This book studies how popular theater can act as the vehicle for the construction of American ideology. It looks at five popular nineteenth-century melodramas that took as their subjects important issues in "American life: Metamora and the Indian Question", "The Drunkard and the temperance movement", "Uncle Tom's Cabin and slavery", "My Partner and the American West", and "Shenandoah and the Civil War". By examining the plays and their popular success and by reconstructing the social and political backdrop against which they were viewed, Mason shows how they functioned in the social discourse of the time. They were, he argues, expressions of what Americans wanted other Americans, and the world at large, to believe that they believed about America as such. Although acts of communal belief in, or affirmation of, certain cultural myths, these melodramas were acted out on the contested stage of American ideological debate. They show mainstream America's attempt to grapple with the key social issues of the day and to stage the dramatic emergence of the American myth.
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Descrizione libro Indiana Univ Pr, 1993. Hardcover. Condizione libro: New. Codice libro della libreria P110253336864