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dc.creatorWolfe, Ivan Angus
dc.date.accessioned2010-12-02T19:20:52Z
dc.date.available2010-12-02T19:20:52Z
dc.date.created2009-05
dc.date.issued2010-12-02
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/2152/9274
dc.descriptiontext
dc.description.abstractAs Aristotle wrote, rhetoric is an art or faculty of finding the available means of persuasion in a given circumstance, and the late nineteenth century was a time in American history when many authors used utopian fiction as the best available means of persuasion. For a few years, the utopian novel became a widespread, versatile and common rhetorical trope. Edward Bellamy was the most popular of these writers. Bellamy’s utopian novel Looking Backward was not only the third best-selling book of nineteenth century America, it inspired over a hundred other utopian novels and helped create a mass movement of “Bellamy clubs” along with a political party (Nationalism). During the latter part of the nineteenth century, American public discourse underwent a general shift from a focus on communal values to a focus on individuals as the source of truth. Utopian fiction of the era helps illuminate why and how this shift occurred. In nineteenth century America, literature was generally not considered to be rhetorical. At most, critics treated fiction as a form of epideictic rhetoric, aiming only to delight, educate, or create discussion. When fiction was used to promote legislative agendas and thus entered into the realm of deliberative rhetoric, critics argued that its transgression of rhetorical boundaries supposedly ruined its appeal. Utopian literature came the closest to breaking down the barriers between literature and rhetoric, as hundreds of utopian novels were published, most of them in response to Edward Bellamy. A close rhetorical reading of Looking Backward details its rhetorical nature and helps account for its rhetorical success. I treat each of the novels as participants in the larger cultural conversation, and detail the ways in which they address Bellamy, each other, and issues such as the temperance movement and the decline of classical languages in higher education. In modern times, though Bellamy has faded from the public memory, he has proven useful in a variety of contexts, from a political punching bag to a way to lend an air of erudition to various types of popular fiction.en_US
dc.format.mediumelectronic
dc.language.isoengen_US
dc.rightsCopyright is held by the author. Presentation of this material on the Libraries' web site by University Libraries, The University of Texas at Austin was made possible under a limited license grant from the author who has retained all copyrights in the works.
dc.subjectEdward Bellamyen_US
dc.subjectLooking backwarden_US
dc.subjectRhetoricen_US
dc.subjectNineteenth century Americaen_US
dc.subjectUtopiaen_US
dc.subjectUtopian fictionen_US
dc.subjectUtopian studiesen_US
dc.subjectMack Reynoldsen_US
dc.subjectKenneth Burkeen_US
dc.subjectNationalismen_US
dc.subjectAmerican literatureen_US
dc.subjectScience fictionen_US
dc.subjectCoductionen_US
dc.subjectWilliam Morrisen_US
dc.titleArguing in utopia : Edward Bellamy, nineteenth century utopian fiction, and American rhetorical cultureen_US
dc.description.departmentEnglishen_US
thesis.degree.departmentEnglishen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineEnglishen_US
thesis.degree.grantorThe University of Texas at Austin
thesis.degree.levelDoctoralen_US
thesis.degree.nameDoctor of Philosophyen_US


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