Twain, Alcott, and the Birth of the Adolescent Reform Novel

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Overview

Trites argues that Twain and Alcott wrote on similar topics because they were so deeply affected by the Civil War, by cataclysmic emotional and financial losses in their families, by their cultural immersion in the tenets of Protestant philosophy, and by sexual tensions that may have stimulated their interest in writing for adolescents, Trites demonstrates how the authors participated in a cultural dynamic that marked the changing nature of adolescence in America, provoking a literary sentiment that continues to inform young adult literature. Both intuited that the transitory nature of adolescence makes it ripe for expression about human potential for change and reform.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781587296222
  • Publisher: University of Iowa Press
  • Publication date: 11/1/2007
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 236
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Roberta Seelinger Trites is a professor of English at Illinois State University. The author of Disturbing the Universe: Power and Repression in Adolescent Literature (Iowa 2000), which won the 2002 Children’s Literature Association Book Award, and Waking Sleeping Beauty: Feminist Voices in Children’s Novels (Iowa  1997), which won an American Library Association Choice Award in 1997, she is currently president of the Children’s Literature Association.

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Table of Contents


Introduction     ix
Abbreviations     xix
The Fantasy of Self-Reliance: An Introductory Biography     1
The Metaphor of the Adolescent Reformer: Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and Little Women     31
Historical Interlude: Vita Religiosa and Romantic Evangelism     54
Education and Reform: Victorian Progressivism in Youth Literature     70
Gender and Reform: New Women and True Womanhood     92
Historical Interlude: Authors, Authority, and Publication     114
Adolescent Reform Novels: The Legacy of Twain and Alcott     143
Afterword     163
Notes     165
Bibliography     183
Index     197
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