In the Norton Anthology, “The Captivity of Mary Rowlandson” is a story that provides a lot of insights about early American writers. The story documents the experience of Mary Rowlandson when the American Natives captured her. The Red Indians are considered the initial occupants of America, but because of colonization, they were displaced by Europeans. In the story, Mary Rowlandson depicts the Natives as savages and heartless (Rowlandson 3). She refers to the Natives as Babylonians and the Europeans as Israelites. From the writings of Rowlandson, it is evident that early American writers focused on promoting ethnicity. When you look at her account, she makes readers perceive the Natives as heartless, but she does not bring out the atrocities that the Europeans mete to the Indians during the colonization of America.
In her poems, appears to conform to two worlds; religion and secular. Having been brought up as a puritan, Bradstreet was expected to abide strictly by the pilgrimage life. However, when she writes poems that represent both religion and secular views the society criticizes her. Considerably, Bradstreet was expected to praise heavenly issues, but she chose to also write about her immediate experiences in the world. From her experience, one notices that early American writers faced a lot of pressure from the society (Ruland and Bradbury 23). The community appeared to dictate to them what they should write. In the case of Bradstreet, it shows that most literature of this time reflected religion. As such, poets and authors did not act independently, but they were to produce what the society favors.
In the text, “The Wonders of the Invisible Word” Cotton Mather reveals how the early society believed much in devils. According to Mather’s account, devils were a threat to the human society. Apparently, Mather’s decision to write this text was anchored on the Salem Trial of people considered as witches. From the text, Mather gives a narration of the prosecution. When reading the text, it is evident that Mather focuses on the actual proceedings of the court. Considerably, he rarely uses artistic words. The language used in the text is direct. However, one of the questions about Mather’s style of writing is that he focused on the prosecution and gave little information about the defense. What is presented in this text is a revelation of how religion affected the works of literature among early American writers.
Rowlandson, Mary. Narrative of the Captivity and Restoration of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson. BoD–Books on Demand, 2018.
Ruland, Richard, and Malcolm Bradbury. From Puritanism to postmodernism: a history of American literature. Routledge, 2016.