AWEJ for Translation & Literary Studies, Volume 6, Number2. May 2022 Pp.84-101
Department of English, Faculty of Letters and Languages,
University M’Hamed Bougara, Boumerdes, Alger
Faculty of Letters and Languages, Department of English,
University Mouloud Mammeri, Tizi-Ouzou, Algeria
This research seeks to explore in detail the cultural foundations and the contradictions in Royall Tyler’s campaign for freedom in The contrast (1787). More particularly, it puts emphasis on how Tyler wages his “culture war” and what measure of success he achieves in the highly divisive debate about cultural nationalism in the early American republic. To shed light on the issue of cultural independence, the play is placed within the context of the turbulent early years of the new nation, when each and every American across gender, ethnic, social class, faction or party lines challenged their fellow citizens to stay true to the revolutionary principles of democracy and freedom. It is argued that with The contrast, Tyler, irked by the cultural dependency of America under The Articles of Confederation, stepped into the public sphere in 1787, the year when the first draft of the Constitution was adopted, to make up a wake-up call for Americans still captured in the culturally corrosive cobweb of British texts and textiles. The socio-historical considerations brought to bear on the drama, together with the study of the text proper, have helped us to demonstrate that the play draws its inspiration from two major American cultural sources: the American culture of performance or culture of gentility and the American culture of folk humor or laughter. This research rounds off the argument about Tyler’s cultural nationalism with the highlighting of Tyler’s curtailment of the very freedom that he seeks to expand. The curtailment of freedom in The contrast is explained in terms of Tyler’s loyalty to a strand of republicanism based on class and gender hierarchies.
Zouane,M., & Zerar, S. (2022). Royall Tyler’s The Contrast: The cultural foundations and the contradictions of his campaign for freedom explained. Arab World English Journal for Translation & Literary Studies 6 (2) 84-101.
Arab, Si A. (1995). A Yankee Candide on Barbary Shore. In L. Benrajeb. (Ed.). New approaches to American literary studies: A North African perspective. Tunis: The American Center United States Information Service.
Aristole. (1981). The politics. (Sinclair, T.A. Trans.). London: Routledge.
Ashcroft, B., Griffiths, G., & Tiffin, H. (1989). The empire writes back. London: Roultledge.
Badwan Noora. (2017) Post-Revolutionary gender and national identity in Crevecoeur’s Letters from the American farmer and Tyler’s The contrast. Retrieved from https://blogs.shu.edu 2017/12/19
Bakhtin, M. M. (1984). Rabelais and his world. (H. Iswolsky, Trans.). Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press.
Bakhtin, M. M. (1999). Problems of Dostoesvky’s poetics. (C. Emerson & W. C. Booth, Trans.). Minneapolis, MINN: The University of Minnesota Press.
Barta, P. I., Miller, P.A., P. Ch. & Shepherd, D. (Eds.). (2001). Carnivalizing difference : Bakhtin and the other. London: Routledge.
Bourdieu, P. (2013). The logic of practice. (Nice, R. Trans.). Cambridge, UK: Polity Press.
Etherege, G. (2005). The man of mode. London: A & C Black. (Original work published 1777).
Fliegelman, J. (1993). Declaring independence: Jefferson, natural language and the culture of performance. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.
Frye, N. (1990). Anatomy of criticism: Four essays. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
Hunter, J. D. (1991). Culture wars. New York, NY: Basic Books.
Mantelli, V. (2019). Post-Revolutionary humorous representations of Americans in Royal Tyler’s The contrast. Philology and Cultural Studies. Vol. 12 (61) N.2-2019 https://doi.org/10.31926/but.pcs.2019.61.17.
Peskin, L.A. (2009). Captives and Countrymen: Barbary slavery and the American public, 1785-1816. Baltimore, MA: The John Hopkins University Press.
Richards, J. H. (2008). Drama, theatre, and identity in the American new republic. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.
Roe, A. (2020). The contrast by Royall Tyler. Retrieved from www metropolitanplay house org/contrast on 9/9/2020.
Tyler, R. (2020). The contrast. The Project Gutenberg e-Book. Retrieved from hhtp://wwwguttenberg org/files/29228-h29228-h htm on 09/09/2020 (Original work published 1787).
Tyler, R. (2002). The Algerine captive or, the life and adventures of Doctor Updike Underhill: Six years a prisoner among the Algerines. New York, NY: The Modern Library. (Original work published 1797).
Williams, D. E. (ed.). (2006) Liberty’s captives: Narratives of confinement in the print culture of the early republic. Athens, GA: The University of Georgia Press.
Mounya Zouane has been teaching Anglophone Literatures at the Department of English University M’Hamed Bougara of Boumerdes, Algeria, since 2012. She has earned a Master’s degree in British Literature, and she is currently carrying out a doctoral research at the University of Tizi-Ouzou, Algeria. The above research is partly inspired by her work on American captivity narratives.
Sabrina Zerar has been teaching English as a Foreign Language, and American and British Civilization over the last 36 years. She currently holds the position of Professor at the University of Tizi-Ouzou, Algeria. She has served as Director of the Laboratory of Foreign Languages and Cultures affiliated to the same university for 4 years. In addition to teaching supervising, and participation in conferences, she has published a considerable number of research articles and book chapters, some of which are available at the following website: http://labs.ummto.dz/lelce .