The Southern American Dream - Research Article from Literary Themes: The American Dream

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The Southern American Dream

Old South Versus New South

Native southerner and social critic H. L. Mencken wrote a scathing critique of his homeland in 1917's "The Sahara of the Bozart." The author writes about the unfortunate distinctions he sees between the culture of the South before to the Civil War and Reconstruction, and afterward:

[Prior to the war] there were men of delicate fancy, urbane instinct and aristocratic manner—in brief, superior men, gentry…. A certain noble spaciousness was in the ancient southern scheme of things…. He liked to toy with ideas. He was hospitable and tolerant. He had the vague thing that we called culture.

This "Old Confederacy" was destroyed, according to Mencken, after Reconstruction. "First the carpetbaggers ravaged the land, and then it fell into the hands of the native white trash, already so poor that war and Reconstruction could...

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This section contains 3,440 words
(approx. 12 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy The Southern American Dream Encyclopedia Article
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Literary Themes: The American Dream
The Southern American Dream from Literary Themes: The American Dream. ©2008 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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