The Sovereignty and Goodness of God

by: Mary Rowlandson

Important Quotations Explained

1. It was a solemn sight to see so many Christians lying in their blood, some here and some there, like a company of sheep torn by wolves.

Rowlandson uses these words in the opening section of her narrative when she describes the chaos and devastation of the Indian attack on Lancaster. In one sentence, she conveys the gravity and seriousness of the situation. More important, however, is the simile Rowlandson chooses to describe the scene. In Christian imagery, Jesus is traditionally compared to a shepherd, and his followers are a flock of innocent sheep. By drawing from this imagery, Rowlandson situates her narrative in a biblical framework. By then comparing the Indians to wolves, Rowlandson introduces opposition and dichotomy into her text. The Puritans are innocent, civilized, and domesticated, while the Indians are wild animals.