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Women's Studies

Theses and Dissertations

Nineteeth-century american literature

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Full-Text Articles in African American Studies

The Spectacle Of Orphanhood: Reimagining Orphans In Postbellum Fiction, Afrin Zeenat Jul 2015

The Spectacle Of Orphanhood: Reimagining Orphans In Postbellum Fiction, Afrin Zeenat

Theses and Dissertations

Orphan iconography has always been deployed in American literature and culture, but nineteenth-century American literature, fiction in particular, abounds in orphans, both real and imaginary. The orphan’s amphibious nature is hailed and demonized as the epitome of individualism and unbridled freedom, and also as the location of society’s anxiety. This complicated and conflicted construction of orphans animates the Social and cultural realm in postbellum America, foregrounding issues of class, race, and gender.