Narrative of Life: View by Mary Rowlandson And Benjamin Franklin

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By the Student

Mary Rowlandson and Benjamin Franklin had clearly mentioned there narrative and struggle of life involved in the Autobiography. They both understand the worth of life and know that from the attack on their life that it can be short, and no one is guaranteed life. They both have stated clear contrast and comparison to their observation of God, Religion, and survival was part a vital of life during the American colonial time.

Rowlandson was a believer in God and his power. She knows the Bible, and She was more “perfect Christian” than Human of her society because She infers that a profit of her sudden losing a child was that “there was more Room,” and she doesn’t empathize the women because she “could not much condole.” Rowlandson also mentions when she took food from the child because it had trouble chewing the tough meat. These two incidents show another side of Rowlandson, but it’s not a side that is unexplainable or not compatible with Mary, the Christian. She also believes that her race is superior to the native race. This all the things conflicts “a good Christian” of Mary when she evidences some definitely “un-Christian” sentiments. (M. Rowlandson 2017)[1] However, In the case of Franklin, there two big things mentioned related to religion: optimistic attitude on his belief in God and attending church have nothing to do with religion. In this context, donating to priests’ plans and attending church isn’t mean being religious, but it’s about believing God, being righteous, and doing good work. Franklin’s sympathetic puzzled by the diverse religious people he comes across, but he doesn’t subscribe to any of their customs. According to Franklin, “Communicating with God in my own way.” (Franklin 2009)[2] Although Franklin had the conflict on organized religion, still he is explaining his belief in God and the practices he follows, he shows himself to be as, if not more, observant “traditional believers.” In his Autobiography, he mentioned that he comes across many religious believers such as Quakers, Moravians, and Dunkers. In early 1600, He presents many practitioners of organized religion in a poor light showing them as more focused on following specific practices and creeds. In another word, – in other words, concentrating on detecting their customs – than on really working on ideas of asset and self-effacement.

History for Indian captivity genre have limited sources, so most of us not more familiar with it. Mary Rowlandson describes How cruel Indian Captive was or How people were Killed, and women were raped by Indians, but it wasn’t the case with her. In this context, Mary Rowlandson mentioned that People being Knocked on the head and carried away from their family. People who resist Indians were killed and women were raped. She faces the cruelty of her mistress, but she wasn’t treated with the same cruelty that her fellow convicts obtained. The first Indian who speaks to her assures her that she won’t be hurt if she comes with them without trouble which was tempered by the kindness of her master who promised to sell her back to her husband. She was feed by other squaws and the various Indians who pay her with food and tradable goods for her sewing. She wasn’t tortured and beaten nor raped by any Indians. (M. M. Rowlandson 2014)[1] On the other hand, Franklin discussed aspects of Native American culture as an ideal manner. For Instance, Young men hunt and protect, old men govern with the wisdom of experience, and women cook and tend to the children. According to him, “These employments of men and women are accounted natural and honorable.” He compares cultural and communication differences between “European American” and “Native American”, and he openly said that European American Society fake the unimportance and uselessness of “civilized” society. During Colonial America, Indenture services were common in which People have servants to work for their master’s. Traditionally, the master was responsible for the servant’s care such as food, clothes, and place to live. However, the increasing growth of the school, and demands for an educational requirement for children. It began to affect the apprenticeship system, so masters were beginning to accept the cost of having the apprentice taught in school. In November 1740, Benjamin Franklin had signed an indenture form that his business accepted his 10-year- old nephew James as his apprentice. First seven-year of an indenture, James was sent to school by his uncle Benjamin before he actually had to work in the printing office. (Franklin, The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin 2014)[2]

In Autobiography of Mary Rowlandson, she mentioned that how do people can exemplify the quintessential American. she was one of the first ladies who talked about narrative and captivity of Indians. In 1676, when King Philip’s (Metacom’s) started a war, She and her kids were captured by the Narraganset Native Americans about three months. In her story, she talks about her struggles in the wasteland. She also lost her whole family including her sister’s family. Her god’s faith makes her realized that she was fortunate to be even alive. That all struggles and survival make her example self-made personality. (M. M. Rowlandson 2014)[1] However, Benjamin Franklin’s life started in his early childhood where he learned and understand the value of education. He had the conflict with his father regarding sea trade, so his father allows him to quit the family and apprentice as a printer under his brother. After a while, he escaped rules of his own brother and became the writer of his own life. His father notices a writing mistake on his son, so he advises Franklin without addressing the subject and corrects his son’s writing. Franklin mentions that his father did not address the topic discussed, regarding respect for franklin’s privacy. (Franklin, The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin 2014)[2]

In these representations, we can see a comparison between Franklin and Rowlandson. They were removed from their own homes and families. They both survive and understand the value of American dreams. In contrast, Franklin removal was on his own terms and understanding. On the other hand, Rowlandson was captured as captive. They both suffered as they no longer had the comfort of which they were accustomed.


[1] Rowlandson, Mary, Mrs. 2014. “A True History of the Captivity and Restoration of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson (1682).” In Classic American Autobiographies, by William L. Andrews. New York: Signet.

[2] Franklin, Benjamin. 2014. “The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin .” In Classic American Autobiographies, by William L. Andrews, 63-76. New York: Penguin Publishing Group.


[1] Rowlandson, Mary. 2017. “The narrative of the captivity and restoration of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson.” The Narrative of the CAPTIVITY and RESTORATION, August 1: 2-44.

[2] Franklin, Benjamin. 2009. “The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin.” In The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin, by Benjamin Franklin. The Floating Press.