AmLit Midterm Review – Capture Narratives

Sept 12 Empire and Myths of Origin

  • Introductory materials: creation stories;
  • Columbus, Letters;
  • De Las Casas, The Very Brief Relation;
  • Cabeza de Vaca, The Relation;
  • Thomas Harriot, A Brief and True Report [1-57]
Sept 14 Captives to Culture: The limits of understanding
  • Mary Rowlandson, Narrative of the Captivity [235-267];
  • “A Notable Exploit”: Hannah Dustin’s Captivity and Revenge [344-352]
Notes – Narrative of the Captivity
Written by her own hand for her private use, and now made public at the earnest desire of some friends, and for the benefit of the afflicted. Deut. 32.39. See now that I, even I am he, and there is no god with me, I kill and I make alive, I wound and I heal, neither is there any can deliver out of my hand.
Narrative of the Captivity…
  • Broken into removes. Remove = each time they move camp.
  • 9th Remove: “But now that was savory to me that one would think was enough to turn the stomach of a brute creature.”
  • Halfway into document – major depression stuff.
    • About this time I began to think that all my hopes of restoration would come to nothing. I thought of the English army, and hoped for their coming, and being taken by them, but that failed. I hoped to be carried to Albany, as the Indians had discoursed before, but that failed also. I thought of being sold to my husband, as my master spake, but instead of that, my master himself was gone, and I left behind, so that my spirit was now quite ready to sink. I asked them to let me go out and pick up some sticks, that I might get alone, and pour out my heart unto the Lord. Then also I took my Bible to read, but I found no comfort here neither, which many times I was wont to find
  • 17thRemove – On eating disgusting stuff:
    • Now is my spirit revived again; though means be never so inconsiderable, yet if the Lord bestow His blessing upon them, they shall refresh both soul and body.
  • Selfish, They say time is money, but really it’s not.
  • She’s vindictive and vengeful and selfish (ie. Doesn’t even realize she should worry about her husband, since he has all his comforts)
  • I understood that Weetamoo thought that if she should let me go and serve with the old squaw, she would be in danger to lose not only my service, but the redemption pay also. And I was not a little glad to hear this; being by it raised in my hopes, that in God’s due time there would be an end of this sorrowful hour.
  • Another squaw gave me a piece of fresh pork, and a little salt with it, and lent me her pan to fry it in; and I cannot but remember what a sweet, pleasant and delightful relish that bit had to me, to this day. So little do we prize common mercies when we have them to the full.
  • Has this arrogant and pretentious writing style. I’m sure we’ll figure it out
  • Wtf @ organization. I stressed like hell about the letter that decides MY FATE but let me take this time to tell you about some cool random things I noticed during my captivity…
  • “And I hope I can say in some measure, as David did, “It is good for me that I have been afflicted.” The Lord hath showed me the vanity of these outward things. That they are the vanity of vanities, and vexation of spirit, that they are but a shadow, a blast, a bubble, and things of no continuance. That we must rely on God Himself, and our whole dependence must be upon Him. If trouble from smaller matters begin to arise in me, I have something at hand to check must be upon Him. If trouble from smaller matters begin to arise in me, I have something at hand to check myself with, and say, why am I troubled? It was but the other day that if I had had the world, I would have given it for my freedom, or to have been a servant to a Christian. I have learned to look beyond present and smaller troubles, and to be quieted under them.

Captivity Narrative II Notes – A Notable Exploit (Dustan)
In comparison to the Rowlandson narrative

  • Less favorable to Christians.
    • If your God will have you delivered, you shall be so!” And it seems our God would have it so to be.
  • Role of the father/husband is kinda pathetic. He’s late rushing to his wife so he just ditches her and tries to go after the kids and save them, but he can’t tell them apart either so fuck it, he’ll just stick around with the lot of them and hope they don’t die.
  • Both use “sqaw” for kids but in this, the writing is almost objective throughout. That one went from babe to papoose when referring to kids, etc
  • Much shorter. Doesn’t glorify Christianity or the person in question like Rowlandson did with herself
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