Presenter Information

Todd WorkmanFollow

Content Category

Literary Criticism

Abstract/Description

Within Charles Brockden Brown’s Arthur Mervyn, or Memoirs of the Year 1793 the critical conversation usually hinges on Arthur Mervyn's moral character. Hyper focusing on this argument may have neglected other critical aspects. One of these, race and its relationship with socio-economic standing, can actually shed greater light on issues of Mervyn's morality. Evidence in the book shows that the socio-economic standing of an individual during this time period depended primarily on wealth, not race, and thus supposed race of a person could be as mobile and transient as his or her monetary state.

Origin of Submission

as part of a class

Faculty Involvement

Mary Eyring

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Within Charles Brockden Brown’s Arthur Mervyn, or Memoirs of the Year 1793 the critical conversation usually hinges on Arthur Mervyn's moral character. Hyper focusing on this argument may have neglected other critical aspects. One of these, race and its relationship with socio-economic standing, can actually shed greater light on issues of Mervyn's morality. Evidence in the book shows that the socio-economic standing of an individual during this time period depended primarily on wealth, not race, and thus supposed race of a person could be as mobile and transient as his or her monetary state.