Coloring Locals: Racial Formation in Katie Chopin's "Youth's by Bonnie James Shaker

By Bonnie James Shaker

Shaker's quantity is a crucial contribution to either Chopin feedback and to the starting to be box of race examine often called whiteness stories. --Choice

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Extra info for Coloring Locals: Racial Formation in Katie Chopin's "Youth's Companion" Stories

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15 Hence, Chopin preserves the Creole as an ethnic category while she simultaneously reinscribes its, and by extension Chouchoute’s, legitimate claim to whiteness. Chopin’s representation of Chouchoute here stands in stark contrast to her portrayal of Wash, who, through a rhetorical sleight of hand, is transformed from human to animal, significantly a watchdog whose natural, inevitable role (echoing the argument for slavery) is to serve his master. Wash’s subhuman characterization is reinforced with other objectified representations of African Americans throughout the text, particularly those onlookers at Gros-Léon’s ball.

Grady, the man who 32 Coloring Locals coined the term “New South,” wrote, the New South’s masters must rule not by “the cowardly menace of mask or shot-gun, but [by] the peaceful majesty of intelligence and responsibility” (quoted in Gunning, Race 122). In The New South, Grady imagined a kinder white “mastery” of southern blacks, which absolved white southerners of the sins of slavery but nonetheless allowed them to maintain a racially stratified, antebellum social order under the post-Reconstruction political regime.

First, he began to Chopin’s Canonical and Market Place 13 value a model of children’s literature that more closely imitated adult fiction. By means of this move, Ford facilitated his second tactic: He broadened the magazine’s audience base to include the composite age groups and sexes of the entire Victorian American family. Regardless of actual readership demographics, which are scanty at best, Ford’s imagined concept of his audience most profoundly influenced his editorial policy. Ford thought of his readership primarily as inhabitants of the home, a space he, in keeping with conservative contemporaneous discourses, idealized as a nourishing and purifying sphere presided over by the angelic Victorian mother.

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