Palimpsest of Desire: The Re-Emergence of the American Captivity Narrative as Pulp Romance

Publication year
Journal of Popular Culture

He offers as symbolic capital a utopian society in which women are valued for their social contributions; where they are sexually assertive members of a group distinctive for cooperation and solidarity; where women and men are helpmates within a (fictionalized) fairly androgynous division of labor. The desire for egalitarian affectional relationship can be realized within the lover’s green world culture; a woman can assert her strongest values and if not meeting with agreement, be seriously heeded.
In the choice of Native American (rather than African-American, Chicano, Puerto Rican, Filipino, or Japanese American) lover, a tension concerning romantic love’s vulnerability to economic instability is avoided. The myth runs that the Native American man lived comfortably off the land, never enslaved by master or lunchbucket. The bounty of the earth, plus his hunting prowess, enabled him and his dependents to live a satisfactory if rough pastoral for thousands of years. (51)