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Because the narrative is from Mary Rowlandson's point of view, the story could be completely different if it were told by an outside observer. This is the nature of a captivity narrative. It has value, not because it is historically accurate, but because it captures the perceptions of a person living through particularly harrowing historical experiences.
Scholars such as Gary Ebersole and Kathryn Derounian-Stodola have noted the similarities between Rowlandson's narrative and the Puritan jeremiad, and have considered the editorial influence that Increase Mather might have had on the text. In fact, many scholars identify Mather as the anonymous writer of "The Preface to the Reader," which was originally published with the narrative. In recent scholarship, Billy J. Stratton has further elaborated on this stream of thought, claiming that Mather may have had a much more extensive involvement in the book's production than has been previously believed.  Others argue that this perception is revisionist thinking based on today's perception of the Puritan past. Throughout the narrative of Rowlandson's captivity, the central influence of Puritan philosophy is displayed through the use of Biblical quotations that function to reinforce her descriptions of a world of stark dichotomies: punishment and retribution, darkness and light, and good and evil. The prevalent use of scripture throughout the narrative often functioned as a source of strength and solace for Rowlandson. The lessons and meaning conveyed also acted to demonstrate her Puritan faith and belief that God's grace and providence shape the events of the world. For example, when Rowlandson did not know where her children were (or even whether they were alive), she stated, "And my poor girl, I knew not where she was, not whether she was sick, or well, or alive, or dead. I repaired under these thoughts to my Bible (my great comfort in that time) and that scripture came to my hand, 'Cast thy burden on the Lord, and He shall sustain thee' (Psalm )."