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dc.contributor.advisorCecil, L. Moffitt
dc.contributor.authorTabor, Carole Simsen_US
dc.description.abstractFrom 1860, the date of his first short story with Southern setting and characters, to 1881, with The Bloody Chasm, his final treatment of the South in fiction, John w. De Forest was concerned to provide a comprehensive assessment of the South and its people. This dissertation, "John William Do Forest and the South," is a study of the writer's Southern experiences and their result in fiction. Through a study of his background and of the body of his writings, the author, in Chapter I, attempts to establish De Forest as a writer who could draw upon a moral and intellectual foundation strong enough and upon experience rich enough to equip him to observe and report the South astutely and objectively. Chapter II provides a survey of De Forest's contact with and attitude towards the south prior to the Civil War, including his first visit to Charleston in 1855, as presented in unpublished letters to his family, his contact with the Shepard family, and his observation of Charleston on the eve of war, as presented in "Charleston Under Arms." Chapter II also considers the short story "Henry Gilbert," the only one of his Southern stories to be written prior to the war, as it illustrates De Forest's early interest in the South as a fictional subject. Chapter III deals with De Forest's experiences in Louisiana and Virginia as a Union Captain in the Civil War , as they are presented in A Volunteer's Adventures, his own chronicle of his war years. That the war was an educational experience for De Forest, an experience which made a great impression on him, is revealed not only by the tone of A Volunteer's Adventures but by the writer's treatment of character in his later fiction. Chapter IV is devoted to De Forest's experiences in South Carolina as a Major in the Freedmen's bureau from 1866 to 1868 and to his non-fictional analysis of the classes of Southern society. Chapter V considers De Forest's fiction of the Civil War, primarily the novel Miss Ravenel's Conversion, with regard to the writer's portrayal of Southern landscape and setting, the role and nature of the Southern characters, and the theme of the novel as it pertains to the South. The chapter contains a defense of the unity of Miss Ravenel's Conversion, primarily on the grounds that the central theme of the novel-- in which, the nation purged of the evil of slavery, North and South are reunited in the persons of Lillie Ravenel and Edward Colburne, each having qualities needed by the other-- is echoed many times through minor characters and plot elements which illustrate the North-South contrast in character and attitudes. Miss Ravenel's Conversion was De Forest's attempt to write a novel with national breadth, an important American novel. Chapter VI is a study of De Forest's fiction of the antebellum South, the novel Kate Beaumont and a number of short stories; it includes discussion of the writer's portrayal of Southern life and character, as well as of the justness of his portrayal of the antebellum South. Kate Beaumont shows particular and even sympathetic familiarity with the South, particularly with the character of what De Forest called the "high-toned gentleman." , Chapter VII is devoted to De Forest's fiction of the era of reconstruction, the novel The Bloody Chasm and short stories such as "The Colored Member" and "An Independent Ku-Klux." The novel is viewed in its relationship to Miss Ravenel's Conversion. Although the earlier novel had ended with a happy resolution of North-South differences, during his years in South Carolina after the war De Forest saw a residue of poverty, social derangement, and bitterness which promised that true unity between the sections was not to be effected solely by conquest. Thus, still using a young girl as representative of the South, De Forest again considered the means of unifying North and South. The three Southern novels, although not of equal merit, are seen as a kind of trilogy in which De Forest, directly in?? Ravenel's Conversion and The Bloody Chasm and indirectly in Kate Beaumont. shows his interest not only in Southern character as such but in its relationship to the rest of the country. Chapter VIII is a consideration of the importance of De Forest's Southern novels and short stories. Viewed in the context of nineteenth-century literary treatments of the South and Southern character, his fiction is seen as the major exception to both traditional views of the South, the view of the abolitionist writers and that of the Southern romancers. The chapter defends the justness of De Forest's portrayal and reaffirms his objectivity in noting both virtues and vices in Southern character.
dc.format.extentiv, 411 leaves bounden_US
dc.format.mediumFormat: Printen_US
dc.relation.ispartofTexas Christian University dissertationen_US
dc.subject.lcshDe Forest, John William, 1826-1906en_US
dc.subject.lcshAmerican fiction--19th centuryen_US
dc.titleJohn William De Forest and the South: his southern experiences and their result in fictionen_US
dc.typeTexten_US of English
local.collegeAddRan College of Liberal Arts
local.academicunitDepartment of English
dc.identifier.callnumberMain Stacks: AS38 .T318 (Regular Loan)
dc.identifier.callnumberSpecial Collections: AS38 .T318 (Non-Circulating) of Philosophy Christian University

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