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Mary Rowlandson. King Philip’s War: 1676-1677 Representative Affliction Representation of Natives Captivity Narrative/Stockholm Syndrome Psychology of Affliction. King Philip’s War: External. External Cause: Restoration of the Monarchy in England (1660)

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mary rowlandson

Mary Rowlandson

King Philip’s War: 1676-1677

Representative Affliction

Representation of Natives

Captivity Narrative/Stockholm Syndrome

Psychology of Affliction

king philip s war external
King Philip’s War: External
  • External Cause: Restoration of the Monarchy in England (1660)
  • Reassertion of royal power in the colonies
  • Land claim disputes adjudicated by royal appointees unfamiliar with situation
king philip s war internal
King Philip’s War: Internal
  • Internal Cause: colonists less interested in religion than previously
  • New class of immigrants, the frontier class, wanting more land
  • Frontier class created more land disputes with natives
  • Frontier class unwilling to follow the lead of Boston’s religious and ruling elite
king philip s war religion
King Philip’s War: Religion
  • Official interpretation: God’s judgment on New England for its sins
  • Jeremiad: sermon that castigated the people for the sins; compared them unfavorably to predecessors
  • Mary Rowlandson’s text as Jeremiad
significance of war to american history
Significance of War to American History
  • Significant dispute over the issue of local colonial government.
  • Early dispute between “common” and “elite” power
  • Test of religious elite’s authority over growing colony.
  • Test of power of religion to determine experience
representative affliction
Representative Affliction
  • Rowlandson’s afflictions those of New England’s
  • God is taking special notice of Rowlandson and his chosen people
  • Rowlandson an example for others: how to persevere and remain faithful in a time of great suffering
representation of natives
Representation of Natives
  • Bloodthirsty and inhuman
  • “Praying Indians”: converts to Christianity still hypocrites
  • Indians also capable of kindness and compassion
  • Indians unpredictable and unknowable: ultimately represent the unknowable mind of God
representation of natives1
Representation of Natives
  • Weetamoo: the proud squaw, Rowlandson’s chief antagonist
  • Rowlandson wants to imagine herself different from Weetamoo, but identifies with her anyway (dead children)
captivity narrative
Captivity Narrative
  • White woman’s captivity to natives a metaphor for New England’s experience in the New World
  • Anxiety of female captivity: that she may choose to stay, become part of the community
  • Creolization: Rowlandson participates in barter economy, society of her captors
captivity narrative as critique
Captivity Narrative as Critique
  • Captive identifies with captor
  • Rowlandson voices complaint of New England (army is ineffectual; New England still sinful)
  • Captivity narrative threatened the collapse of boundaries between home and captor culture, between white and native identity
psychology of affliction
Psychology of Affliction
  • Rowlandson’s suffering ultimately private and meaningless
  • Sleeplessness a symptom of her ongoing trauma
  • Suffering not necessarily tied to religious significance
  • Psychological trauma a modern rather than religious condition
american themes
American Themes
  • White colonist struggling in the wilderness
  • Unresolved conflict between indigenous and settler communities
  • America as “City on the Hill” shaken to its foundations
  • Individual vs. community