The Ignoble Savage: American Literary Racism, 1790-1890

The Ignoble Savage: American Literary Racism, 1790-1890

The Ignoble Savage: American Literary Racism, 1790-1890

The Ignoble Savage: American Literary Racism, 1790-1890

Synopsis

"Today the Indian viewpoint is replacing the stereotypical one. Barnett... confirms this attitudinal progression in excerpts from two centuries of American literature." Booklist

Excerpt

He is noble. He is true and loyal; not even imminent death can shake his peerless faithfulness. His heart is a well-spring of truth, and of generous impulses, and of knightly magnanimity. With him gratitude is religion; do him a kindness, and at the end of a lifetime he has not forgotten it.

**

He is ignoble--base and treacherous, and hateful in every way. Not even imminent death can startle him into a spasm of virtue. . . . His heart is a cesspool of falsehood, of treachery, and of low and devilish instincts. With him, gratitude is an unknown emotion; and when one does him a kindness, it is safest to keep the face toward him, lest the reward be an arrow in the back.

Mark Twain, "THE NOBLE RED MAN"

That the cluster of traits which are repeatedly used to characterize Indians in the pre-Civil War frontier romance constitute stereotypes may be inferred from some of the established . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.