Nicolaus C. Mills (essay date 1970)
SOURCE: Mills, Nicolaus C. “Prison and Society in Nineteenth-Century American Fiction.” Western Humanities Review 24 (1970): 325-31.
[In the following essay, Mills uses the works of Cooper, Hawthorne, Melville, and Twain to discuss the theme of American society as a prison. Mills suggests that Puritan society, Wall Street, and the culture of slavery were all forms of imprisonment in the writings of nineteenth-century American authors.]
“Don't be shocked when I say that I was in prison. You're still in prison. That's what America means—prison.” These words of Malcolm X come as no surprise to anyone familiar with American writing in...
(The entire section is 3340 words.)