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.

Author: Zulkishura Vudogrel
Country: Italy
Language: English (Spanish)
Genre: Literature
Published (Last): 26 July 2010
Pages: 68
PDF File Size: 19.29 Mb
ePub File Size: 9.29 Mb
ISBN: 544-9-14885-545-8
Downloads: 82342
Price: Free* [*Free Regsitration Required]
Uploader: Gozahn

Her mettle is tested and proven shortly after she enters the woods which separate her from her settlement.

Project MUSE promotes the creation and dissemination of essential humanities and social science resources through collaboration with libraries, publishers, and scholars worldwide. Lists with This Book. Alyssa “Aly” Diane rated it really liked it Dec 22, If her voice should fail!

It impressed Emily Dickinson as “the only thing I ever read in my life that I didn’t think I could have imagined myself! A shrub which grows on the branches of trees and bears white berries, traditionally used in England to decorate houses at Christmas.

She attended the Putnam Free School in Newburyport, Harriet Elizabeth Prescott Spofford April 3, — August 14, was a notable American writer remembered for her novels, poems and detective stories.

This period was also a time in which women were seen mostly in the household and women’s writings were generally frowned upon. He is not her guardian or protector, but rather her ally.

Circumstance by Harriet Prescott Spofford

She did not dare to pause; through the clear cold air, the frosty starlight, she sang. Preview — Circumstance by Harriet Prescott Spofford. This page was last edited on 16 Decemberat She remembered instead,–“In thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures forevermore. Her gothic romances were set apart by luxuriant descriptions, and an unconventional handling of female stereotypes of the day.

The log-house, the barns, the neighboring farms, the fences, are all blotted out and mingled in one smoking ahrriet. How fuller and fuller of dismay grew the knowledge that she was spodford prolonging her anguish and playing with death!


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 spodford ears with savage echoes, and in the wide arc of some eternal descent she was falling;–but the beast fell under her.

The works collected in A Scarlet Poppy are light satire, quite different from the more somber collection Old Madame and Other Tragedies Reassured that it was original, he published it and it established spofrord reputation.


This story also symbolizes the woman artist’s oppression.

As the beast continues to attack and subdue her, she begins to come to terms with her life and her religion. S;offord rapidly now, and with her eyes wide-open, she distinctly saw in the air before her what was not there a spoffford ago, a winding-sheet,–cold, white, and ghastly, waved by the likeness of four wan hands,–that rose with a long inflation, and fell in rigid folds, while a voice, shaping itself from the hollowness above, spectral and melancholy, sighed,– “The Lord have mercy on the people!

It seemed to her that she had but one friend in the world; that was he; and again the cry, loud, clear, prolonged, echoed through the woods. Indeed, the woman proves capable of singing throughout the night, and for the entire duration, the Indian Devil is completely under her spell, incapable of sppfford free to resume his meal. If the damp and cold should give her any fatal hoarseness! As the beast, glimpsing the husband, grasps her to carry her higher, he shoots, bringing it to earth, where it breaks her fall.

A Scarlet Poppy did not appear untilbut the years between and were filled with other writings. Before it touched, a song sprang to her lips, a wild sea-song, such as some sailor might be singing far out on trackless blue water that night, the shrouds whistling with frost circumwtance the sheets glued spoffodr ice,–a song with the wind in its burden and the spray in its chorus.

In other stories of women’s lives Spofford rebuked the prevalent nineteenth-century stereotypes that divided women into good and bad, angels and whores. Posted November 7, by kwalley in Uncategorized. For its time, Circumstance is revolutionary, and an example of the beginnings of feminist thought in America. Spofford began writing after her parents became sick, sometimes working fifteen hours a day. She was not dying for her faith; there were no palms in heaven for her to wave; but how many a time had she declared,–“I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God, than to dwell in the tents of wickedness!

Presccott Contact Us Help. When first published by James Russell Lowell in The Atlantic Monthly in Mayit entered into discussions of eschatology, slavery, and even meteorology at least as directly and energetically as it addressed sopfford or race. Both of these characters are contrasted with that of the only woman to appear in the short story, who proves to be strong, virtuous, caring, and above all, far more than the intellectual equal of her husband.


Although some anonymous stories were published in Boston family story-papers, she never acknowledged these earliest money-making ventures. There are many ways to react and there is no argument for which is right, simply a story that demonstrates the differences. Slow clarion cries now wound from the distance as the cocks caught the intelligence of day and re-echoed it faintly from farm to farm,–sleepy sentinels of night, sounding the foe’s invasion, and translating that dim intuition to ringing notes of warning.

Chipperley plans to take a fourth wife, he sees her as a composite of the other spoffprd.

Tagged with CircumstancefeminismHarriet Spoffordracismrapereligionsuffragewomen writers. Fick, “A ‘Masterpiece’ of the ‘Educated Eye’: She became a welcome contributor to the chief periodicals of the Prescptt States, both of prose and poetry. Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. This site uses cookies.


Again her lips opened by instinct, but the hsrriet that issued thence came by reason. The ramifications of an outlook like this are seen in the end of the story upon the discovery of their ravaged home and murdered neighbors.

She becomes one with Nature and thus becomes one with the beast. Concise Edition Table of Contents. The story takes place in the woods of Maine following an unnamed protagonist who travels to return to home after caring for a sick neighbor. Spofford’s women face the realistic necessities of life, live with the limited perceptions of their men, and triumph through the art they create songs, quilts, and dresses that only a widened perspective recognizes as true art forms and the choices they willingly make.

We are therefore presented with two portrayals of men. She had heard that music charmed wild beasts,–just this point between life and death intensified every faculty,–and when she opened her lips the third time, it was not for shrieking, but for singing. She was in a nowise exalted frame of spirit,–on the contrary, rather depressed by the pain she had witnessed and the fatigue she had endured; but in certain temperaments such a condition throws open the mental pores, so to speak, and renders one receptive of every influence.

She did not measure the distance, but rose to drop herself down, careless of any death, so that it were not this.