A Spinster's Tale Historical Context

Peter Taylor
This Study Guide consists of approximately 48 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of A Spinster's Tale.
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Racial Attitudes

With the story set fifty years before the Civil Rights movement, "A Spinster's Tale" provides insight into the racially segregated South of the first half of the twentieth century. This can be seen in the abundance of "Negro" (the accepted term for African Americans at the time) domestic servants. Often deprived of the opportunities to work challenging, lucrative jobs, many black women and men worked as servants. Lucy, the family servant, is the most visible black character in the story.

In the early part of the twentieth century, when the events in "A Spinster's Tale" take place, most African Americans resided in Southern states such as Tennessee. Yet, it is clear that none live in Elizabeth's middle- to upper-class neighborhood. Elizabeth even makes reference to "nigger town," which tells us not only of the racial separation that kept the races apart, but also the casual way...

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This section contains 595 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the A Spinster's Tale Study Guide
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Gale
A Spinster's Tale from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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