Chapter 11. Slave Narrative and Captivity Narrative: American Genres

  1. Paul Lauter president
  1. Gordon M. Sayre Professor

Published Online: 16 MAR 2010

DOI: 10.1002/9781444320626.ch11

A Companion to American Literature and Culture

A Companion to American Literature and Culture

How to Cite

Sayre, G. M. (2010) Slave Narrative and Captivity Narrative: American Genres, in A Companion to American Literature and Culture (ed P. Lauter), Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781444320626.ch11

Editor Information

  1. Trinity College (Hartford), UK

Author Information

  1. University of Oregon, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 16 MAR 2010
  2. Published Print: 26 MAR 2010

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780631208921

Online ISBN: 9781444320626

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Keywords:

  • slave narrative and captivity narrative - American Genres;
  • Indian captivity narrative and fugitive slave narrative - arising out of violence in colonial and antebellum North America;
  • strong sentimental appeals, and acute political relevance - genres of non-fiction, and canonical American literature;
  • Bernard Mandeville in An Essay on Charity and Charity Schools (1723) - “Pity is often by our selves and in our own cases mistaken for Charity”;
  • William and Ellen Craft's Running a Thousand Miles for Freedom - using a remarkable ploy, escape of a couple from slavery in Georgia in 1848;
  • captivity narrative, transformation or “transculturation” of captive -applying not only to those who remained in Indian communities;
  • expanding definition of “captivity” or of “slavery” - carrying risk of trivializing the suffering these authors worked so hard to document;
  • Wilson's Our Nig or Elizabeth Ashbridge's 1774, Some Account of the Fore Part of the Life of Elizabeth Ashbridge - degrees of slavery and servitude practiced in early America;
  • episodes of Indian captivity, couple of the earliest published narratives of African-Americans;
  • quest for authenticity, rhetorical game of mirrors, a quest for mastery of a cultural Other

Summary

This chapter contains sections titled:

  • References and Further Reading