A Social Critique Of Mary Rowlandson's 'Distinction'

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Introduction
Is Knight a ' 'class racist ' ' as Pierre Bourdieu names her in his Distinction: A Social Critique of the Judgement of Taste, or is she a strong woman figure who accomplishes to travel all alone from Boston to New York in the year of 1704? The answer to this question will take shape as I analyze her journey and her encounters in depth. Knight’s Journal illustrates that a woman in the 18th century can complete a rather difficult and long physical journey by herself. Considering the hardships of traveling and restricted possibilities in that era, what she achieves sounds mighty and fearless.
However, in a time when women are seen as submissive, inferior and weak, would Knight have had the privilege to undertake such a risky venture without her husband and her class position? In comparison to Mary Rowlandson’s captivity narrative, Knight stands out as an independent, self-reliant woman who chooses to start a journey through the wilderness on her own free will. On the contrary, Rowlandson portrays herself as a victim who is captivated by Native Americans. But here emerges a very distinctive aspect of their stories, Knight and Rowlandson are in fact both dependent on defining factors of their lives. For Knight, it is her superior position as an upper-class woman, from which she gets her power and influence. In Rowlandson’s case, it is the belief in the providence of God and his grace that give her the strength to endure her situation.
In the following, I will

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