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"selffashioning" - 1 õppematerjal


American Literature

" Howells believed the future of American writing was not in poetry but in novels, a form which he saw shifting from "romance" to a serious form. Mark Twain and his critique of American civilisation through the eyes of children. Mark Twain shared a common understanding of U.S. identity and world mission. The national narrative originated in nineteenthcentury history texts, which fuse ProtestantChristian and Enlightenment values. According to the textbooks, the Puritans came to the New World to establish religious freedom, and American civil liberties are a uniquely Protestant idea. The doctrine of Free Trade became part of the narrative, semantically shifting words like "freedom" to connote the marketplace rather than the social arena. By the end of the century the energies of 19thcentury evangelical outreach crossed over into U.S. national selffashioning , and history texts positioned the Founding Fathers as directors of a divinely mandated mission to spread American civilization around the globe. The contradiction lay in the fact that although the narrative indicated that it was America's duty to help other nations gain freedom from oppressive colonial powers, it also suggested that only people of AngloSaxon descent were capable of fully enacting modern civilization.Twain supported American intervention in Cuba because he believed that we had practiced our values by helping Cubans free themselves from Spain. At first he also supported intervention in the Philippines, but when he realized our intent was "to subjugate, not to redeem," the Filipinos, he changed his mind. He thought President McKinley's claim that it was America's duty to "civilize and Christianize" the Filipinos was "hogwash" and "pious hypocrisy," and he was keenly aware of the racism that drove the debate...

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