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Peter Rugg the Missing Man Study Guide

Autor:   •  April 3, 2011  •  Study Guide  •  314 Words (2 Pages)  •  3,180 Views

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Title: Peter Rugg the Missing Man

Author: William Austin

Year of Publication: 1824

Characters:

Peter Rugg: A stubborn man who is cursed into riding a carriage pulled by a black horse for all of eternity after he left the house of a friend during a thunderstorm and swore he would reach Boston by nightfall

Jonathan Dunwell: ‘narrator' of the story. Begins in a letter written by him that explains hi encounter with Peter Rugg

Jenny: Peter Rugg's daughter, who although she didn't make an oath like Peter did, is also forced to ride on the carriage until the end of time.

Plot:

The story starts out in a letter from Jonathan Dunwell who gives an account of his encounter with Peter Rugg, who is riding a carriage and being followed by a relentless storm cloud, asking the way to Boston. Peter Rugg was on his way home from Concord in 1770 when he rode into a violent thunderstorm. Although his friend in Menotomy [present day Arlington] asked him to stay the night, but Peter swore he would reach home that night, or never again. Since then, many have claimed to see Peter Rugg and a little girl traveling the streets, asking impatiently the way to Boston. Eventually, Peter came to an auction where he had lived fifty-five years later. He realized that his home was gone, and the ‘new world' [after the War of Independence] was not a place for him.

Themes:

Alienation- Peter Rugg is an outcast who will never see home again

- He is ignorant to what is happening back home and in the United States; the War of Independence has happened and the States are no longer under the reign

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