By Jennifer A. Williamson
Today’s severe institution assumes that sentimentalism is an eighteenth- and nineteenth-century literary mode that each one yet disappeared via the 20 th century. during this e-book, Jennifer Williamson argues that sentimentalism is alive and good within the smooth period. by means of studying working-class literature that adopts the rhetoric of “feeling correct” with the intention to advertise a proletarian or humanist ideology in addition to neo-slave narratives that combat with the legacy of slavery and cultural definitions of African American households, she explores the methods modern authors interact with regularly occurring sentimental clichés and ideals.
Williamson covers new floor through reading authors who're now not typically learn for his or her sentimental narrative practices, contemplating the proletarian novels of Grace Lumpkin, Josephine Johnson, and John Steinbeck along neo-slave narratives written by means of Margaret Walker, Octavia Butler, and Toni Morrison. via cautious shut readings, Williamson argues that the appropriation of soppy modes permits either sympathetic suggestion and systemic motion within the proletarian and neo-slave novels less than dialogue. She contrasts appropriations that facilitate such cultural paintings with those who don't, together with Kathryn Stockett’s novel and movie The Help. The ebook outlines how sentimentalism is still a achievable and demanding technique of selling social justice whereas concurrently spotting and exploring how sentimentality can additional white privilege.
Sentimentalism isn't just alive within the 20th century. it's a flourishing rhetorical perform between a number of twentieth-century authors who use sentimental strategies with a purpose to entice their readers a few variety of social justice matters. This e-book demonstrates that at stake of their appeals is who's inside and out of the yank relatives and nation.
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Twentieth-Century Sentimentalism: Narrative Appropriation in American Literature (The American Literatures Initiative) by Jennifer A. Williamson