LITR 4328 American Renaissance
lecture notes

 

Civil Disobedience 



Discussion Questions:
Stowe's fiction is great on any account, but for our course purposes it combines a large number of our style and subject terms.


How does
Uncle Tom's Cabin combine domestic sentimentality (Wide, Wide World; Lamplighter) with political activism, particularly as civil disobedience?



domestic sentimentality

1.19 one of those wild, grotesque songs common among the negroes [cf. Douglass, ch. 3?}

1.78 a woman of high class, both intellectually and morally (model, ideal)

1.78 [woman’s influence]

4.2 domesticity in slave cabin    (readers identify = sympathy)

4.78 Tom as Patriarch  (biblical values despite feminine emphasis)

13.65 everything went on so sociably, so quietly, so harmoniously, in the great kitchen

36.28 Legree dreams of mother

40.19 improvised family  (cf. Wide, Wide World & The Lamplighter)


civil disobedience?

7.39-40 passive resistance, non-compliance

[7.51] "Pray for them that 'spitefully use you, the good book says," says Tom.

7.68 Mrs. Shelby's passive resistance

9.23 It's a shameful, wicked, abominable law, and I'll break it, for one, the first time I get a chance

36.64 did only what thought was right

40.43 O, Mas'r! don't bring this great sin on your soul! It will hurt you more than 't will me!

40.53 I forgive ye


How might Stowe's appeal be both Transcendental and Evangelical?


Transcendental

9.115 trans form + narrative



Evangelical

1.8 Tom got religion, camp meeting (2nd Great Awakening)

1.10 'I trust you, because I think you're a Christian

4.78 prayer, enriched with the language of Scripture, which seemed so entirely to have wrought itself into his being


[9.25] "Now, John, I don't know anything about politics, but I can read my Bible; and there I see that I must feed the hungry, clothe the naked, and comfort the desolate; and that Bible I mean to follow." (cf. Levi Coffin )

13.1 quaker domestic utopia

Eliza and child received on equality as family

13.52 love thy neighbor

13.68 first time that ever George had sat down on equal terms at any white man's table

13.69 living gospel



How might her style be both
Romantic and Realistic?

Romantic

9.34-5 reason, x-reason (Romanticism)

13.63 dreamed of a beautiful country

14.18 perfection of childish beauty

marked her out from other children (cf. Wolfe in Life in the Iron Mills)



Realistic

4.3 realistic details

9.121 realistic detail



How did Stowe become (in Lincoln's words) "the little lady who started this big war"? (i.e., the Civil War) What strategies does she use to make white readers sympathize? What does fiction achieve that the slave narratives did not? (For example, her absorption of historical materials like slave narratives or Levi Coffin's Reminiscences.)



How does Stowe manage the sexual nature of slavery for women like Eliza, Cassy, & Emmeline?

1.26 young quadroon woman

1.32 "I don't want to make my fortune on her,"




What qualities distinguish Stowe's style as a great writer?

1.53 'Tan't, you know, as if it was white folks, that's brought up in the way of 'spectin' to keep their children and wives, and all that. Niggers, you know, that's fetched up properly, ha'n't no kind of 'spectations of no kind; so all these things comes easier."

1.78 a woman of high class, both intellectually and morally

36.74 Cassy's touch recalls dream of mother

7.107 narrative

9.115 trans form + narrative





 

 

 

UTC

1.2 class distinctions

1.4 ? "That is the way I should arrange the matter," said Mr. Shelby.

1.8 Tom got religion, camp meeting (2nd Great Awakening)

1.10 'I trust you, because I think you're a Christian

1.14 only hard necessity makes me willing to sell . . . . . x-good masters

1.19 one of those wild, grotesque songs common among the negroes

1.26 young quadroon woman

1.32 "I don't want to make my fortune on her,"

1.41 I'm a humane man

1.44 These critters ain't like white folks, you know; they gets over things, only manage right. [dehumanize]

1.44, 1.46 humane, humanity

1.51 a little humanity

1.53 'Tan't, you know, as if it was white folks, that's brought up in the way of 'spectin' to keep their children and wives, and all that. Niggers, you know, that's fetched up properly, ha'n't no kind of 'spectations of no kind; so all these things comes easier."

1.61 So much for being in debt,—heigho! The fellow sees his advantage, and means to push it."

1.62 no heavier counterpoise than the interests of the helpless and unprotected.

1.63 shadow of law

1.63 humans as things

1.64 speculated largely and quite loosely

1.78 a woman of high class, both intellectually and morally

1.78 [woman’s influence]

1.78 Mr. Shelby no religious character

 


4.2 domesticity in slave cabin

4.3 realistic details

4.6 scriptural prints & portrait of Washington

4.8 large, broadchested, powerfully-made man, of a full glossy black, and a face whose truly African features (cf. Uncas)

4.9 mas'r George

4.78 Tom as Patriarch

prayer, enriched with the language of Scripture, which seemed so entirely to have wrought itself into his being

 

 

7.3 stronger than all was maternal love

7.5 your Harry, mother, or your Willie?

