Through The Bottom Of A Glass Darkly

Overview

Most narratives created by the temperance movement in the mid-to-late Nineteenth and early Twentieth centuries focused on the construction of the drunkard as violent social outcast. Ostensibly the role of the temperance narrative was to reform drunkards and to prevent the creation of future drunkards. However, many temperance narratives were less concerned with the drunkard than with propagating an ideology that juxtaposed teleological narratives about alcohol with American identities. With the passing of ...
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Overview

Most narratives created by the temperance movement in the mid-to-late Nineteenth and early Twentieth centuries focused on the construction of the drunkard as violent social outcast. Ostensibly the role of the temperance narrative was to reform drunkards and to prevent the creation of future drunkards. However, many temperance narratives were less concerned with the drunkard than with propagating an ideology that juxtaposed teleological narratives about alcohol with American identities. With the passing of national Prohibition, it was easy to assume that the ideologies of the temperance movement had emerged triumphant, but in the wake of World War I and with the advent of American Modernism, a suspicion of all things Victorian arose. Modern suspicion encouraged a closer look at the ideologies of temperance, especially the movement's juxtaposition of narrative, alcohol, and identity. This dissertation will explore the ideologies of the temperance movement as they were expressed through a selection of temperance narratives, including Luther Benson's Fifteen Years in Hell, Dave Ranney's eponymous Dave Ranney, or Thirty Years on the Bowery, Walt Whitman's Franklin Evans, T. S. Arthur's Ten Nights in a Bar-Room and What I Saw There, and George Dutcher's Disenthralled: A Story of My Life. The dissertation will then examine the ways that various texts written during Prohibition responded to the form and ideologies of the temperance narrative. F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby, Wallace Thurman's Infants of the Spring, and Charles Henri Ford and Parker Tyler's The Young and The Evil form the core for this exploration of Prohibition-era responses, providing a model for future readings of Prohibition-era texts. As Prohibition came to a close and the influence of the temperance movement waned, these Prohibition-era texts problematized the form and assumptions of the temperance narrative, changing Americans' relationships with alcohol and freeing alcohol from the teleological ideologies that the temperance movement had sought to ensure.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781243741707
  • Publisher: BiblioLabsII
  • Publication date: 9/8/2011
  • Pages: 268
  • Product dimensions: 7.44 (w) x 9.69 (h) x 0.56 (d)

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