Rowlandson's Argumentative Essay

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Rowlandson has clearly learned that she cannot persist in her previous attitudes towards food without facing starvation. The squaw was boiling horses’ feet; then she cut me off a little piece and gave one of the English children a piece also. Being very hungry, I had quick- ly eat up mine, but the child could not bite it, it was so tough and sinewy but lay sucking, gnawing, chewing, and slobbering of it in the mouth and hand. Then I took it of the child and ate it myself and savory it was to my taste. (60) In these examples Rowlandson acts towards the English child exactly as the Indians did towards her: she deprived a poor child of food she had previously regarded “filthy,” which clearly suggests her Indianization. Yet another example of Rowlandson’s Indianization may be found in the manner of her escape; Rowlandson employed the Indian barter sys- tem to purchase her freedom, exchanging herself for twenty pounds, which she found while she was with the Indians. Thus, in spite of her denial of being Indianized, her narrative demonstrates her adaptation into the Indian society to survive. Annette Kolodny acutely observes that without the Indians, Rowlandson could not have survived in the wilderness (19). Fitzpatrick concludes that it was only in the wilderness that Rowlandson could achieve a…show more content…
According to Cotton Mather’s short but appalling report, “A Narrative of Hannah Dustan’s Notable Deliverance from Captivity,” Indians “dashed out the brains of [Dustan’s] infant against a tree” (163) and cap- tured Dustan, who has “lain-in about a week” (162). Unlike Rowlandson and other captives, Dustan did not pursue a strategy of docile adaptation to the Indian society. Instead, this bold woman Indianized herself by killing ten Indians while they were asleep, scalping them in the Indian manner of revenge (and perhaps ironically earning a reward of fifty pounds per scalp from the Massachusetts

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