Models for the Multitudes: Social Values in the American Popular Novel, 1850-1920

Models for the Multitudes: Social Values in the American Popular Novel, 1850-1920

Models for the Multitudes: Social Values in the American Popular Novel, 1850-1920

Models for the Multitudes: Social Values in the American Popular Novel, 1850-1920

Synopsis

Tables Acknowledgments Introduction In Search of Success Models Gender Differences: Characters The Standardized Model Gender Differences: Authors Time Differences A Final Evaluation Appendixes: Mott's List Revised; The Male Questionnaire; The Female Questionnaire; Why Some Novels Were Omitted Bibliography Index

Excerpt

This study had its origins in three seemingly quite different factors: a lifelong love of novels, an interest in the success ideology, and career considerations centering on women's history. The first factor helped me to find a source to provide the answers to my questions; the last two factors raised the questions that established the framework of my research.

Fiction has always been a source of pleasure for me. Some of my earliest recollections are of my delighted responses to various children's stories that my parents were reading aloud. My intellectual interest in the novel was aroused when I began to read to my own young sons the works that I had loved as a child.

I was surprised to find my youthful value system in its entirety in these books. I realized that they had helped me to form my first ideas of right and wrong and that they had confirmed my mental pictures of what was real and true. As an adult my worldview changed when the pictures of reality in the novels no longer fitted my contemporary life, but these adaptations were sometimes rather painful. One illustration: as an only child I had formed my impressions of family interaction from several well-known children's stories, including Louisa May Alcott work and the Five Little Peppers series. When I had my own family, I was somewhat shocked to find that boys in the 1960s and 1970s were not at all like Demi or Ben in the idealized fiction of the 1870s and 1880s. Rereading these books made me realize how illogical I had been in actually expecting brothers to be like this. I had not understood before the extent to which the reading . . .

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.