Download Full Text (4.0 MB)
Inventing the Psychological: Toward a Cultural History of Emotional Life in America
Yale University Press
Joel Pfister and Nancy Schnog
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.
Lowry, R. S. (1997). Domestic Interiors: Boyhood Nostalgia and Affective Labor in the Gilded Age. Joel Pfister and Nancy Schnog (Ed.), Inventing the Psychological: Toward a Cultural History of Emotional Life in America (pp. 110-130). Chelsea, Michigan: Yale University Press. https://scholarworks.wm.edu/asbookchapters/9