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Word Count: 979
Louise Erdrich the author of the famous poem titled Captivity tells a story about a married mother who has been held captive by a tribe of Indians The poem uses a wide variety of literary elements such as sympathy guilt submissiveness and tentativeness The two main themes of this first person six-stanza poem are love and fear Erdrich also uses tricksters which are supernatural characters found in the folklores of various primitive peoples They often function as culture heroes who are given acts of sly deception In this poem the narrators captor takes on the role of a trickster In most of Erdrichs writings she uses multiple characters as tricksters and this reflects on her Native American Heritage Smith 23 One of Erdrichs main writing tactics is the use of historical captivity narratives Wilson and Jason 2716 One of the interesting facts about this poem is that it is based upon a true story Erdrich gives us that feeling of truth and captivity before the poem begins He my captor gave me a bisquit which I had put in my pocket and not daring to eat it buried it under a log fearing he had put something in it to make me love him Erdrich 26 This quote came from the narrative of the captivity of Mrs Mary Rowlandson Erdrich 26 Mrs Mary was held captive by the Wampanoag Indian Tribe in 1676 when Lancaster Massachusetts was demolished Erdrich 26 The first stanza brings a strong feeling of some sort of imprisonment or captivity But he dragged me by the ends of my hair Erdrich 26 The narrator at this point is experiencing fear from her captor however she also feels passion and love when she looks into his face I could distinguish it from the others I feared I understood his language which was not human Erdrich 26 Also there is irony in this stanza when her captor saves her from the cold waters
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