For many times, literary works have been used to explain numerous historical incidents that happened in the United States and other parts of the world. King Phillip’s War, which culminated in the captivity and slavery of many Americans, was a major event in world history. The passage chosen for review is the first few pages of Mary Rowlandson’s “The Sovereignty and Goodness of GOD.” The author was a well-known American woman who was kidnapped by Native Americans during the war and rescued after being ransomed. Six years after the ordeal, Mary Rowlandson wrote the post (Potter 154). “The Sovereignty and Goodness” is an autobiography written in English and published in 1682. Mary Rowlandson was the narrator of her article that was initially published by Samuel Green. Rowlandson narrates the events unfolding in her captivity whereby she describes her feelings, thoughts, and motivation. Hindsight colors Rowlandson’s tone as she narrates the “The Sovereignty and Goodness of GOD” as a freed captive. The major conflict in this piece of literature is that the narrator must devise the means of surviving and return to civilization without any forms of the savagery of the Native Indian Americans (Rowlandson 6). The key themes in the piece of literature are the connection between savagery and civilization, the role of God in human life, uncertainties of life, and the fear of the various aspects that might be brought about by the new world (Potter 162).
The passage by Mary Rowlandson is of uttermost significance to both historians and other scholars in the field of literature as it describes a historical event as it unfolded. The writer utilizes both objective and subjective tones to present the reader with a perfect reading experience that would enable them to understand the various occurrences in her captivity. Another significance of “The Sovereignty and Goodness of GOD” is that it edifies the audience on the various gender roles in Native America and the cultures of the various communities in the country. According to Rowlandson, the Indians were uncivilized and linked with savagery (Rowlandson 8). Other parts of America had witnessed civilization and other forms of advancements. The final significance of “The Sovereignty and Goodness of GOD” is that it explores the biblical journey of Americans and the dependence on religion. The narrator utilizes the journeys of biblical figures throughout the story and explains the various avenues used by God to afflict the people that He chooses (Potter 162).
The historical impact of the narrative is that it provides first-hand information regarding the various events occurring during and after the King Philip’s War and the attack on Lancaster (Vaughan and Clark 9). Secondly, the narrative is pivotal in the analysis of the history of religion and the role played by the English in the biblical journey (Vaughan and Clark 150). The final historical impact of the passage is that it assists in the exploration of the natural events leading to the current population distribution patterns in the United States such as Starvation and the absence of appealing foods in some regions leading to emigration.
The primary reason for choosing this passage is its relevance to both the American History and the American literature. Mary Rowland’s peace addresses key developments in the American history of the 17th century through a piece of literature (Vaughan and Clark 251). The passage also presents a summary of the King Philip’s War and the historical implication of the combat as well as the role of religion in America in the later 17th century.
Potter, Tiffany. “Writing indigenous femininity: Mary Rowlandson’s narrative of captivity.” Eighteenth-Century Studies 36.2 (2003): 153-167.Print
Rowlandson, Mary. The Soveraignty [Sovereignty] [And] Goodness Of God, Together With The Faithfulness Of His Promises Displayed. Cambridge, Mass.: [Drucker], 1682. Print.
Vaughan, Alden T., and Edward W. Clark, eds. Puritans among the Indians: accounts of captivity and redemption, 1676-1724. Harvard University Press, 2009. Print