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In the Master's Eye: Representations of Women, Blacks, and Poor Whites in Antebellum Southern Literature

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In the Master's Eye: Representations of Women, Blacks, and Poor Whites in Antebellum Southern Literature Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

This book explores the way in which literature can be used to reinforce social power. Through rigorous readings of a series of antebellum plantation novels, Susan J. Tracy shows how the narrative strategies employed by proslavery Southern writers served to justify and perpetuate the oppression of women, blacks, and poor whites. Tracy focuses on the historical romances of six authors: George Tucker, James Ewell Heath, William Alexander Caruthers, John Pendleton Kennedy, Nathaniel Beverley Tucker, and William Gilmore Simms. Using variations on a recurring plot - in which a young planter/hero rescues a planter's daughter from an "enemy" of her class - each of these novelists reinforced an idealized vision of a Southern civilization based on male superiority, white supremacy, and class inequality. It is a world in which white men are represented as the natural leaders of loyal and dependent women, grateful and docile slaves, and inferior poor whites. According to Tracy, the interweaving of these themes reveals the extent to which the Southern defense of slavery in the years leading up to the Civil War was an argument not only about race relations but about gender and class relations as well.

Table of Contents

1. The Antebellum South — 2. The Production of Southern Literature — 3. The Form of Southern Literature — 4. The Genesis of the "Plantation Novel" — 5. Representing Southern Women's Lives — 6. Unmarried Women: The "Belle," Passive Sufferer versus Spirited Woman — 7. Unmarried Women: The "Spinster" and the "Fallen Woman" — 8. Married Woman: Mothers — 9. Widows — 10. Slavery: The "Patriarchal" Institution — 11. The Master-Slave Relationship: Individual Portraits of Slaves — 12. The Problem of Class in Southern Society and Southern Literature — 13. Representations of Poor Whites — 14. The Problem of the Yeoman Farmer.

Product Details

ISBN:
9781122054126
Subtitle:
Representations of Women, Blacks, and Poor Whites in Antebellum Southern Literature
Publisher:
University of Massachusetts Press
Author:
Tracy, Susan Jean
Subject:
main_subject
Subject:
all_subjects
Publication Date:
1995
Binding:
ELECTRONIC
Language:
English
Pages:
307

Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Sociology » General
Humanities » Literary Criticism » General

In the Master's Eye: Representations of Women, Blacks, and Poor Whites in Antebellum Southern Literature
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Product details 307 pages University of Massachusetts Press - English 9781122054126 Reviews:
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