Apprehending and Interpreting Literature: A Cultural & Religious Perspective - Essay Sample

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  5
Wordcount:  1246 Words
Date:  2023-03-27


Literature is an art that many have failed to comprehend. The best part of literature is how it can unearth some of the underlying fears and tries to assert a point that the audience must take home. Literary analysis, therefore, calls for the audience's ability to apprehend and put into understanding some of the literary devices that are helpful in the whole context. The knowledge of understanding, interpreting and dismantling the literature must be perceived in the scope of cultural and religious understanding. The examination of Mary Rowlandson's captivity narrative provides the premise upon which this paper will explore the literary styles and messaging used in the literary analysis.

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Mary Rowlandson's captivity account portrays her experience as a hostage of the Native Americans in 1676 during the King Philips War. Her journal represents her apprehension by her arrival, albeit the journal having been composed a couple of years post her release from bondage. Her captivity spread over around 11 weeks and is described in twenty 'removals.' In particular, Rowlandson watches her involvement with connection to God and the good book, her catch being communicated as a preliminary from God which she should suffer from confidence; just in doing so would she endure and stay a genuine Christian lady reasonable for Puritan culture (Logan 262). It is through this Christian point of view that she decides for the Native Americans, making a conspicuous inclination against their way of life.

Mary Rowlandson thought of her story to have the audience read it; this included the people that she interacted with. Given this case, her story can be comprehended as far as how she would wish to speak to herself and her bondage to those readers, thus not entirely comprehended as an exact record. She speaks to the audience through her account, therefore allowing others to relate with her tribulations closely. Rowlandson was a highly regarded lady inside the Puritan culture and all things considered, she would be required to speak to goodness and show strong support for fine Christian women (Logan 258). Subsequently, any record of her captivity that appeared to be in opposition to ordinary convictions could hazard her status and decency. The inspiration for distributing her record appears to have been to advance the puritan conviction that God is the dynamic being who punishes and spares Christian adherents (Burnham 70).

The author has employed the use of symbolism t advance her narration to the full understanding f the audience. In other cases, for instance, there is a talk about God's wrath and how extensively it has been explained in the narrative. The assault on Lancaster it the text is depicted as a blazing inferno. This attack is in a way speaking of God's fierceness and the difficulty and confusion of King Philip's War all in all. When Rowlandson depicts the beginning of the assault, she narrates in her journal that it composes that "several houses were burning, and the smoke ascending to heaven." This picture of smoke ascending to paradise proposes custom penance and underscores that this assault has strict significance and is something other than an irregular or political assault. The audience is left to fill in the gaps and understand that, indeed, only God stays in heaven (Potter 166). Symbolism has effectively helped in making the narration more captivating and interesting.

This narrative also has a place for nature. The manner in which the story is presented to the audience in a veiled literary spectacle that only leaves one with the need even to understand more in the text. The oak leaves, which Robert Pepper causes Rowlandson to use to treat her injury, proposes a strong positive capability of nature in healing and health restoration, a magical work of God. Notwithstanding being a risky attraction, the normal world can likewise be methods for cleansing an individual's ills. One must be educated, in the cases on how to utilize nature's abundance, and God must be willing to give help also. That the common world ends up being a wellspring of mending is additionally a danger to Rowlandson, since she has constantly connected the wild with brutality, not progress. These recuperating leaves help Rowlandson build up an alternate, increasingly uncertain point of view on the world. Rowland seems strongly convinced that God does not address people directly, rather through symbols and His prophets that He has placed on earth (Burnham 68). We are all but a large unit of God and His unending mercies upon our lives. The audience is getting driven and carried out by the very belief that the righteous and blessing God has a place for everyone in the light of their salvation.

In what may be seen as advocacy for feminism, she speaks to the details affecting the feminine society. The feminist role is reflected all through as Rowlandson laments over her children (Potter 167). She is portrayed as forward-thinking person in her youthful, Sarah until her demise after which her trouble as a mother allows her to carry on strangely for her general public; 'at any other time I could not bear to be in the room where any dead person was, but now the case is changed; I must and could lie down by my dead babe' (Rowlandson, 2009). She also reflects and states that 'I have thought since of the wonderful goodness of God to me in preserving me in the use of my reason and sense in that distressed time' (Rowlandson, 2009). That she even quickly mulled over break, in all likelihood passing, from what could be seen God's will brings home her trouble at the opportunity to the readers, yet her defeating such a preliminary is the thing that considers her proceeded with status. Her position is in contrary to 'Joslin' another captured lady, whom Rowlandson experiences, Joslin, in any case, capitulates to her trouble and asked the 'Indians to release her home but vexed with her urgency, they thumped her on the head, and the kid in her arms'(Rowlandson 2009). The examination favors Rowlandson as she conquered the preliminary and martyred herself to enduring God's will instead of battling His will and enduring an awful destiny as an outcome. To keep on enduring Rowlandson started to exchange, which was not an ordinarily acknowledged action of Christian ladies at the time.


In a nutshell, Mary Rowlandson's captivity narrative has allowed a close and effective examination of some of the pertinent areas surrounding the literary analysis. The narrative has shown through symbolism the role of God and nature in the lives of human beings. At the same time, the author has successfully shown that, indeed, women play a critical role in the entire social and community spheres. The religious and contemporary aspects such as captivity of the author, are some of the social and communal bondages that people have t confront daily. Indeed her captivity in the religious aspect was more of sinful captivity other than physical; however, all these interpretations are left to the discernment of the audience.

Works Cited

Burnham, Michelle. "The Journey Between Liminality and Dialogism in Mary White Rowlandson's Captivity Narrative." Early American Literature 28.1 (1993): 60-75. Retrieved from

Logan, Lisa. "Mary Rowlandson's captivity and the" place" of the woman subject." Early American Literature 28.3 (1993): 255-277. Retrieved from

Potter, Tiffany. "Writing indigenous femininity: Mary Rowlandson's narrative of captivity." Eighteenth-Century Studies (2003): 153-167. Retrieved from

Rowlandson, Mary. A True History of the Captivity and Restoration of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson. Alejandro's Libros, 2009.

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Apprehending and Interpreting Literature: A Cultural & Religious Perspective - Essay Sample. (2023, Mar 27). Retrieved from

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