Colonial Literature

The only image that came to my mind when I thought of colonial literature was the Noah Webster House I took multiple tours of it in elementary school. The house was decorated in a classic, old-fashioned manner and there were actors dressed up in big, puffy dresses. I always had an image of colonial times being very innocent because of the picture I had in my head of a wife cooking meals and baking pies in the kitchen for her husband and children, and the kids running around playing. Everything seemed very simple and innocent. The story of Mary Rowlandson, however, shatters that simple image. Mary Rowlandson was a wife and mother of four children, when she and her family were suddenly attacked and kidnapped by Wampanoag Indians. Rowlandson was miraculously able to survive and escape captivity. She has a very inspiring story. Rowlandson’s story disrupts my image of colonial literature because colonial times always seemed so innocent to me, and to read about a family getting attacked and kidnapped by Indians, although this is a subject I learned all about in U.S history, seems more real when connecting her story to the image of the colonial house I have in my head. When Mary reports, “Then I took my children (and one of my sisters’, hers) to go forth and leave the house: but as soon as we came to the door and appeared, the Indians shot so thick that the bullets rattled against the house, as if one had taken an handful of stones and threw them, so that we were fain to give back.” I got a very strong visual from this passage of what Mary’s house may have looked like and the fear she felt while she and her family were under attack.

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One Response to Colonial Literature

  1. Aphra says:

    I really like how you connected your personal experience of colonial living with the story of Mary Rowlandson. I like how you described colonial living and gave us imagery. I like the quote you picked and really felt like I got a good sense on Mary Rowlandson’s story.

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