The Reluctant Embrace of American Missionary Imperialism in James Michener’s <i>Hawaii</i>

Albert H. Tricomi

in Missionary Positions

Published by University Press of Florida

Published in print March 2011 | ISBN: 9780813035451
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780813039640 | DOI:
The Reluctant Embrace of American Missionary Imperialism in James Michener’s Hawaii

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This chapter brings into the limelight James Michener's novel Hawaii. This novel is regarded to be as much a narrative of American triumphalism as it is a narrative of Hawaii's people. Michener tries to find the idealistic spirit of America in the America's missionary activity in Hawaii. Apart from being a romantic saga, the novel also strives to discover the spirit of America in Hawaii's social history. The novel follows the lives of foremost American missionaries to Hawaii. Being a multigenerational novel, Hawaii moves rapidly tracing Hawaiian history to the late-nineteenth-century period when a group of American businessmen planned to have Hawaii captured by the United States.

Keywords: James Michener; Hawaii; American triumphalism; missionary activity; multigenerational novel; nineteenth century; United States

Chapter.  8629 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Literary Theory and Cultural Studies

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