Roy Harvey Pearce (essay date 1947-48)
SOURCE: Pearce, Roy Harvey. “The Significances of the Captivity Narrative.” American Literature 19 (1947-48): 1-20.
[In the following essay, Pearce examines the evolution of the style and intent of captivity narratives, from religious confessional to pulp thriller, and argues that they provide a window into American popular culture.]
The narrative of Indian captivity has long been recognized for its usefulness in the study of our history and, moreover, has even achieved a kind of literary status. Generally it has been taken as a sort of “saga,” something which somehow is to be understood as expressive of the Frontier Mind—whatever that may be.1 But...
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