Literary Analysis Of Louise Erdrich's 'Captivity'

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Captivity is defined as the state of being imprisoned or confined. A tragic experience is given a whole new perspective from Louise Erdrich 's poem, “Captivity”. Through descriptive imagery and a melancholic tone, we can see the poem and theme develop in her words. Erdrich takes a quote from Mary Rowlandson’s narrative about her imprisonment by the Native Americans and her response to this brings readers a different story based off of the epigraph. Louise Erdrich compiles various literary devices to convey her theme of sympathy, and her poem “Captivity” through specific and descriptive language brings a whole new meaning to Mary Rowlandson’s narrative. Erdrich’s use of strong imagery and sensory language leads to striking and vivid diction in her poem. Painting a picture of what this tragic scene looked like while she also gives light to the actual situation going on, asserts the story Erdrich is trying to get across. She begins with “The stream was…show more content…
From here, a uniform mood and tone is set throughout the poem and can be seen heavily in not only the choice of words but, also the plot and structure of the poem. The theme of sympathy is really conveyed through Erdrich’s melancholic tone. Throughout the poem, we see a very gloomy and melancholic tone set by the events happening.“Until I could no longer bear / the thought of how I was” (51-52), these two lines portray her battle after she is rescued and how instead of her relief she is feeling a longing to be back with her captors. Lines similar to these two lead embody why the tone is so gloomy and sad especially when readers see the battle she is experiencing because she is safe now, away from her captors but, she doesn 't really want to be. The melancholic tone leads to sympathy as we can see the narrator having feelings towards her captors and the sadness of the situation and her sympathy is shown through the tone in this
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