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The War on WordsSlavery, Race, and Free Speech in American Literature$
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Michael T. Gilmore

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780226294131

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: February 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226294155.001.0001

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Crane and the Tyranny of Twelve

Crane and the Tyranny of Twelve

Chapter:
(p.244) Crane and the Tyranny of Twelve
Source:
The War on Words
Author(s):

Michael T. Gilmore

Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226294155.003.0015

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

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