Indian Captivity on the Ideological Frontier

Abstract:
Since the publication of Mary Rowlandson's The Soveraignty and Goodness of God..., in 1682, the Indian captivity narrative has operated as an influential component of American literary, historical and cultural discourse. From the seventeenth century to the present, the metaphors, symbols and the implicit ideologies of the Indian captivity narrative have had a powerful influence on the development of an expansionist American. As a result, the operant binary of the bloodthirsty savage and the civil Euro-American has become a common feature of discourses in which indigenous subjects are represented in history, literature and through the media, while also serving as a primary textual justification for territorial expansion, and as an implicit alibi for concomitant destruction of American Indian societies and ways of life.

Author: 

Billy J. Stratton

Chair: 

Barbara Babcock

Publication: 

thesis

Year: 

2004

Arizona State Museum: 

M9791 S87i
College of Social and Behavioral Sciences