Literature | Critical Essay by Karen Halttunen

This literature criticism consists of approximately 31 pages of analysis & critique of Literature.
This section contains 9,179 words
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Critical Essay by Karen Halttunen

SOURCE: Halttunen, Karen. “Sentimental Culture and the Problem of Etiquette.” In Confidence Men and Painted Women: A Study of Middle-Class Culture in America, 1830-1870, pp. 92-123. New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1982.

In the following excerpt, Halttunen suggests that in the early nineteenth century, the ideology of manners had changed in America—largely due to the publication and influence of English Lord Chesterfield's Letters to His Son—from demonstrations of gracious consideration of others, to a rather self-centered cultivation of an appearance of good breeding. Halttunen stresses that the central difficulty of etiquette is that its stringent rules of behavior made sincerity difficult.

In the decades after 1830, etiquette, like fashionable dress, was becoming a powerful force shaping the social life of the American middle-class parlor. The social stamp of success was that elusive quality...

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This section contains 9,179 words
(approx. 31 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Karen Halttunen
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