Nineteenth-Century Social Protest Literature Outside England Criticism: Literature To Incite Or Prevent Reform - Essay

Alfred Cismaru (essay date October 1987)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Cismaru, Alfred. “Victor Hugo as Defender of Liberal Causes.” Cimarron Review 81 (October 1987): 55-60.

[In the following essay, Cismaru presents Victor Hugo as a writer preoccupied with the struggle for human liberty.]

The year 1985 marked the centenary of Victor Hugo's death. In France, and significantly, in many other parts of the world, including Soviet-bloc countries, states in the Middle East, and China, numerous official observances were held, within and outside university campuses. To be sure, Hugo's reputation as one of the dominant literary giants of the nineteenth century earned him lasting respect and the memory of contemporaries everywhere. But...

(The entire section is 2982 words.)

Ernest Marchand (essay date 1993)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Marchand, Ernest. “Poe as Social Critic.” In On Poe: The Best from ‘American Literature,’ edited by Louis J. Budd and Edwin H. Cady, pp. 24-39. Durham, N. C.: Duke University Press, 1993.

[In the following essay, Marchand discusses Edgar Allan Poe's criticism of American society and politics in the nineteenth century.]

As early as 1855 the notion was abroad that Poe moved about over the earth thickly wrapped in a luminous cloud, which effectually shut him off from mundane concerns; that his mind dwelt exclusively in “the misty mid region of Weir.” In that year Evert and George Duyckinck, who had known Poe in the flesh, wrote: “His rude contact...

(The entire section is 6851 words.)

Xiao-huang Yin (essay date 2000)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Yin, Xiao-huang. “Plea and Protest: The Voices of Early Chinese Immigrants.” In Chinese American Literature Since the 1850s, pp. 11-52. Urbana, Ill.: University of Illinois, 2000.

[In the following excerpt, Yin describes the powerful literary responses of Chinese immigrants to the deplorable social conditions they endured in mid-nineteenth-century America.]

This is to certify that we, the undersigned, are good Chinamen and have lived in California and other parts of the United States, and that we have at all times been willing to abide by all the laws of the United States, and the States and Territories in which we have lived. And are...

(The entire section is 18363 words.)

Armida Gilbert (essay date 2001)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Gilbert, Armida. “‘Pierced by the Thorns of Reform’: Emerson on Womanhood.” In The Emerson Dilemma: Essays on Emerson and Social Reform, edited by T. Gregory Garvey, pp. 93-114. Athens: University of Georgia Press, 2001.

[In the following essay, Gilbert considers the influence of Ralph Waldo Emerson on the struggle for expanded women's rights in nineteenth-century America.]

In order to understand Emerson's developing attitudes toward the woman's rights movement, it is necessary to appreciate the way in which the movement began, grew, and changed and the issues around which the early debates were centered. Before even the earliest stages of the woman's...

(The entire section is 9167 words.)