As we examine the captivity narrative of Mary Rowlandson, we must begin to consider how authors use rhetoric to attempt to successfully achieve their purpose with their target audiences. Before you begin reading Rowlandson’s Captivity Narrative, take five minutes to watch the short video below on Mary Rowlandson and her experience:

As you read the text, be sure to consider what we’ve learned in class over bias and reliability. Analyze the text, looking for three key details:

  • The importance of religion in Mary Rowlandson’s narrative.
  • Evidence of her own bias in the representation of the Native Americans.
  • Her internal conflict, either over her religious beliefs or her changing views of her captors.


Be sure to answer the constructed response prompt for Rowlandson’s text as well:

How does Rowlandson’s understanding of her captors develop during her ordeal? Pay close attention to how her use of imagery and diction indicate this change. Cite textual evidence in your response.




Honors/AP Students – we are beginning to examine an author’s use of rhetoric to achieve a specific purpose – this will be a huge part of AP Language next semester! That means you need to practice the method of SOAPSTone Plus. Begin practicing the SOAPSTone Plus analysis method – you will use it from now until May, and Rhetorical Analysis is an entire section of the AP Language and Composition Exam!


After you have become comfortable with just finding the use of these rhetorical devices, you can begin analyzing texts in the Arch Method. This will streamline you note taking over your analysis, and can be a life saver during the timed Rhetorical Analysis essay on the AP Language and Composition Exam. Below you can find a sample of the Arch Method process, as well as an example of how to conduct the Arch Method Analysis with Mary Rowlandson’s “A Narrative of the Captivity”.

 Arch Method Arch Method Rowlandson

*Click on the images for an enlarged view.