Download Apocalyptic Sentimentalism: Love and Fear in U.S. Antebellum by Kevin Pelletier PDF

By Kevin Pelletier

In distinction to the existing scholarly con-sensus that knows sentimentality to be grounded on a common sense of affection and sympathy, Apocalyptic Sentimentalism demonstrates that during order for sentimentality to paintings as an antislavery engine, it had to be associated with its seeming opposite—fear, specially the terror of God’s wrath. such a lot antislavery reformers well-known that demands love and sympathy or the illustration of discomfort slaves wouldn't lead an viewers to “feel correct” or to actively oppose slavery. the specter of God’s apocalyptic vengeance—and the fear that this hazard inspired—functioned in the culture of abolitionist sentimentality as an important goad for sympathy and love. Fear,then, was once on the middle of nineteenth-century sentimental ideas for inciting antislavery reform, bolstering love while love faltered, and working as a strong mechanism for setting up interracial sympathy. Depictions of God’s apocalyptic vengeance constituted the most productive procedure for antislavery writers to generate a feeling of terror of their audience.

concentrating on quite a number very important anti-slavery figures, together with David Walker, Nat Turner, Maria Stewart, Harriet Beecher Stowe, and John Brown, Apocalyptic Sentimentalism illustrates how antislavery discourse labored to redefine violence and vengeance because the final expression (rather than denial) of affection and sympathy. on the sametime, those warnings of apocalyptic retribution enabled antislavery writers to precise, albeit in a roundabout way, fantasies of brutal violence opposed to slaveholders. What all started as a sentimental method speedy grew to become an incendiary gesture, with antislavery reformers envisioning the whole annihilation of slaveholders and defenders of slavery.

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