Tales of Uncle Remus Additional Summary

Joel Chandler Harris


(Critical Survey of Literature for Students)

Further Reading

Baer, Florence E. Sources and Analogues of the Uncle Remus Tales. Helsinki: Suomalainen Tiedeakatemia, 1980. Essential for cross-cultural comparison of an Uncle Remus tale with other folktales of the same type. Finds close African analogs for almost 70 percent of the Uncle Remus tales.

Bickley, R. Bruce, Jr. Joel Chandler Harris. Boston: Twayne, 1978. Chapters 3, 4, and 7 focus on the major critical approaches to these tales. Includes useful notes, index, and selected bibliography.

_______. “John, Brer Rabbit, and Babo: The Trickster and Cultural Power in Melville and Joel Chandler Harris.” In Trickster Lives: Culture and Myth in American Fiction, edited by Jeanne Campbell Reesman. Athens: University of Georgia Press, 2001. Analyzes the character of the black trickster, comparing Brer Rabbit to characters created by Herman Melville.

_______, ed. Critical Essays on Joel Chandler Harris. Boston: G. K. Hall, 1981. A casebook for all of Harris’s work. Eight of its eighteen scholarly articles address the Uncle Remus stories.

Brasch, Walter M. Brer Rabbit, Uncle Remus, and the “Cornfield Journalist”: The Tale of Joel Chandler Harris. Macon, Ga.: Mercer University Press, 2000. A balanced examination of Harris and his stories—part biography, part analysis—aimed at an audience from whom, as children, the Uncle Remus tales had been withheld in deference to the sensitive racial issues encumbering the stories.

Brookes, Stella Brewer. Joel Chandler Harris—Folklorist. Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1950. Chapters 3 through 7 and the appendix are especially valuable in a study of Uncle Remus tales.

Cartwright, Keith. “Creole Self-Fashioning: Joel Chandler Harris’s Other Fellow.’” In Reading Africa into American Literature: Epics, Fables, and Gothic Tales. Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 2002. Cartwright defines Harris as a “self-fashioned Afro-Creole fabulist” and demonstrates the elements of African folklore in Harris’s work.

Mixon, Wayne. “The Ultimate Irrelevance of Race: Joel Chandler Harris and Uncle Remus in Their Time.” Journal of Southern History 56, no. 3 (August, 1990): 457-480. By far the most reasoned discussion of the question of whether these stories are racist.

Wyatt-Brown, Bertram. “Trickster Motif and Disillusion: Uncle Remus and Mark Twain.” In Hearts of Darkness: Wellsprings of a Southern Literary Tradition. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 2003. This comparison of the two authors is part of Wyatt-Brown’s examination of the role of melancholy and alienation in nineteenth century southern literature.