NOTES AND OBSERVATIONS ON SHOWALTER'S 'A JURY OF HER PEERS' CH. 6
Jury of Her Peers is a book that traces the development of women’s literature in the United States. These notes are taken from the book as part of the Diverse Women Writers course at Salt Lake Community College. The title of the book is taken from a short story that involves a wife killing her husband.
Ch. 6 Slavery, Race and Women’s Writing
Questions of slavery and abolition dominated the 1850s.
Uncle Tom’s Cabin: the great American novel, the first international best seller, obliterated the idea of woman’s inferiority
Harriet Beecher Stowe – had a supportive husband
Released Uncle Tom’s Cabin in serial format
Painted with words – “There’s no arguing with pictures.”
(Rewards in heaven for master and slave, suicide bombers and oppressed Jews.)
(In judging the anti-Uncle Tom writers, are there just some things so repugnant that they cannot be judged on the times, that they cannot be judged based on the realities of others? The problem is that they are lying. What you want to be true isn’t necessarily the truth. Even though these writers defended slavery because, at best, they wanted to believe that it was a symbiotic relationship that benefited master and slave, it didn’t make it right. Justifying it still didn’t make it right.)
“terrorist” John Brown(?)
John Brown as an event – martyr or terrorist?
Stowe and Brown stimulated the move of African American women into literature.
Harriet Jacobs – escaped slave
Questionable authorship of Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl until 1971
Opened the door to the discussion of sexuality
Harriet Wilson – Our Nig fictionalized autobiography
The Bondswoman’s Narrative – discovered in 2001
Who wrote it? (Hannah Crafts according to Amazon)
(Is it enough to have a story about it not from someone involved in it? Can someone portray a Native American without being Native American?)
(What if it is a clever forgery using paper and ink to simulate the time it is supposed to come from? Would it add to the canon?)