By Donald Pizer
American Naturalism and the Jews examines the unabashed anti-Semitism of 5 awesome American naturalist novelists differently recognized for his or her revolutionary social values. Hamlin Garland, Frank Norris, and Theodore Dreiser all driven for social advancements for the bad and oppressed, whereas Edith Wharton and Willa Cather either complicated the general public prestige of girls. yet all of them additionally expressed powerful prejudices opposed to the Jewish race and religion all through their fiction, essays, letters, and different writings, generating a contradiction in American literary background that has stymied students and, beforehand, long gone principally unexamined. during this step forward examine, Donald Pizer confronts this disconcerting pressure of anti-Semitism pervading American letters and tradition, illustrating how simply prejudice can coexist with even the main revolutionary ideals.
Pizer exhibits how those writers' racist impulses represented greater than simply own biases, yet resonated with greater social and ideological pursuits inside of American tradition. Anti-Semitic sentiment prompted such a variety of events because the western farmers' populist rebel and the East Coast patricians' revulsion opposed to immigration, either one of which Pizer discusses the following. This antagonism towards Jews and different non-Anglo-Saxon ethnicities intersected not just with those authors' social reform agendas but in addition with their literary approach to representing the overwhelming forces of heredity, social or common surroundings, and savage instinct.
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