She authored several books, two of which were abolitionist novels: Or Life of the Lowly and Dred: A Tale of the Great Dismal Swamp
General Commentary Feminism in Literature: Divine Matriarchy in Harriet Beecher Stowe. I Confronting her New England religious heritage with more personal credulity than Hawthorne ever did his, the seventh child of Lyman and Roxana Beecher found herself engaged in a lifelong struggle to assimilate—and to remake—her ancestral Calvinism.
Deficient in several crafts of the belletristic novelist, Stowe yet knew how to infuse her writing with the powerful rhetoric of conversion preaching. In fact, her best fiction often shows a temper closer to symbolic romance than to novelistic realism, with the author drawing on mythic and personal energies to sustain her heightened rhetoric.
At one level, of course, this paean to motherly love betrays the influence of a post-revivalist and sentimental Christianity, of emerging bourgeois values, and of feeling loosed from all strictures of logic. That Stowe reflected deeply on the Marian Madonna is a little-known fact one might not have predicted in a woman of her era, place, and religious background.
She shared this interest with her brothers Charles and Henry Ward Beecher. She remarked elsewhere that this picture "formed a deeper part of my consciousness than any I have yet seen. Her Marian attitudes help to clarify, in turn, the distinctive sort of domestic, matrifocal feminism that informs her fictions.
Thus accommodating Marian piety to Protestant orthodoxy, Stowe sought to refashion her inherited Calvinism into what she conceived to be a more encompassing Christianity.
To allow unscriptural legends, iconography, and pagan associations to image a Mary who overshadows Jesus is, she charges, a grave mistake. For Stowe, the woman highly favored is no timeless goddess but a figure of history. It helps to explain not only her Protestant reluctance to view Mary as an autonomous goddess, but also her arresting insistence on the feminine character of Jesus.
Accordingly, "there was in Jesus more of the pure feminine element than in any other man.
It was the feminine element exalted and taken in union with divinity. She dedicates her verses on "The Sorrows of Mary" quite explicitly "to mothers who have lost sons in the late war,"13 and surely the "anguish of disappointed hopes"14 that pierced the stabat mater was comprehensible to a mother who in lost one son to plague and in another, nineteen years old, to death by drowning in the Connecticut River.
She confesses she is attracted, for example, by the mythic tradition of the Greek Church that "Mary alone of all her sex was allowed to enter the Holy of Holies, and pray before the ark of the covenant. But she is careful to distance herself from Catholic allegiances, observing that the Mariological excesses of the Roman Church "have tended to deprive the rest of the world of a great source of comfort and edification by reason of the opposite extreme to which Protestant reaction has naturally gone.
Warned as Mary had been that on account of her male child "a sword will pierce through your soul,"18 Eliza nonetheless enjoys almost miraculous protection as she flees from bondage across the Ohio River, her figurative Jordan and Red Seaon dancing icefloes.
Yet ironically, he patronizes his wife as having more heart than head, just as Haley dismisses Mrs. Even more than Mrs. Shelby or Mary Bird, Rachel Halliday, whose comfort Eliza enjoys in the Quaker settlement, presents an image of archetypal maternity.
As Jane Tompkins observes, Halliday personifies for Stowe something of divine presence because as she is "seated in her kitchen at the head of her table, passing out coffee and cake for breakfast, Rachel Halliday, the millennarian counterpart of little Eva, enacts the redeemed form of the last supper.
Or at least one could argue that the childsaint Eva, who is evidently a holy virgin, qualifies metaphorically as a mother by virtue of her role in mediating the new birth to characters such as Topsy, Miss Ophelia, and her father Augustine.Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin: A Casebook by Elizabeth Ammons, Harriet Beecher Stowe General for the Series: The Casebooks in Criticism introduce readers to the essential criticism on landmark works of literature and film.
Sep 21, · Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin by Elizabeth Ammons, , available at Book Depository with free delivery worldwide.4/4(4). Elizabeth Ammons Harriet H. Fay Professor of Literature Director of Graduate Studies.
Education Critical Essays on Harriet Beecher Stowe (), The Unruly Voice: Essays on Pauline Elizabeth Hopkins (), Cambridge Companion to Edith Wharton ( grupobittia.com: Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin: A Casebook (Casebooks in Criticism) A Casebook (Casebooks in Criticism) 1st Edition.
Elizabeth Ammons is Harriet F. Fay Professor of Literature at Tufts University. Read more. Product details. ELIZABETH AMMONS Tufts University Department of English East Hall, Critical Essays on Harriet Beecher Stowe, ed. with Intro. G.K. Hall & Co., Selected Articles, Editions, and Essays “Harriet Beecher Stowe and the Risks of Activism,” University of Hull, England, Included in this volume are letters by Harriet Beecher Stowe and articles by James Baldwin, Leslie Fiedler, Jane Tompkins, Gillian Brown, Robert Stepto, and Elizabeth Ammons.
Read more Read less Give the gift of reading, now $Author: Elizabeth Ammons.