Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Novel BondageSlavery, Marriage, and Freedom in Nineteenth-Century America$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Tess Chakkalakal

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780252036330

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252036330.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM ILLINOIS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.illinois.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Illinois University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ISO for personal use.date: 18 September 2021

Wedded to Race

Wedded to Race

Charles Chesnutt’s Stories of the Color Line

Chapter:
(p.83) 5. Wedded to Race
Source:
Novel Bondage
Author(s):

Tess Chakkalakal

Publisher:
University of Illinois Press
DOI:10.5406/illinois/9780252036330.003.0006

This chapter focuses on Charles Chesnutt's postslavery fiction and criticism that, in some respects, might be read as offering one of the most effective counterarguments to Harper's view of marriage and vision of freedom. Chesnutt casts a surprisingly critical eye on the movement to legitimate slave-marriages during Reconstruction, a movement celebrated by historians of marriage and slavery alike. While Harper views marriage as essential to preserving relations formed in slavery, Chesnutt presents it as a way of breaking free of those relations, of forming new relations that eschew the racial principles that made it impossible for former slaves and their descendants to marry according to self-interest and personal desire. The differences between their positions are suggestive of a broader political debate about the formation of a postslavery slave community.

Keywords:   Charles Chesnutt, postslavery fiction, Francis Harper, slave-marriages, Reconstruction, slavery, slave community, Stories of the Color Line

Illinois Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.