Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Specters of DemocracyBlackness and the Aesthetics of Politics in the Antebellum U.S.$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Ivy G. Wilson

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780195337372

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195337372.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use (for details see www.oxfordscholarship.com/page/privacy-policy).date: 16 June 2019

Merely Rhetorical

Merely Rhetorical

Virtual Democracy in William Wells Brown's Clotel

Chapter:
(p.37) 2 Merely Rhetorical
Source:
Specters of Democracy
Author(s):

Ivy G. Wilson

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195337372.003.0003

This chapter illustrates how Brown's understanding of the oratorical forms of rhetoric including addresses, debates, and speeches depends upon recognizing how he distinguishes “rhetoric proper” from the “merely rhetorical.” By examining the various modes of rhetoric in Clotel (1853) from formal speeches to seemingly mundane songs, it outlines an African American engagement with the Declaration of Independence and Patrick Henry's maxim to contest the institution of chattel slavery. Central to the book's larger claims about how blacks participated in the civic sphere and as an example of what Harriet Mullen has called “resistant orality,” the chapter underscores Brown's use of the slave Sam's ostensibly rudimentary and unskillful song as a model for how Brown's own novel itself assumes the form of political discourse.

Keywords:   Declaration of Independence, Nat Turner, subversive speech, African American, Brown, code-switching, Patrick Henry, emancipation, revolution, dialect

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .