Response to Sean N and Alana F's postings on Rowlandson (Ian Byrne)
I think the biggest issue with Rowlandson's writings that wasn't examined too carefully is that the whole piece was written in retrospect. Think about all the time Mary Rowlandson had after her release to think about and mull over her experiences with the Natives. It seems that this time was used mostly to craft the most negative, incendiary portrayal of the Natives. I think that what Rowlandson's piece ends up being is half propaganda and half memoir. To be fair, it is a very easy to understand piece and I think that Rowlandson is rather good at making her story available to all who want to read it by writing it in such simple prose. The book did become a best seller in its time. The piece works as propaganda because it does advance a view of the natives held by the Puritan church. The introduction credits Rowlandson with being a good Christian and relying on God for salvation. The introduction also introduces the idea that the Natives are devilish, etc etc. As a memoir it is good because she explains the events rather well but it is her reflections on her experiences that make it a very successful memoir. Clearly, the entire piece is very well thought out and crafted in that way since it was written in retrospect.