Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Shades of Hybridity in Mary Rowlandson's Captivity Narrative

 “Towards night I gathered some sticks for my own comfort, that I might not lie a-cold” (Rowlandson P. 125) Rowlandson is more accustomed to a mattress. However, her options are limited amongst the Natives. She can either sleep on the cold dirt in a New England winter, or she can adapt to her new situation.
Rowlandson could not depend upon the aforementioned random acts of kindness, but relished them when they came. Rowlandson recounts a bitterly cold day when she could not find a place by the fire. Though the Natives intended to ransom her, they did not seem highly concerned with her health. Luckily, some took pity on her. Rowlandson writes “…but the squaw laid a skin for me, and bid me sit down, and gave me some ground nuts, and bade me come again…” (Rowlandson P. 14) Here, Rowlandson shows how she, at times, is communal with the Natives, forging relationships, however fleeting.

It is important to emphasize these points due to the above mentioned “Contact Zones.” The Young Englishman dying of a flux is also a captive, but did not fare well in this new world. Part of it was out of the Natives control, but part of it was not. Rowlandson is given a place by the fire, but the young Englishman is left half-clothed and sick in the mud. Hybridity is opened to Rowlandson, but not to the young Englishman. 

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