Degree Name

MA (Master of Arts)

Program

English

Date of Award

8-2002

Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Michael A. Cody

Committee Members

Mark Holland, Judith B. Slagle

Abstract

In the aftermath of King Philip's War, Puritan Mary Rowlandson recorded her experiences as an Indian captive. In a vivid story that recollects the details of these events, Rowlandson attempts to impart a message to her community through the use of a variety of literary techniques. The genre of the Indian captivity narrative is a literary construct that she develops out of the following literary forms that existed at the time of her writing. These are the spiritual autobiography, a documentary method meant to archive spiritual and emotional growth through a record of daily activities; the conversion narrative, which made public one's theological assurance of God's grace; and the jeremiad, a sermon form designed to remind Puritans of their Covenant with God. To her contemporaries, Rowlandson served as an example of God's Providence. To later generations and specifically twenty-first century scholars, she represents America's first female literary prose voice.

Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Copyright

Copyright by the authors.

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