By Louisa May Alcott
One of 5 liked Christmas classics
A Merry Christmas collects the valuable vacation stories of Louisa may well Alcott, from the dearly popular yule benevolence of Marmee and her “little women” to the undying “What Love Can Do,” in which the citizens of a boarding residence come jointly to make a stunning Christmas for 2 terrible ladies. Wildly well known on the time in their publication—readers deluged Alcott with letters tough sequels—and drawing on Alcott’s relatives and reviews within the abolitionist and women’s suffrage pursuits, those tales have the real texture and aspect of Christmas in nineteenth-century the USA, whereas their emphasis on generosity and charity lead them to undying embodiments of the Christmas spirit.
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Hoffer’s critique of the inauthentic both mirrors and rewrites Goodman’s by locating the failure of agency not in the organization man (where Goodman sees it) but in the ranks of the dissidents with whom Goodman sides. These would-be champions of authenticity, Hoffer writes, “are made to feel that they are not their real selves but actors playing a role, and their doings a performance rather than the real thing” (71). Goodman treats acting without firm belief as a failure to act at all; Hoffer sees acting according to belief as a surrender of reason to passion.
29 The soullessness and disloyalty fostered by the multiversity lay the groundwork for a paradoxically rigorous moral purpose. Favoring private choices over collective belonging, postwar school culture’s reverence for voluntarism appeared to fulfill John Dewey’s promise that progressive education would serve as a conduit to liberal politics. 30 If the university was not the only institution that could in turn “produce” the subject given to “voluntary initiative,” it was surely the most pivotal.
Ellison’s politics are notoriously ambiguous, and there is no clearer reminder of this than the fact that his novel begins in the pastoral environs of a black college whose chief administrator, the villainous Bledsoe, embodies the academic style that, in Friedan’s estimation, thwarts the delusions of the culture industry. Ellison’s own ironic powers were formed to a large extent within the precincts of the black college, which was both a variant of “mainstream” midcentury school culture and arguably that culture’s model, insofar as the postwar university increasingly took upon itself the task of citizen making that had long been the purpose of black colleges like Tuskegee (from which Ellison departed one year shy of his degree).