Boys at Home

Boys at Home

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In this groundbreaking book, Ken Parille seeks to do for nineteenth-century boys what the past three decades of scholarship have done for girls: show how the complexities of the fiction and educational materials written about them reflect the lives they lived. While most studies of nineteenth-century boyhood have focused on post-Civil War male novelists, Parille explores a broader archive of writings by male and female authors, extending from 1830-1885. Boys at Home offers a series of arguments about five pedagogical modes: play-adventure, corporal punishment, sympathy, shame, and reading. The first chapter demonstrates that, rather than encouraging boys to escape the bonds of domesticity, scenes of play in boysa€™ novels reproduce values associated with the home. Chapter 2 argues that debates about corporal punishment are crucial sources for the culturea€™s ideas about gender difference and pedagogical practice. In chapter 3, a€œThe Medicine of Sympathy, a€ Parille examines the affective nature of mother-daughter and mother-son bonds, emphasizing the special difficulties that a€œboy-naturea€ posed for women. The fourth chapter uses boysa€™ conduct literature and Louisa May Alcotta€™s Little Women a€“ the preeminent chronicle of girlhood in the century a€“ to investigate not only Alcotta€™s fictional representations of shame-centered discipline but also pervasive cultural narratives about what it means to a€œbe a man.a€ Focusing on works by Lydia Sigourney and Francis Forrester, the final chapter considers arguments about the effects that fictional, historical, and biographical narratives had on a boya€™s sense of himself and his masculinity. Boys at Home is an important contribution to the emerging field of masculinity studies. In addition, this provocative volume brings new insight to the study of childhood, womena€™s writing, and American culture. Ken Parille is assistant professor of English at East Carolina University. His articles have appeared in Childrena€™s Literature, Tulsa Studies in Womena€™s Literature, Papers on Language and Literature, and Childrena€™s Literature Association Quarterly.Discipline, Masculinity, and a€œThe Boy-Problema€ in Nineteenth-Century American Literature Ken Parille ... 18 Discipline, Moral Regulation, and Schooling ( collection of essays), xxii a€œDiscipline; School Governmenta€ (essay by Samuel E. Hamill):anbsp;...

Title:Boys at Home
Author:Ken Parille
Publisher:Univ. of Tennessee Press - 2011-05-01


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