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The Ghost In the Parlor: Harriet Prescott Spofford, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Anna M. Hoyt, and Edith Wharton

Jeffrey Andrew Weinstock

in Scare Tactics

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print September 2008 | ISBN: 9780823229857
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780823241040 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5422/fordham/9780823229857.003.0002
The Ghost In the Parlor: Harriet Prescott Spofford, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Anna M. Hoyt, and Edith Wharton

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This chapter is explicitly about violence. It deals with stories about women, children, and even animals that are confined, murdered, and abused by fathers, husbands, and presumed protectors — and about restless spirits that mutely testify to these transgressions. In this chapter the author divides his attention between well-established authors and lesserknown or virtually unknown figures. He does so for three reasons: first, to establish that these concerns about the roles of women in American culture were shared by a range of female authors; second, to reread familiar authors in light of the broader context of supernatural fiction by American women; and third, to direct attention to authors and works that he feels have been unjustly neglected. As the chapter progresses, the scope of the critique broadens. Whereas Spofford and Stowe focus specifically on the plight of women, Hoyt includes children, and Wharton, most damningly of all, extends the analysis to animals.

Keywords: violence; women; children; animals; spirits; supernatural fiction; Edith Wharton; Harriet Prescott Spofford; Harriet Beecher Stowe; Anna M. Hoyt

Chapter.  14052 words. 

Subjects: Literature

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