7.12 sublime

7.39-40 passive resistance, non-compliance

[7.51] "Pray for them that 'spitefully use you, the good book says," says Tom.

7.68 Mrs. Shelby's passive resistance

7.102-105 cf. minstrel show, two black crows, cf. Greek comedy of clever slaves

7.107 narrative

7.114 you've got a little boy (sympathy, ID)

7.117 large white house

7.134 shouts of laughter (object of laughter = slave trader)

 

 

9.10-11 Christian legislature? v. woman

9.23 It's a shameful, wicked, abominable law, and I'll break it, for one, the first time I get a chance

9.25 cf. Levi Coffin

9.34-5 reason, x-reason (Romanticism)

9.38 Eliza

9.39 hands as class marker

9.51 Senator breaks own law

9.80 have you ever lost a child?

9.106 your heart is better than your head (Romanticism)

9.108 O mother that reads this!

9.115 trans form + narrative

9.121 realistic detail

9.129 John Van Trompe

9.136 sexual nature of women's slavery

 

 

13.1 quaker domestic utopia

Eliza and child received on equality as family

13.52 love thy neighbor

13.63 dreamed of a beautiful country  (Romanticism, utopia, cf. Dr. King's Dream)

13.64 harmoniously

13.65 everything went on so sociably, so quietly, so harmoniously, in the great kitchen

13.68 first time that ever George had sat down on equal terms at any white man's table

13.69 living gospel

 

 

14.2 headlong tide of business

14.2 river of dreams > reality

14.11 Tom can't write

14.18 perfection of childish beauty

marked her out from other children (cf. Wolfe in Life in the Iron Mills)

14.47 religion a scarce article at our house

 

 

36.16 drink as desensitizing to horrors of slavery (dehumanizing)

36.20 no end to the curse

36.28 Legree dreams of mother

36.40 woman's tact

36.64 did only what thought was right

36.74 Cassy's touch recalls dream of mother

 

 

40.14 "O, great Almighty God! we are all sinners; but what have we done, more than all the rest of the world, that we should be treated so?"

40.19 improvised family

40.36 Speak!

40.43 O, Mas'r! don't bring this great sin on your soul! It will hurt you more than 't will me!

40.53 I forgive ye

40.65 cf. Christ w/ 2 thieves (symbol, elevation)

 

 

Reminiscences of Levi Coffin notes

1 incident in childhood

Virginia & Maryland as slave-rearing states (for deep south)

1a childish sympathy and interest (Romanticism)

my father explained to me the meaning of slavery

1a what if Father . . . ? (family values / sympathetic ID = sympathy)

2 wild and romantic scenery

2a fishing after night; my father protested

4 ninth month, cf. Whitman, A Child Went Forth

4 [nonfiction detail] [realistic detail]

5 meeting-house

6 multiplicity of business (cf. voluntary simplicity)

6 free colored people

6a pursuit and campture--cf. romance narrative? Levi Coffin as romance hero? (righteious competent man)

6a penalty of law x read in the Bible > always safe to do right

6a our house was a depot

6a my wife’s sympathies and feelings same as mine, do her part

(Quaker gender: cf. Fuller 24, 56)

7 Quaker diversity of opinion

8 listening quietly

let my business go (cf. voluntary simplicity)

8a heard him patiently

x-violence in language (modesty, humility)

8a we parted in good feeling

9 trade diminished but new settlements, trade increased

9 deep mud and bad roads cf. Uncle Tom’s Cabin 9.121

11 the Ohio River, where fugitives generally crossed

11-11a extended metaphors for Underground Railroad > preview Lincoln (assignments)

11b domestic situation (food, comfort, hospitality)

11c wife’s sympathy and efforts (cf. Stowe)

11c (anti-Romanticism) real labor and suffering involved; cf 18

clothes for fugitives (x-"negroes")

12 while the north star could not be seen

13 unwilling to tell their stories

13 north star (cf. Douglass 10G.6]

13 Dr. Henry H. Way [realistic detail]

13 on their way to Canada (cf. Eliza)

14 number friendly to fugitives increased in neighborhood (note local nature of Suu Kyi and Thoreau)

15 business influence (cf. separation of church and state) economic sanctions, etc.

15 principles of peace and non-resistance

17 business influence and large acquaintance

17 legal prosecution, law required writ (cf. 14th Amendment)

18 continual excitement and anxiety, but work its own reward; cf. 11c; Civil Disobedience

19 former slave to night-school, progress in learning

20 almost wild when they came in (x-Romantic)

 

 


Coffin 15 principles of peace and non-resistance

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z2005loNRYY

Aung San Suu Kyii of Myanmar / Burma