By Tracy Anne Sachtjen
This venture brings jointly an research of neighborhood heritage, commercial capitalism, and U.S. empire to argue that ugliness---much greater than a personal challenge among anyone and her mirror---became a style of justifying keep watch over over the folks and locations reworked by means of the industrial tactics of nineteenth-century enlargement. This dissertation engages ugliness as a historic formation to investigate how its repeated invocation in renowned cultures supplied a simple avatar of terrible distinction opposed to which a nationalist physique can be respected. Ugliness specified a physique so misplaced or outpaced through glossy beliefs that exclusion grew to become the answer to nationalized clash. during this approach, metaphors of visual appeal and aesthetic worth buttressed the present rhetoric of growth. This venture contributes to the research of nationalist formation and embodiment by way of illuminating gender as a prop for racial abjection.
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Extra resources for American Ugly: Appearance and Aesthetics in Cultures of U.S. Nationalism, 1848-1915
John Berger, Ways of Seeing (London: British Broadcasting Corporation, 1972) 47. 50 For Carmelita, the imagery was much the same. When she stumbled upon a group of Anglo American lumberjacks and thus upon an image of California's future, she had "tangled, leaf-sown hair," a sight that both confused and aroused her interlocutors. "51 When Tremaine romanced Carmelita, the same fetish framed the scene: Tremaine "gathered an arm-full of ice grass and heavy ferns and waded out to Carmelita. "52 In this moment, the beauty of the mixed-race woman hovered on the threshold between nature and culture, and her interpellation was pitched upon the European man's capacity to eroticize her liminality.
While Indians deteriorated on the island, Europeans were actually regenerated, with the outdoor adventure challenging their over-civilized manhood in a manner akin to the "Strenuous Life," which Atherton's contemporary, Theodore Roosevelt, proposed would revitalize the nation's men. 10 Atherton's version differed. In her conquest narrative, Story Writers: A Collection of Critical Essays Julie Brown, ed. Wellesley Studies in Critical Theory, Literary History and Culture, series (New York: Garland Publishers, 2000), 73-84; Gary Hoppenstand, "Ambrose Bierce and the Transformation of the Gothic Tale in the Nineteenth-Century American Periodical," in Periodical Literature in Nineteenth-Century America, Kenneth M.
Vallejo, however, would be conned. He recorded his betrayal and imprisonment by Captain John Sutter in the Bear Flag Revolt of 1846, and his history of the state, Historical and Personal Memories Relating to Alta California (1875) displaces heroic Anglo American manliness. 53 In tones at once patriotic toward the United States but clearly claiming "Alta California" as the "native land" of a Spanish-speaking people, Vallejo's argument for reconciliation envisioned acculturation - one that, by the end of the century in California, would seem increasingly impossible, but a model that Atherton, writing as late as 1890, sentimentalized in her fictional marriage of indigenous and invader in Los Cerritos.