Criticism: Captivity Narratives And Native Americans - Essay

Colin Ramsey (essay date 1994)

(Literary Criticism (1400-1800))

SOURCE: Ramsey, Colin. “Cannibalism and Infant Killing: A System of ‘Demonizing’ Motifs in Indian Captivity Narratives.” Clio 24, no. 1 (fall 1994): 55-68.

[In the essay below, Ramsey links captivity narratives with the demonizing of Native Americans during the Puritan era.]

The Puritan phase of the Indian captivity narrative, both in its binary “good vs. evil” oppositions and in its imagery, established the paradigm for much of the subsequent development of the Indian captivity narrative form—helping to fix particular (and ethnocentric) views of the Indian in the American imagination, and thereby making those same images and motifs readily available for...

(The entire section is 5190 words.)

Robin Riley Fast (essay date 1999)

(Literary Criticism (1400-1800))

SOURCE: Fast, Robin Riley. “Resistant History: Revising the Captivity Narrative in ‘Captivity’ and Blackrobe: Isaac Jogues.American Indian Culture and Research Journal 23, no. 1 (winter 1999): 69-86.

[In the following essay, Fast examines the modern poetry of Native Americans Louise Erdrich and Maurice Kenny, which attempts to re-read the captivity narratives written by Europeans.]

Many contemporary American Indian writers are engaged in the shared project of complicating and revising the received history of the Americas. Kimberly Blaeser reminds us that survival is at stake here when she says that “the creation and interpretations of histories have...

(The entire section is 8480 words.)