Chapter

/ Color, Race, and the Spectacle of Opinion in Beaumont's <i>Marie</i>

Jennifer Greiman

in Democracy's Spectacle

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print January 2010 | ISBN: 9780823230990
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780823241156 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5422/fordham/9780823230990.003.0003

Series: American Literatures Initiative

/ Color, Race, and the Spectacle of Opinion in Beaumont's Marie

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Gustave de Beaumont's novel, Marie, or, Slavery in the United States, opens with the frank admission that “a single idea dominates the work and forms the central point around which all the developments are arranged.” Beaumont finds in the United States a “double element” — an institution of slavery created and maintained by the state, and a customary practice of racial exclusion and debasement which he finds to be ubiquitous in public life. Beaumont elaborates on the “single idea” that motivates and dominates the text, not with the careful analysis that he so admires in Tocqueville, but with an account of a theatrical spectacle that marks the origin of the work.

Keywords: Gustave de Beaumont; Marie or Slavery in the United States; double element; slavery; Tocqueville; racial exclusion; United States

Chapter.  20160 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (19th Century)

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