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Allegories of EncounterColonial Literacy and Indian Captivities$
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Andrew Newman

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781469643458

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: September 2019

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469643458.001.0001

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Rowlandson’s Captivity, Interpreted by God

Rowlandson’s Captivity, Interpreted by God

(p.19) Chapter One Rowlandson’s Captivity, Interpreted by God
Allegories of Encounter

Andrew Newman

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter presents an “inside out” reading of Mary Rowlandson’s famous narrative of her captivity during King Philip’s War, The Sovereignty and Goodness of God (1682). It focuses on nine passages that she recounts reading in a Bible that an Indian bestowed upon her early in her captivity, and therefore pertain to the diegesis, or narrated action, instead of the commentary on her experience. It posits that these compose a coherent, primordial interpretation of her captivity, issued, in her understanding, by God, who directed her selection of scriptures, and, through these, influenced her perspective and behavior. Rowlandson defines the boundaries of her discourse community by contrasting her orthodox literacy practices with those of the Christian or Praying Indians.

Keywords:   captivity, diegesis, King Philip’s War, Praying Indians, Mary Rowlandson, scripture

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