American literature | Critical Essay by Richard Vanderbeets

This literature criticism consists of approximately 21 pages of analysis & critique of American literature.
This section contains 6,262 words
(approx. 21 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Richard Vanderbeets

Critical Essay by Richard Vanderbeets

SOURCE: Vanderbeets, Richard. “The Indian Captivity Narrative as Ritual.” American Literature 43, no. 4 (January 1972): 548-62.

In the essay below, Vanderbeets urges readers to view captivity narratives as a unified genre built upon common rituals.

All civilized peoples have recognized the value of tempering their joys with a play or story chronicling the misfortunes and tragedies of others. Because the earliest Americans countenanced neither play-acting nor the unhealthy influences of the novel, they wrote and read true tales of tragedy and horror in the form of disasters, plagues, and shipwrecks—and of Indian massacres and captivities. As the frontier pushed westward under continuing conflict the tales of Indian captivity accompanied it, gradually becoming our first literature of catharsis in an era when native American fiction scarcely existed. The immense popularity of the Indian captivity narratives in their...

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This section contains 6,262 words
(approx. 21 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Richard Vanderbeets
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