”Marietza”: An Example of Catherine Maria Sedgwick’s Depiction of the ”Other” in Her Books for Children

2020-01-01
Catherine Maria Sedgwick (1789–1867), one of the most significant masterminds of nineteenth-century American literature, was regarded by her national and international contemporaries as a prominent and influential writer. Her first novel, A New-England Tale was published in 1822 and was followed by five other books including her most popular work, Hope Leslie (1827). In addition to two biographies, she wrote numerous short stories some of which were aimed at children, and Sedgwick was keen to ensure they were rich in moral, religious and social didacticism. This essay concentrates on one of those short stories, “Marietza” which is the story of a Greek girl who witnessed the Greek uprising on the island of Scio/Chios in 1822. The tale does not merely delineate the conspicuous social, cultural and religious contrasts between the East and West, it occasionally defines the center and verge of Western civilization by comparing Greece to England. Hence the essay does not only provide a transnational view of the image of the Turkish/Eastern “other” in the United States/Western hemisphere, but it also displays the dissimilarities between the hegemonic focal point of civilization (the Anglo-American world) in the writer’s mind, and its mediocre periphery (Greece).

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Citation Formats
B. Gürsel, ”Marietza”: An Example of Catherine Maria Sedgwick’s Depiction of the ”Other” in Her Books for Children. 2020, p. 77.