Captivity By Mary Rowlandson And Melville Essay

1609 Words Nov 1st, 2016 7 Pages
Captivity in Different Eras

At first glance, one might assume that an author publishing her works in 1682 would have no realistic chance of sharing a common message as a man publishing his story one hundred and seventy-three years later in 1855. However, captivity narratives have been popular topics throughout history which enjoyed a wide readership. Despite their separation in in the gulf of time, Mary Rowlandson and Herman Melville shared similar experiences in witnessing captivity at the hands of two cultures and the violence that came with these experiences. While the New World offered an abundance of social and financial potential, it simultaneously fostered the negative aspects of human nature. Giving an account of the horrendous acts committed by both sides, history acts as a third party in telling of the confrontations between American Indians with white settlers. Without a doubt, slavery caused untold controversy, but history again lends witness to these events with facts, names, and dates. Through their writing, Rowlandson and Melville provide similar, but different, first-hand accounts that reflect societies racist attitudes towards the cultures they encountered, its use as propaganda, and describe the explosive violence of these interactions. In coming to the New World, early settlers encounter a culture holding vastly different opinions from their own in terms of religion, morality, modesty, and social structure. The slave trade from Africa is a booming…

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