Racial Paternalism and the Transformations of Class in Southern Fiction, 1945–1971
Publication Year: 2007
Published by: Louisiana State University Press
Series: Southern Literary Studies
I have been the grateful recipient of many kinds of assistance while writing this book, including a Louisiana State University Council on . . .
Introduction: The Problem of Flem Snopes's Hat: Southern History, Racial Paternalism, and Class
Recent years have seen a steady flow of important scholarship in southern literary studies, work that has opened up new avenues of exploration . . .
1 Paternalism, Progress, and “Pet Negroes” : Zora Neale Hurston’s Seraph on the Suwanee
Zora Neale Hurston’s 1948 novel Seraph on the Suwanee follows the rise of Jim and Arvay Meserve, poor white southerners who overcome poverty . . .
2 Playing Lady and Imitating Aristocrats: Race, Class, and Money in Eudora Welty’s Delta Wedding and The Ponder Heart
The central plot of Delta Wedding 1946), Eudora Welty’s richly textured novel of plantation life in the Mississippi Delta of the 1920s, involves the . . .
3 Stopping on A Dime: Race, Class, and the “White Economy of Material Waste” in William Faulkner’s The Mansion and The Reivers
In 1940, William Faulkner offered a eulogy for Caroline Barr, his family’s longtime African American retainer.1 In it, Faulkner credited Barr, to whom . . .
4 Mechanics and Mulattoes: Class, Work, and Race in Ernest Gaines’s Of Love and Dust and “Bloodline”
In Ernest J. Gaines’s Of Love and Dust (1967), narrator Jim Kelly relates a tale of race and class tensions on a post–World War II Louisiana . . .
5 “Super-Negroes” and Hybrid Aristocrats: Race and Class in Walker Percy’s The Last Gentleman and Love in the Ruins
In an essay written shortly after the publication of his first novel, The Moviegoer, Walker Percy asserted the inescapable commitment of the . . .
Conclusion:From “Pet Negro” to “Magic Negro”: Hyperreal Paternalism
I want to linger for a moment over Walker Percy’s wry prophecy about the golf course of the future. Extending a curve whose literary origin . . .