Chapter

The Beginning They Told

Betty Booth Donohue

in Bradford's Indian Book

Published by University Press of Florida

Published in print November 2011 | ISBN: 9780813037370
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780813042336 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5744/florida/9780813037370.003.0001
The Beginning They Told

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This preface states the book's thesis that American Indians influenced American literature, and delineates the author's methodologies employed to support this claim. To illustrate Of Plimoth Plantation's Native influence, the author reads the history from a Native point of view; analyzes the impact of Indianization upon the colonists; and uses close reading and theories of narratology to shed light upon Bradford's text. She also compares Bradford's text to extant works in the American Indian oral tradition, such as Navajo healing chants and Black Elk's vision recitation. The author evaluates Native–colonial social contact, explains pan-tribal metaphysics and intellectual systems operating in the seventeenth-century New World, and utilizes Native interpretative techniques in reaching her conclusions. In addition to Of Plimoth Plantation, she also discusses Mourt's Relation and Edward Winslow's Good Newes from New England.

Keywords: oral tradition; American Indians; Black Elk; Good Newes; New England; Indianization; Mourt's Relation; Native interpretative techniques; Navajo chants; Of Plimoth Plantation

Chapter.  415 words. 

Subjects: Literary Theory and Cultural Studies

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