Mimetic removal in early national American poetry.
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Utilizing René Girard’s concept of mimetic desire, and looking at the historical removal of Native Americans, provides insight into a concept called mimetic removal. Poetry by Josias Lyndon Arnold, Philip Freneau, and Royall Tyler is analyzed within the framework of mimetic removal. These Euro-American poets wrote about Native Americans in a way that allowed white Americans to simultaneously appropriate a sense of identity from Native Americans and metaphysically remove Indians from the presence of whites. Using mimetic removal allowed Arnold, Freneau, and Tyler to both appropriate Native American identity and distance Indians from their white readers.