the Almighty to deliver her from her captivity. She also sees her captivity as a trial sent by God to test her faith, a trial that will make her a much stronger person in the long run:
Yet I see, when God calls a person to anything, and through never so many difficulties, yet He is fully able to carry them through and
make them see, and say they have been gainers thereby. And I hope I can say in some measure, as David did, "It is good for me that I have been afflicted."
In common with virtually all white people at the time, Mary harbors a number of prejudices towards Native Americans. And it should be noted that this has nothing to do with the fact that they've captured her. As a God-fearing Christian woman, Mary has an instinctive distrust for indigenous folk and their supposedly barbarous ways. She loudly complains, for instance, of her "cruel and inhumane usage" among the "heathens."
At various points in her narrative, Mary writes of Native Americans in terms that are utterly dehumanizing. In one particularly withering passage, she says
Little do many think what is the savageness and brutishness of this barbarous enemy.
Yet Mary surprises us later on by slightly modifying her original low estimation of Native Americans. Although she will never accept them as her racial or cultural equals, she does at least show the faint glimmerings of acknowledgement of their basic humanity. We see this when one of her captives gives Mary a Bible, for which she is most grateful.
At the same time, one should acknowledge that, in keeping with her Calvinist faith, Mary tends to see Native Americans, not so much as individuals in their own right, but as instruments of God, sent by the Almighty to "be a scourge to the whole Land."