The dominant Puritan typification of captivity gained its influence from both social and cultural sources: It bore the authority of those who articulated it—the clerical elite—as well as the hegemonic system of assumptions regarding savagery, civility, and gender embedded within it. To be sure, there are significant variations among the Puritan narratives: Row-landson’s concreteness and attention to her own spiritual state as mirrored in her mistress; Cotton Mather’s abstractness and attention to the collective failings that had called forth God’s wrath; Williams’s preoccupation with the Jesuit and Indian threat to his congregation and children. But all offer a providential interpretation of captivity, one that typically sees God as chastising and delivering New England as his chosen people. This is true even of Rowlandson’s spiritual autobiography, if the anonymous preface and the providential conclusion that frame her narrative are taken into account.