Crane and the Tyranny of Twelve

Michael T. Gilmore

in The War on Words

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print July 2010 | ISBN: 9780226294131
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226294155 | DOI:
Crane and the Tyranny of Twelve

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Stephen Crane published his classic novel about the Civil War, The Red Badge of Courage, in 1895, a full three decades after hostilities ended. Crane's tale, a major document of American realism, incarnates the ex post facto spirit. Crane's novella of a black stable hand who loses his face while saving a white child alerts us to another element in the postbellum détente that hampered dissent: the modernized reach of the doxa. The Red Badge of Courage and The Monster were both products of the post-Reconstruction depths, a temporal congruity too often overlooked in their usual isolation as narratives about, respectively, the Civil War and small-town parochialism. The Monster (1899) was also the context for his reimagining of the clash between North and South. The tale about the ostracizing of a physician for his allegiance to a damaged black stable hand is a strongest evidence for Crane's alienation from his culture's ideological rigidities.

Keywords: Stephen Crane; Civil War; The Red Badge of Courage; American realism; postbellum; The Monster

Chapter.  5782 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (19th Century)

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