Captivity, Childbirth, and the Civil War in Harriet Prescott Spofford’s ” Circumstance”. Theresa Strouth Gaul. Texas Christian University. Harriet Prescott Spofford’s. Spofford, Harriet. “Circumstance.” The Online Archive of Nineteenth-Century Women’s Writings. Ed. Glynis Carr. Online. Internet. Posted: Winter Circumstance has 10 ratings and 0 reviews. Harriet Prescott Spofford was a regular contributor of short stories to the well known journal, The.

Author: JoJosida Megor
Country: Kenya
Language: English (Spanish)
Genre: Love
Published (Last): 11 June 2017
Pages: 252
PDF File Size: 12.22 Mb
ePub File Size: 8.88 Mb
ISBN: 226-4-96730-830-9
Downloads: 64254
Price: Free* [*Free Regsitration Required]
Uploader: Kiran

Thus the beast represents the hardships that the artistic woman must face during her life.

She cried rather, “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: He completely disregards the consequences of his actions, and is motivated solely by carnal lust. It was published serially in The Atlantic Monthly in Posted by brightgirl04 on November spoford, at 2: The monster raised his head and flared the fiery eyeballs upon her, then fretted the imprisoned claws a moment and was quiet; only the breath like the vapor from some hell-pit still swathed her.

On the other end of the spectrum is the strong, cold man who brutishly subdues nature. Spofford’s women face the realistic necessities of life, live with the limited perceptions of their men, and triumph through the art they s;offord songs, quilts, and dresses that only a widened perspective recognizes as true art forms and the choices they willingly make.

Again the cocks crowed with the passing hour,–the last time they were heard on that night.

She asked herself, as she sang, what sins she had committed, what life she had led, to find her punishment so soon and in these pangs,–and then she sought eagerly for some reason why her husband was not up and abroad to find her.

As he drew nearer the heart of the forest, that intimation of melody seemed to grow more actual, to take body and breath, to come and go on long swells and ebbs of the night-breeze, to increase with tune and words, till a strange shrill singing grew ever clearer, and, as he stepped into an open space of moonbeams, far up in the branches, rocked by the wind, and singing, “How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace,” he saw his wife,–his wife,–but, great God in heaven!

This page was last edited on 16 Decemberat Although prescoyt husband is the character who finally ends the cat while the woman saves herself through seducing it. Posted November 7, by kwalley in Uncategorized. She did not even believe herself subject to an hallucination, but smiled simply, a little vexed that her thought could have framed such a glamour from the day’s occurrences, and not sorry circimstance lift the bough of the warder of the woods and enter and disappear in their sombre path.


Spofford lived during a time in which women had few career choices. The child knew the singing voice, though never heard before in that unearthly key, and prsecott toward it through the circumztance dreams. She attended the Putnam Free School in Newburyport, Harriet Elizabeth Prescott Spofford April 3, — August 14, was a notable American writer remembered for her novels, poems and detective stories. As the beast continues to attack and subdue her, she begins pfescott come to terms with her life and pescott religion.

Circumstance (short story)

High and clear through the frore fair night, the level moonbeams splintering in the wood, the scarce glints of stars in presfott shadowy roof of branches, these sacred anthems rose,– rose as a hope from despair, as some snowy spray of flower-bells from blackest mould.

The period in which Spofford began writing was a bridge between romanticism and realism. Feeling her desolation, wild, melancholy, forsaken songs rose thereon from that frightful aerie,–weeping, wailing tunes, that sob among the people from age to age, and overflow with otherwise unexpressed sadness,–all rude, mournful ballads,–old tearful strains, that Shakespeare heard the vagrants sing, and that rise and fall like the wind and tide,–sailor-songs, to be heard only in lone mid-watches beneath the moon and stars,–ghastly rhyming romances, such as that famous one of the Lady Margaret, when.

It circukstance Emily Dickinson as “the only thing I ever read in my life that I didn’t think I could have imagined myself!

Circumstance by Harriet Prescott Spofford

One gasp, a convulsive effort, and there was silence,–she had lost her voice. Still singing, she felt herself twisted about with a low growl and a lifting of the red lip from the glittering teeth; she broke the hornpipe’s thread, and commenced unravelling a lighter, circjmstance thing, an Irish jig.

Katie Riley rated it really liked it Sep 19, Walking rapidly now, and with her eyes wide-open, she distinctly saw in the air before her what was not there a moment ago, a winding-sheet,–cold, white, and ghastly, waved by the likeness of four wan hands,–that rose with a long inflation, and fell in rigid folds, while a voice, shaping itself from the hollowness above, spectral and melancholy, sighed,– “The Lord have mercy on the people! He is violent and lustful; the only thought on his mind is to satiate his hunger.


You are commenting using your Twitter account. A remote crash of brushwood told of some other beast on his depredations, or some night-belated traveller groping his way through the narrow path.

Feminism in Circumstance | My handle on life was broken, but I fixed it

Now, as she sang on in the slow, endless, infinite moments, the fervent vision of God’s peace was gone. Alex rated it it was ok Oct 21, At one hand lay the forest to which her path wound; at the other the evening star hung over a tide of failing orange that slowly slipped down spocford earth’s broad side to sadden other hemispheres with sweet regret.

A thrill of joy pierced and shivered through her like a weapon, her voice trembled in its course, her glance lost its steady strength, fever-flushes chased each other prdscott her face, yet she never once ceased chanting. The year before she was born, her father’s business went bankrupt. India Roper-Moyes added it Feb 17, To circumwtance other readers questions about Circumstanceplease sign up. Another way in which she challenges the typical female gender role of their place being in the home is that her husband was home taking care of ptescott child and she was out using her skills to help an ill neighbor.

This story also symbolizes the woman artist’s oppression. She sung the song through, and, wondering lest his name of Indian Devil were not his true name, and if he would not detect her, she repeated it.


She called upon her husband. The magazine’s editor, James Russell Lowell, at first believed the story to be a translation and withheld it from publication.

Knight and Emmanuel S. Retrieved from ” https: Paula Bennett and Vernon A. Let us be ended by fire, and we are ashes, for the winds to bear, the leaves to cover; let us be ended by wild beasts, and the base, cursed thing howls with us zpofford through the forest.