The Captivity of Mary Rowlandson and Olaudah Equiano
Mary Rowlandson and Olaudah Equiano have two of the most interesting captivity stories that history has to offer. They both understand that they have been taken captive and will somehow have to assimilate themselves with the culture they have been brought into, as well as trying to keep their own faith and identities. These morals and faith will be tested extremely often in the lives of these two people through the stories and interactions they describe in their books. Olaudah Equiano and Mary Rowlandson learn to use their religious faith and also incorporate the culture and lives of their captives as well in order to stay alive and fend for themselves in the tough situation they are forced into.
Equiano and Rowlandson’s religious values were likely the most important factor in keeping their moral spirits up during their time in captivity. Firstly, when Equiano describes his life he states, “As to religion…there is one creator of all things, and that he lives in the sun, and is girded round with a belt that he may never eat or drink…” Equiano is explained how the how the people in his Native country view God and view religion in general. This is extremely important because it is
stated very early in the book and the reader knows that Equiano has some kind of religious background. In addition, Mary Rowlandson’s faith in God and religion was shown when she said, “God was with me, in a wonderfull manner, carrying me along, and bearing up my spirit, that it did not quite fail.” She said this during a time in the book when she is in a state of great sadness. She had just been separated from her family and her daughter Sarah had died at the hands of the “savage” Indians. This quote is a perfect example of how she is using her identity of religion as a kind of morale booster in her time of extreme sorrow. Finally, Rowlandson, Equiano, and Anne Hutchinson all have in common the fact that...