As I have learned in this class a fair amount of writings and novels in general are literatures of contact, usually involving the meeting of two or more distinct groups or cultures. A reaction such as this often has a desirable byproduct, an alluring text that shares similarities and also differences of the groups and cultures that it blends together so eloquently. Furthermore, when a text is spawn from such a situation one tends to notice many of the text-specific patterns and archetypes that are present. In this paper I would like to thoroughly examine these text specific patterns and bring them to the attention of the reader using various examples and quotes. The two pieces I am going to pay attention to are Mary Rowlandson's narrative in Women's Indian Captivity Narratives and Harriet Jacobs narrative in Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglas, An American Slave & Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl.
The first piece to be dissected is Mary Rowlandson's Indian narrative. Here we have two distinct and very dissimilar groups, the overzealous religiously engulfed Puritans and the devilishly savage Indians. This piece borne a few text-specific patterns, the first to seize my attention was the capitalization of certain nouns and the letting alone of other. ".it was the dolefullest day that ever mine eyes saw." (Rowlandson 12), here there is no capitalization of the nouns day and eyes, and the pronoun it but in the next example the noun capitalization becomes evident, "The House stood upon the edge of a Hill; some of the Indians got behind the Hill, others into the Barn- (Rowlandson 12). What I had acquired after examining this pattern is that Rowlandson tends to capitalize certain nouns in order to place a greater emphasis on them, forcing them to stand out amongst the rest of the text and imprinting them in the mind of the reader. This leads me to my next observation- a large amount of the piece is written in prose.