Perspectives of white southerners (2).doc - Excerpts from...

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Excerpts from The Planter’s Northern Bride, by Caroline Lee Hentz (Philadelphia: T. B. Peterson and brothers, 1854). (Source: ) In the wake of Harriet Beecher Stowe’s unparalleled sales (and impact) with her abolitionist-inspired, novel, Uncle Tom’s Cabin , and the Compromise of 1850, a host of southern novelists attempted to turn the tables by using fiction to defend slavery. Here is a prime example of that effort by one of the South’s most accomplished female novelists, Caroline Lee Hentz. Questions to Consider: *Just how different do the North and South appear here? Economically, socially, culturally? How do Hentz’s claims fit with the economic context of the South. How does Hentz critique the North’s economy? Please provide specific examples and explain why. *How does Hentz, herself a slaveholder, portray slaves, slaveholders, and the institution of slavery? How does her perspective seek to challenge claims by abolitionists (like Stowe) about slavery? Please provide specific examples and explain why. *How do gender ideals inform the personalities and their roles here? Introduction: A southern planter, Mr. Moreland, meets the lovely Eulalia Hastings (aka, Eula) during his stay in New England, leading to their nuptials. The first few excerpts lead up to their encounter, focusing on Moreland’s perceptions of New Englanders and vice versa. With Eula’s departure from New England (she’s never been more than twenty miles from home according to the storyline), she faces multiple challenges simultaneously in the next few excerpts: marriage, isolation from family and friends, and managing slaves. [these excerpts start on p. 23]Twenty times the bell tolled, and then all was still. "What means the tolling of the bell?" asked he of the landlord, who was walking beneath the window. " Is there a funeral at this late hour?" "A young woman has just died," replied the landlord. "They are tolling her age. It is a custom of our village." Moreland drew back with a shudder. Just twenty. That was her age. She had not died, and yet the death-bell might well ring a deeper knell over her than the being who had just departed. In the grave the remembrance of the bitterest wrongs are buried, and the most vindictive cease to thirst for vengeance. Moreland was glad when a summons to supper turned his thoughts into a different channel. There might have been a dozen men seated around the table, some whose dress and manners proclaimed that they were gentlemen, others evidently of a coarser grain. They all looked up at the entrance of Moreland, who, with a bow, such as the courteous stranger is always ready to make, took his seat, while Albert placed himself behind his master's chair. "Take a seat," said Mr. Grimby, the landlord, looking at Albert. "There's one by the gentleman. Plenty of room for us all." "My boy will wait," cried Mr. Moreland with unconscious haughtiness, while his pale cheek visibly reddened. "I would thank you to leave the arrangement of such things to myself." "No offence, I hope, sir," rejoined Mr. Grimby. "We look upon everybody here as free and equal. This is a free

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