American Literature 8/24
American Literature 8/24 ENGL 2260 - 009
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This 2 page Class Notes was uploaded by Hannah Notetaker on Wednesday August 24, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to ENGL 2260 - 009 at Auburn University taught by TBA in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 5 views.
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Date Created: 08/24/16
“Editha" “Edith” by Howells 1880’s 1890’s - spanish american war going on during the set of “Edith” by Howells going into the post-reconstruction period; also known as the lowest point in African American history - Nadir period - most amount of mass violence during that period Howells is frustrated with the violence going on during the country (he was out of the country during the Civi War) and the violence that comes with the post-reconstruction period language easier to understand because less dialect - diﬀerence in class status than in Twain’s “Jumping Frog” and the reader can infer they are of a higher class because he was a lawyer, she had an engagement ring, and the setting of the scenes George — pushover because his actions go against everything his heart stands for; additionally though, he did everything to save his engagement even though if Editha would have truly loved him she wouldn’t have made him go; he never was for the war and by trying to live up to this idealistic version of a soldier (or Editha’s version of one) he gets himself killed whatever the newspaper spews, Editha also has to go along with - sign of propaganda the word “glorious” if used many times to describe the war or the war feeling passages about thinking or not thinking are always attached to women in literature from this age - Howells even uses the term”silly” to make the reader think that women are ﬂighty and not of sound mind the note she wrote to George — “he had to love his country more than her” and she expects for certain events to play out because of the note she is emotional and not thinking clearly which is what men thought of woman at the time also hard to tell if she has always had patriotism or if it is just spurred because of the war happening why did she give him the letter even though he came home and had joined and was made captain? she did it not only to prove she was right and incase he ever changed his mind, but also he will know how much it means to him and how much he loves her through the letter with the letter comes deﬁnitions of manhood and womanhood — men are “supposed” to go oﬀ and ﬁght in the war and want to ﬁght in the war, but he goes because she wants him to go, is this less manly than staying because he doesn’t believe in the war? George sacriﬁces all his beliefs so that he can be seen as good enough for her; we don’t know if he considered death as an option The Cult of True Womanhood idea pushed by man, especially in the 1880s when this text was set Piety - morally upright, religious Purity - innocence, virginity appearance Domesticity - able to take care of the home Submissiveness - man has authority in the home and the woman listens Editha does not live up to these virtues George’s mother does not mess around when George dies, she realizes that war results in death and she tells Editha to take the black oﬀ because this is the reality and you have to live with it - she has already experienced war and therefore tried to teach George that war was not a good thing
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