Previously, no one has analyzed the short stories of Mormon periodicals from their inception in the late nineteenth century until 1940. The body of this study attempts to do so and has two main aims.
First, it evaluates the literary development of largely sentimental stories written for Mormon youth. Sentimentality in fiction was an extreme form of romanticism which flourished in America throughout the nineteenth century and into the twentieth century. As other forms of realistic writing became more acceptable in the nation, Mormon writers gradually accommodated their literary styles to conform with national trends. They retained a significant amount of sentimentality in their short stories, possibly to preserve their religious and cultural values.
Secondly, this study describes the sociological implications of Mormon short stories. This aim is secondary to the literary aim but none the less valuable for students interested in discovering Mormon cultural trends as they are reflected in Mormon short stories.
College and Department
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Gardner, Alice, "Representative Mormon Short Stories 1890 to 1940: Evolution of Sentimentalism Toward Realism" (1979). Theses and Dissertations. 4707.
Short story, Literature, History, criticism, American literature, Mormon authors