The Sovereignty and Goodness of God

by Mary Rowlandson
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How is God portrayed in The Sovereignty and Goodness of God?

God is portrayed as an all-knowing figure who unfolds events according a master plan in The Sovereignty and Goodness of God. Mary Rowlandson believes that she and her fellow Puritans must place complete faith in this plan and that God has a purpose for all that He does.

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After the Native Americans attack Medfield, they give Mary Rowlandson a Bible that they found during the looting of the town. Rowlandson reads through its pages as she is transported from town to town, and she tries to reconcile the image of God portrayed in the Bible with the atrocities...

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After the Native Americans attack Medfield, they give Mary Rowlandson a Bible that they found during the looting of the town. Rowlandson reads through its pages as she is transported from town to town, and she tries to reconcile the image of God portrayed in the Bible with the atrocities she sees in her daily life.

She comes to view God as an all-knowing deity who has a purpose and a plan behind everything that happens on Earth, even if that plan is difficult to decipher at the time. When Mary cannot see the purpose behind her current journey, she compares it to the journey of many Biblical figures and cites the ultimate purpose behind their struggles. She remembers the Israelites, for example, when she grows frustrated with her constant displacement and lack of a permanent home.

Mary decides that in order to live a virtuous life, one must surrender to God's will and place complete faith in God's ultimate plan. God is portrayed as the ultimate knower, a master planner who sees into the future far beyond what humans are capable of. Mary uses this interpretation of God in order to make sense of the world around her; when she grows frustrated with the Puritans' failure to retrieve her from her captors, she figures it must be because the Puritans are not yet pious and God-fearing enough to have earned the right to victory. Ultimately, God is portrayed as the only rational, logical figure in a complicated world; God is the omniscient puppet-master who has a purposeful plan laid out for everyone on Earth.

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