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American Hungers : the Problem of Poverty in U.S. Literature, 1840-1945.

By: Jones, Gavin.
Material type: TextTextSeries: JSTOR eBooks; 20/21.Publisher: Princeton : Princeton University Press, 2009Description: 1 online resource (247 pages).Content type: text Media type: computer Carrier type: online resourceISBN: 9781400831913 (electronic bk.); 1400831911 (electronic bk.).Subject(s): American literature -- 19th century -- History and criticism | Poverty in literature | American literature -- 20th century -- History and criticism | Social classes in literature | Literature and society -- United States -- HistoryAdditional physical formats: Print version:: American Hungers : The Problem of Poverty in U.S. Literature, 1840-1945.DDC classification: 810.9355 Online resources: Click here to view this ebook.
Contents:
Cover; Contents; List of Illustrations; Acknowledgments; Preface; INTRODUCTION: The Problem of Poverty in Literary Criticism; ONE: Beggaring Description: Herman Melville and Antebellum Poverty Discourse; TWO: Being Poor in the Progressive Era: Dreiser and Wharton on the Pauper Problem; THREE: The Depression in Black and White: Agee, Wright, and the Aesthetics of Damage; CONCLUSION; Notes; Works Cited; Index.
Summary: Social anxiety about poverty surfaces with startling frequency in American literature. Yet, as Gavin Jones argues, poverty has been denied its due as a critical and ideological framework in its own right, despite recent interest in representations of the lower classes and the marginalized. These insights lay the groundwork for American Hungers, in which Jones uncovers a complex and controversial discourse on the poor that stretches from the antebellum era through the Depression. Reading writers such as Herman Melville, Theodore Dreiser, Edith Wharton, James Agee, and Richard Wright in their hi.
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Electronic Book UT Tyler Online
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PS217.P67 (Browse shelf) https://ezproxy.uttyler.edu/login?url=http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.2307/j.ctt7shxc Available ocn697120580

Cover; Contents; List of Illustrations; Acknowledgments; Preface; INTRODUCTION: The Problem of Poverty in Literary Criticism; ONE: Beggaring Description: Herman Melville and Antebellum Poverty Discourse; TWO: Being Poor in the Progressive Era: Dreiser and Wharton on the Pauper Problem; THREE: The Depression in Black and White: Agee, Wright, and the Aesthetics of Damage; CONCLUSION; Notes; Works Cited; Index.

Social anxiety about poverty surfaces with startling frequency in American literature. Yet, as Gavin Jones argues, poverty has been denied its due as a critical and ideological framework in its own right, despite recent interest in representations of the lower classes and the marginalized. These insights lay the groundwork for American Hungers, in which Jones uncovers a complex and controversial discourse on the poor that stretches from the antebellum era through the Depression. Reading writers such as Herman Melville, Theodore Dreiser, Edith Wharton, James Agee, and Richard Wright in their hi.

Includes bibliographical references and index.

Description based on print version record.

Reviews provided by Syndetics

CHOICE Review

Jones (Stanford) persuasively argues that the time has come for literary theory to address the issue of poverty--a category that lies "between" the more frequently discussed categories of race, gender, and class--in US literature. Rather than focusing on the cultural identities of the underprivileged, the author calls for a "theory of poverty" that will highlight and address the political and social injustices associated with the economically disadvantaged. Citing historically based sociological views of poverty appropriate for each writer's time period, Jones posits that the work of Herman Melville, Theodore Dreiser, Edith Wharton, James Agee, and Richard Wright most accurately portrays and foregrounds poverty. In his reading of particular works, Jones illustrates that these authors acknowledged poverty and its physical and emotional suffering; this is in contrast to contemporary critics, who highlight only issues of race, gender, and class in the very same works. His readings show how these writers succeeded in "opening up the complexities and contradictions" of poverty, which contemporary literary theory fails to do. In short, Jones calls for a synthesis between discussion of race/gender/class and discussion of poverty, which often shapes identities within race, gender, and class categories. Summing Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty. B. M. McNeal Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania

Author notes provided by Syndetics

Gavin Jones is professor of English at Stanford University. He is the author of Strange Talk: The Politics of Dialect Literature in Gilded Age America .

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