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Document Type

Book Chapter

Department/Program

English

Publication Date

Winter 2-1997

Book Title

Inventing the Psychological: Toward a Cultural History of Emotional Life in America

Publisher

Yale University Press

Editor

Joel Pfister and Nancy Schnog

City

Chelsea, Michigan

First Page

110

Last Page

130

Abstract

At the end of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer ( 1875 ), Mark Twain appends a terse note: "So endeth this chronicle. It being strictly a history of a boy, it must stop here; the story could not go much further without becoming the history of a man." The ending is as abrupt as it could be: until its final chapters the text celebrates what Twain calls "the pure unalloyed pleasure" of boyhood, inviting adult readers to immerse themselves once again in the "pattern- restless, noisy. and troublesome" of childhood energy. By the end, however, as Tom's summer adventures draw to a close and he must once again face the socializing injunctions of home, school, and church; as Huckleberry Finn is adopted by the widow Douglas; the boyhood world of St. Petersburg grows increasingly constricted, haunted by the specter of an adult manhood that, as Twain acknowledges in his conclusion, threatens the novel's idyllicism.

ISBN

9780300070064

Domestic Interiors: Boyhood Nostalgia and Affective Labor in the Gilded Age

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