The story of Mary Rowlandson depicts conflicts between Christians and Indians. The latter’s barbaric traditions cannot be accepted by Englishmen and, therefore, their native culture is abnormal regardless of any external circumstances and the possibility of good deeds on their part. Hence, even though some Indians help the woman by giving food, she attributes it to God’s providence and remains their enemy after her release.
At the beginning of the narrative, Mary faces the adverse side of life, which is presented by the inhumanity of the Indian tribes who destroyed her home. She refers to them as “our merciless enemies” whose happiness depends on her relatives’ struggles (Rowlandson 271). By saying so, the author refuses to understand their motives and views these people as immoral and opposed to all Christianity’s guiding principles.
Subsequently, she meets some representatives of the tribe, who seem better than others. For example, the man who gave her “two spoonfuls of meal to comfort me” did not intend to hurt the woman (Rowlandson 279). The same applies to another Indian who brought the Bible to Mary (Rowlandson 273). Nevertheless, their occasional kindness is not viewed as such but as the assistance of God.
As a result, the release of the author does not mean any change in her attitude as she views this experience as a nightmare. She praises God for allowing her to return to her husband while expressing bitterness since her children were left captive (Rowlandson 293). This factor determines the impossibility of forgiving the native culture of Indians, and Mary remains their enemy in the end.
To summarize, the kindness of some Indians was insufficient for a change since Mary’s only hope was God. In this piece, she admitted that some Indians were different from evil creatures, but all the help is attributed to religion. Thus, the time spent with the tribe did not affect her perceptions, and the tragic fate of her children did not let Mary forgive these people’s customs.
Rowlandson, Mary. “A Narrative of the Captivity and Restoration of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson.” The Norton Anthology of American Literature, edited by Robert S. Levine, 9th ed., W. W. Norton & Company, 2017, pp. 267-301.