The Unredeemed Captive Essay

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Pages: 5

John Demos, The Unredeemed Captive: A Family Story From Early America, (First Vintage Books, April 1995)

John Demos in a sense presents themes that are entirely familiar and conventional. The themes of sin, retribution, and repentance are very prevalent in his writing. The loss of piety, the failure of spiritual nerve, the absolute necessity of reform; and the certainty of God's punishment if reform was not achieved appear throughout his book (Demos). (In this instance, Eunice's failure to return to her native land is putting her at risk in the eyes of God). For approximately 60 years John Williams who had been a captive for almost two years, and is one of the main characters of the story writes different letters, sermons, in an
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(The Indians – her captors) Eunice lives still fearful of possible recapture (Demos 191). Ironically, she lives in fear of being convinced to return to the English ways.
Since the Indians used various means of connecting themselves to each other such as the practice of God parenting, the Clan system, and celebrating with particular friends, Eunice felt included. The various names used by the Kahnawake directly reflect the ambiguity of their cultural and geographical placement and extraordinary complexity of their history. Mohawk and Iroquois Indians were Christian to a degree. They were also French in a limited sense. These Indians lived in social harmony. On p.190, Demos indicates that the cultures are blending in an effort to connect. "Arosen lights a pipe from the fire." "Stephen begins a prayer" (Demos 190). Also, Eunice and Arosen sat on a pew Sunday in church to listen to her Brother Stephen's sermon (Demos 194). Stephen finally learns to respect Eunice's choice of staying with the captors. At the end of one of his farewells he states: "Lord give them a prosperous journey and farewell my sister, and amen" (Demos 196).
Again, on another farewell, Stephen states: "Lord be pleased to bless my poor Sister Eunice and graciously bring her and hers home to thyself" (Demos 207). The author uses the many wars in the novel to illustrate the profound mark left in human terms. There was both loss and gain. Many fighting men died, and many more captives were