Date of Award

Fall 12-8-2016

Degree Type


Degree Name

MA English




Mary Balkun, Ph.D

Committee Member

John Wargacki, Ph.D


Early American Literature, Consume, Mary Rowlandson, Captivity Narrative


This paper traces the theme of consumption throughout Mary White Rowlandson’s captivity narrative The Sovereignty and Goodness of God. From Rowlandson’s fear of actual cannibalism at the outset of the work, her obsession with recording the strange foods she consumes, her status as a consumer of Algonquin culture, and lastly, the consumption of the novel by both contemporary and modern readers alike, consumption becomes the leitmotif of the text. A closer analysis elucidates that the fear of consumption truly belies a fear of colonialism and the cultural exchanges taking place at the frontier.



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