Document Type

Article

Publication Version

Published Version

Publication Date

1-2010

Journal or Book Title

Journal of Ecocriticism

Volume

2

Issue

1

First Page

19

Last Page

32

Abstract

The panther attack scenes found in the fiction of Charles Brockden Brown (1771-1810), James Fenimore Cooper (1789-1851), and Harriet Prescott Spofford (1835-1921) portray these animals as literary monsters indicative of a developing American environmental anxiety. Drawing on a selection of recent critical studies dealing with both antebellum American fiction and ecocriticism, I suggest that these scenes reveal, especially through their depiction of panther attacks in what ecologists now refer to as anthropogenic ecotones (human-made environmental edges), the beginnings of an American cultural recognition of environmental degradation. Ultimately these panther attack scenes prefigure an American environmental ethic, revealing an instructive early stage in the evolving cultural perception of the human devastation to the natural world.

Comments

This article is from Journal of Ecocriticism 2 (2010): 19. Posted with permission.

Copyright Owner

Journal of Ecocriticism

Language

en

File Format

application/pdf

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