Dissertations and Theses @ UNI

Award Winner

Recipient of the 2010 Outstanding Master's Thesis Award - First Place.

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Open Access Thesis


Captivity narrative, the American genre initiated early in the seventeenth century, tells the story of Europeans abducted by Native Americans in the New England frontier. These texts, however, do not simply tell the subjects' experiences of confinement among the Indians but reveal important relations of power, religion, and politics that took place in Early America. This work analyzes the captivity narratives of Mary Rowlandson, Mary Swarton, John Williams, Mary Jemison, and John Tanner to understand how their experiences were appropriated by third parties in order to meet religious and political ends of their respective times. Following scholars of captivity narrative such as Lorrayne Carroll, this study claims that these captives, with the exception of John Williams, had their voices/experiences impersonated with the objective of forming colonial and national identity formation. Sentimentality and masculinity are also relevant issues in this study. By writing emotion, the male impersonators managed to cover the very rhetorical drag, as Carroll calls it, they employed when writing as the captives. Ultimately, however, it is the emotion employed by the men that will give away the very rhetorical drag they engaged in.

Year of Submission


Year of Award

2010 Award

Degree Name

Master of Arts


Department of Languages and Literatures

First Advisor

Anne Myles, Chair, Thesis Commitee


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Date Original


Object Description

1 PDF file (iv, 103 pages)



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