Bucknell University Press, pp. The Historicism of Charles Brockden Brown:
In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content: As either a generic category or a set of textual conventions, it can define the foundational crimes of the nation, unveil authorial intention in psychobiographical form, or relate a mythic struggle of Manichean proportions.
Ever since Fiedler first turned Indian slaughter, revolutionary patricide, and the slave trade into the gothic novel's privileged referents, American literary criticism has read gothic tropes as the gnawings of a guilty national conscience, where any fantasy of a cohesive narrative—whether that of history, the nation, or the subject—is interrupted by traumatic counternarratives.
More recent criticism has updated Fiedler from multiculturalist and historicist perspectives. I would like to question the presumption of guilt on the grounds that psychologically inflected readings that tease out embedded allusions to an infamous and displaced past do little to explain why the gothic had such a strong and enduring appeal for an American readership.
To devise such a model, Brown calls attention to the fact that John Locke's society of self-governing individuals assumes that its constituent members all meet the criteria of rational individualism as laid out in An Essay Concerning Human Understanding Likewise, he makes the reader versed in British letters aware of the limits of the community imagined by Adam Smith.
Sympathetic exchange can only take place between individuals who are likely to respond to emotional display in approximately the same way—a community, in short, based on resemblance rather than on difference. These assumptions turn both sympathy and the contract into exclusive forms of community.
Recognizing the limitations of Enlightenment models for a country built from diverse cultural, religious, and social traditions, Brown sets about reconfiguring these models to suit the interests of an American readership. Taking Arthur Mervyn as a test case, I want to show that gothic tropes effectively displace the Enlightenment individual with one that is porous, fluid, and projected beyond the metaphysical boundaries of the body.
The yellow fever, operating according to the principles of circulation and convergence, proves an apt metaphor for this alternative social organism.
Just as the disease invades people and changes the way they are constituted, so this social body invades and transforms other models of community. In Arthur Mervyn, the plague spreads from Philadelphia to the homogenous country household of the Hadwin family, exposing sympathy as an absolute basis of collectivity that collapses when called upon to incorporate radical difference and diversity.
Indeed, the ghastly fate of the Hadwins indicates Brown's deep skepticism about the sentimental household, especially when it offers itself as a model of the community at large.
Rather than pathologize the yellow fever for its ability to destroy this domestic space, I want to consider its potential as an alternative model of social relations precisely because it allows feeling to pass unimpeded between subjects. According to my reading of Brown, the gothic offers a model of community that spoke to the interests of a diverse immigrant populace assembled in close proximity in urban centers at the turn of the eighteenth century.
If you would like to authenticate using a different subscribed institution that supports Shibboleth authentication or have your own login and password to Project MUSE, click 'Authenticate'. You are not currently authenticated. View freely available titles:Guilt in Charles Brockden Browns’ Wieland Essay - Guilt in Charles Brockden Browns’ Wieland There are many ways to decide what makes a man guilty.
In an ethical sense, there is more to guilt than just committing the crime.
Charles Brockden Brown’s novel, Edgar Huntly; or Memoirs of a Sleepwalker, challenges Jefferson’s democratic geography, most evident in Edgar’s purposeful confusion of the Pennsylvania landscape, which Jefferson labored to organize and.
Charles Brockden Brown's Wieland; or, The Transformation () and Edgar Huntly; or, Memoirs of a Sleep-Walker () are propelled by disorientations of the nature of evil.
These early American novels work through an exploration of law (particularly that of murder) and the environmental uncanny, contributing to the "eco-gothic," which has roots in Calvinist and Puritan discourses concerning. Narration Techniques Add Interest in Charles Brockden Brown's Wieland In today's popular horror movies, one common element is that the audience always knows what is going to happen.
The main character, of course, is clueless. strain and guilt. Some men struggled immensely with the shifts occurring in the public and private social systems and sadly experienced mental turmoil, which led some to commit familicide.
While history is a vital part ofthe discussion within the paper, it is Charles Brockden Brown's Wieland and Stephen King'sThe Shining that are directly. Wieland Charles Brockden Brown Wieland essays are academic essays for citation.
These papers were written primarily by students and provide critical analysis of Wieland by Charles Brockden Brown.