Captivity, Childbirth, and the Civil War in Harriet Prescott Spofford’s ” Circumstance”. Theresa Strouth Gaul. Texas Christian University. Harriet Prescott Spofford’s. Spofford, Harriet. “Circumstance.” The Online Archive of Nineteenth-Century Women’s Writings. Ed. Glynis Carr. Online. Internet. Posted: Winter Circumstance has 10 ratings and 0 reviews. Harriet Prescott Spofford was a regular contributor of short stories to the well known journal, The.
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A Journal of American Harriwt Writers Siana Lark added it Dec 10, The dry humor, the New England realities, the believable dialect, and the restraint with which she individualizes each character earned Spofford high praise. Brittanee added it Nov 01, Spofford’s days in Washington with her husband provide the basis for the sentimental stories in Old Washingtonand her final collection, often considered her best, The Elder’s Peoplereturns to New England.
Then she thought of the Great Deliverance, when he drew her up out of many waters, and the flashing old psalm pealed forth triumphantly: He soon decides to attempt an adventure into the woods, with his baby in one arm and his shotgun in the other. Instantly, as if he scanned her thoughts, the creature bounded forward with a yell and caught her again in his dreadful hold. I do not know if it were the mother-instinct that for a moment lowered her eyes,–those eyes, so lately riveted on heaven, now suddenly seeing all life-long bliss possible.
The other male character presented in Circumstance, the equally nameless husband of the female protagonist, is also used to show men in a negative light; he is a well-meaning fool. Perhaps, when her husband last looked forth, he was half ashamed to find what a fear he felt for her. She cried rather, “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: You are commenting using your Twitter account.
Suddenly, a shadow raced past her and before she knew it she was taken captive by preescott Indian Devil, a savage, legendary black panther. To ask other readers questions about Circumstance ccircumstance, please sign up. When barely in her twenties she began writing to help support her parents and younger siblings.
Circumstance (short story)
Let us be ended by fire, and we are ashes, for the winds to bear, the leaves to cover; let us be ended by wild beasts, and the base, cursed thing howls with us harrist through the forest. Post was not sspofford – check your email addresses! Kortnie Pimentel rated it liked it Feb 05, As the beast, glimpsing the husband, grasps her to carry her higher, he shoots, bringing it to earth, where it breaks her fall.
God will redeem my soul from the power of the grave: A shrub which grows on the branches of trees and bears circusmtance berries, traditionally used in England to decorate houses at Christmas. But finally the level rays, reddening the snow, threw their gleam upon the wall, and, hastily donning cloak and hood, she bade her friends farewell and sallied forth on her return. Ultimately it is the method in which men and women view and react to nature that defines the characters of this story.
Feminism in Circumstance | My handle on life was broken, but I fixed it
Oh, sublime faith of our fathers, where utter self-sacrifice alone was true love, the fragrance of whose unrequired subjection was pleasanter than that of golden censers swung in purple-vapored chancels!
It is almost surprising that he did not miss when the Indian Devil attempted to escape with his wife, but perhaps Harriet Spofford felt that the death of the woman would not be in keeping with harret tone of the story.
Built on the Johns Hopkins University Campus. Open Preview See a Problem? For its time, Circumstance is revolutionary, and an example of the beginnings of feminist thought in America.
The monster raised his head and flared the fiery eyeballs upon her, then fretted the imprisoned claws a circumstxnce and was quiet; only the breath like the vapor from some hell-pit still swathed her. Water, be it cold or warm, that which buoys up blue ice-fields, or which bathes tropical coasts with currents of balmy bliss, is yet a gentle conqueror, kisses as it kills, and draws you down gently through darkening fathoms to its heart.
Did not the world swing at his will? Wreathed, crowned; also adorned, beautiful. Knight and Emmanuel S. On the one hand, the Indian Demon is completely given over to lustful inclinations, and represents all that is evil and barbaric about men. But as they’re returning to their home, they come to find out that their whole village has been destroyed by Native Americans indicating that in fact the Indian Devil saves them from the true Indian Devils and death by holding the protagonist hostage forcing the husband to travel, with the child, to save his wife.
Suddenly she woke pierced with a pang, and the daggered tooth penetrating her flesh;–dreaming of safety, she had ceased singing and lost spoftord.
The woman, suspended in mid-air an instant, cast only one agonized glance beneath,–but across and through it, ere the lids could fall, shot a withering sheet of flame,–a rifle-crack, half-heard, was lost in the terrible yell of desperation that bounded after it and filled her ears with savage echoes, and in the wide arc of some eternal descent she was falling;–but the beast fell under her.
All this she felt as she charmed him, and what force it lent to her song God knows. There are no prescort topics on this book yet. Circumshance with This Book. Katie Ccircumstance rated it really liked it Sep 19, Matilda rated it really liked it Sep 26, It was that wild beast–the most savage and serpentine and subtle and fearless of our latitudes–known by hunters as the Indian Devil, and he held her in his clutches on the broad floor of a swinging fir-bough.
Caroline rated it liked it Dec 14, The beast can cifcumstance be interpreted as the male and his unrestrained lust for the body of women. He was more singularly alarmed than he would have been willing to acknowledge; as he had sat with his bow hovering over the strings, he had half believed spoffford hear her voice mingling gayly with the instrument, till he paused and listened if she were not about to lift the latch and enter. The Indian Devil is clearly a manifestation of unbridled male sexuality.
She did not measure the distance, but rose to drop herself down, careless of any death, so that it were cicrumstance this. She contributed story papers for small pay to Boston. Making of America http: Rutgers University Press Now and then he examined his gun to see if the damp were injuring its charge, now and then he wiped the great drops from his forehead.
Harriet Prescott Spofford’s “Circumstance”
This page was last edited on 16 Decemberat With a celerity almost instantaneous, it lay, in the twinkling of an eye, on the ground at the father’s feet, while his gun was raised to his shoulder and levelled at the monster covering his wife with shaggy form and flaming gaze,–his wife so ghastly white, so rigid, so stained with blood, her eyes so fixedly bent above, and her lips, that had indurated into the chiselled pallor of marble, parted only with that flood of solemn song.
He failed her,–her one sole hope in life; and without being aware of it, her voice forsook the songs of suffering and sorrow for old Covenanting hymns,–hymns with which her mother had lulled her, which the class-leader pitched in the chimney-corners,–grand and sweet Methodist hymns, brimming with melody and hagriet all fantastic involutions of tune to suit that ecstatic worship,–hymns full of the beauty of holiness, steadfast, relying, sanctified by the salvation circumatance had lent to those in worse extremity than hers,–for they had found themselves in the grasp of hell, while she was but in the jaws of death.
There are many ways to react and there is no argument for which is right, simply a story that demonstrates the differences.