Alice Cary Presentation
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    Alice Cary Presentation Alice Cary Presentation Presentation Transcript

    • Alice Cary (1820-1871) By Meredith Cohen DeSales University American Romantic Literature
    • Background information
      • Born 1820 on a farm in Hamilton County, Ohio
      • One of 9 children
        • Close to older sister Rhonda, who encouraged her first attempts at poetry
        • Very close to younger sister, Phoebe, her lifelong companion and fellow writer
      • The village, surrounding farms, and houses of her youth became the Clovernook memorialized in her short fiction
      • Both sisters were given little formal education and are considered self-made writers
      • Raised in a Universalist household
        • Liberal beliefs
      • Died in 1871 at her home due to exhaustion
    • Early Career
      • First major poem, “The Child of Sorrow,” was published in 1838
        • Praised by influential critics, such as Edgar Allen Poe
      • Poe declared her “Pictures of Memory” to be “decidedly the noblest poem in the collection”
      • 1850 the sisters’ joint works were issued as Poems of Alice and Phoebe Cary
      • This gave her a national reputation and encouraged her to move independently to New York City
        • Example of 19th century new woman: financially independent of men, ran her own household, handled own money
    • Early Career, continued
      • Phoebe moved in with her sister in 1851 and they both became regular contributors to Harper ’s, The Atlantic Monthly , and other periodicals
      • Their house was famous for its Sunday evening receptions in which notable friends discussed women’s rights issues.
    • Publications
      • Cary thought of herself primarily as a poet
        • This is where she achieved much of her popularity
      • Her short fiction was critically acclaimed, but because the genre was not popular at the time, she was better known for her poetry.
        • The style of Cary’s short fiction was influential and innovative
      • During lifetime she published:
        • 4 volumes of poetry
        • Two collections of poetry and prose for children
        • Three novels
    • Cary’s Literary Style
      • Cary’s interest lies not in plot, but in character
      • She gives an experience of human life as primarily a mystery
      • Actions are rarely completed
        • Cary seems to have a resistance to closure and often gives incomplete sketches
      • “ Her fiction offers a harsh antidote to child-centered works so popular with other 19th century American writers” (Fetterley)
    • Comparisons and Connections to Other Writers
      • Judith Fetterley, editor, critic, and romantic literature authority, compares Cary with a number of different writers in a number of different contexts.
      • Fetterley’s comparisons and connections show the influence and importance Cary had in early Romantic American literature of the period.
    • Poe and Hawthorne
      • Cary can be compared in her:
      • Use of fiction as dream work and projection
      • Use of the first-person narrator
        • complexities of that narrator’s relation to the story and characters
      • -Judith Fetterley
    • 19 th Century Women Writers
      • Use of realism
      • Commitment to telling the woman’s side of the story
      • -Judith Fetterley
    • Emily Dickinson
      • Uses her imagination to bring her presence into the center of her work
      • “ Use of sustained development of first-person narration” (Fetterley)
      • -Judith Fetterley
    • Selected List of Published Works
      • Clovernook, or, Recollections of Our Neighborhood in the West (1852)
      • Hagar: A Story for Today (1852)
      • Clovernook, Second Series Uncle Christopher’s (1853)
      • Pictures of Country Life (1859)
    • Famous Cary Quotes:
      • “ Yea, when mortality dissolves,  Shall I not meet thine hour unawed? My house eternal in the heavens  Is lighted by the smile of God!” ( Reconciled)
      • “ True worth is in being, not seeming”
      • “ Women and men in the crowd meet and mingle, Yet with itself every soul standeth single”
    • Works Consulted
      • &quot;Alice Cary.&quot; Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. 17 Apr 2008, 22:12 UTC. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. 15 Jul 2008 <>.
      • &quot;Cary sisters.&quot; Encyclopædia Britannica. 2008. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. 15 Jul. 2008 <>.
    • Works Cited
      • Fetterley, Judith. “Alice Cary.” The Heath Anthology of American Literature . 5th ed. Ed. Paul Lauter. New York: Houghton Mifflin, 2008.
      • Fetterley, Judith. “Alice Cary.” 15 July 2008. <>