Edwin H. Cady (essay date 1971)
SOURCE: Cady, Edwin H. “Howells and Crane: Violence, Decorum and Reality.” In The Light of Common Day: Realism in American Fiction, pp. 161-81. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1971.
[In the following excerpt, Cady examines representations of violence in the fiction of William Dean Howells and Stephen Crane.]
The currently popular assertion that violence is somehow distinctively or peculiarly American is easy to refute by historical, etiological reference. In the springtime of the Jamestown Colony, for instance, they punished one of the lads by escorting him out into the forest and nailing his hand with a dagger so firmly to a tree that whenever he should...
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