Content Category

Literary Criticism

Abstract/Description

This paper examines the use of ghosts in three pieces of post-Civil War American literature, namely, Herman Melville's Clarel, Henry James's The Turn of the Screw, and Robert Frost's "Ghost House." Specifically, I use Srdjan Smajic's critical theories on ghosts to formally analyze how these authors use aspects of ghost-seeing to critique science's dependence on empirical evidence. I find that ghosts in these pieces of literature serve as a tool to question the maxim, "seeing is believing," showing that empirical evidence should not overshadow faith.

Location

4186 JFSB

Start Date

19-3-2015 1:15 PM

End Date

19-3-2015 2:45 PM

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Mar 19th, 1:15 PM Mar 19th, 2:45 PM

Seeing and Not Believing: A Critique of Post-Civil War America’s Loss of Faith Through a Spectral Medium

4186 JFSB

This paper examines the use of ghosts in three pieces of post-Civil War American literature, namely, Herman Melville's Clarel, Henry James's The Turn of the Screw, and Robert Frost's "Ghost House." Specifically, I use Srdjan Smajic's critical theories on ghosts to formally analyze how these authors use aspects of ghost-seeing to critique science's dependence on empirical evidence. I find that ghosts in these pieces of literature serve as a tool to question the maxim, "seeing is believing," showing that empirical evidence should not overshadow faith.