The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman Analysis

Places Discussed (Critical Guide to Settings and Places in Literature)

Bryant plantation

Bryant plantation. Louisiana farm on which Jane Pittman is born into slavery with the name Ticey. There she spends the first ten years of her life. Things begin to change when the Civil War reaches the plantation—first when a Confederate army occupies it, then when a Union army arrives. Rejecting her slave identity by insisting that her name is Miss Jane Brown, Ticey is whipped and returned to field work.

After hearing about President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation, the idealistic Jane expects to find freedom in the North and tries to make her way to Ohio with a younger boy, Ned. She and Ned struggle through swamps and farms burned and devastated by war. After thinking she has reached Ohio, she discovers the bitter truth that she is still in Louisiana.

Bone plantation

Bone plantation. Prosperous Louisiana plantation much like Bryant’s, where Jane lives in a sparsely furnished cabin for about ten or twelve years after she gives up on reaching Ohio. After she enjoys life in an environment safe from post-Civil War Reconstruciton violence and receives some education from an excellent schoolteacher, violence eventually reaches the plantation and her situation reverts to a condition resembling slavery.

Clyde farm

Clyde farm. Place on the Louisiana-Texas border that becomes Jane’s happiest home. There she lives for ten years with her common-law...

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The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman Historical Context

A Peaceful, Nonviolent Resistance Published by Gale Cengage

The Civil Rights Movement in...

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The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman Literary Style

Narration and Dialect
Much of the critical acclaim awarded to Gaines for The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman...

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The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman Compare and Contrast

1870s: The Emancipation Proclamation ends the legal sanction of slavery. However, many blacks remain in the South either as...

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The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman Topics for Further Study

Ernest Gaines has remarked that modern literature and histories tend to focus on grand events and large cities. Research what he calls the...

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The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman Techniques / Literary Precedents

Gaines's successful use of the dialects and tones of rural southerners of all races has invited comparisons to Faulkner, and specifically...

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The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman Related Titles

The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman was preceded by two novels, Catherine Carmier (1964) and Of Love and Dust (1967), and the collection...

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The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman Adaptations

The video production of The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman aired on CBS television on January 31, 1974. Cicely Tyson stars as Miss Jane...

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The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman Media Adaptations

The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman was adapted as a television drama in 1974 by Tracey Keenan for Tomorrow Entertainment Inc. The...

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The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman What Do I Read Next?

Harriet A. Jacobs's Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, Written by herself was first published in 1861. Since then, it has...

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The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman Bibliography and Further Reading

Sources
Martin Arms, "MacPosh," in New Statesman, September 2, 1973, pp. 205-206.

Jerry H....

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The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman Bibliography (Masterpieces of American Literature)

Babb, Valerie Melissa. Ernest Gaines. Boston: Twayne, 1991. A clear critical analysis that devotes one chapter to each of Gaines’s major works, including a detailed chapter on The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman that discusses the novel’s historical and cultural accuracy, use of oral history, themes, and character development.

Bell, Bernard W. “The Contemporary Afro-American Novel, Two: Modernism and Postmodernism.” In The Afro-American Novel and Its Tradition. Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 1987. Examines Gaines’s fiction as an example of Afro-American postmodernism, which differs from white...

(The entire section is 518 words.)