Skip to Content

Article 6

Jessica Workman
University of Central Florida
Susanna Haswell Rowson‟s novel, Reuben and Rachel (1798), offers readers an in-depth look at nation building through the eyes of her female, half Indian characters. The two volumes of the text have very distinct functions. Volume one represents Rowson‟s idealized vision of America; the America where women have active voices, Indians are represented as human beings, and the deserving are rewarded for their suffering. Volume two, on the other hand, represents the America that exists in 1798, full of fear, suffering, savage Indians, and women without voices. Since these volumes are polar opposites of each other, a bridge must exist in the text to unite the two volumes and complete Rowson‟s vision of the nation.