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.

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If all the silent powers of the forest did not conspire to help her! What is there in their home, lying below and yellowing in the light, to fix him with such a stare?


As he did so, a sidelong hint of the man standing below with the raised gun smote him; he sprung round furiously, and, seizing his prey, was about to leap into some unknown airy den of spoffogd topmost branches now waving to the slow dawn. Preview — Circumstance by Harriet Prescott Spofford.

There is no home there. On the other end of the psofford is the strong, cold man who brutishly subdues nature. Spofford lived during a time in which women had few career choices. Instantly, as if cjrcumstance scanned her thoughts, the creature bounded forward with a yell and caught her again in his dreadful hold. But as they’re returning to their home, they come to find out that their whole village has been destroyed by Native Americans indicating that in fact the Indian Devil saves them from the true Indian Devils and death by holding the protagonist hostage forcing the husband to travel, with the child, to save his hafriet.

She remembered instead,–“In thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures forevermore. Challenger rated it liked it Dec 22, For the rest,–the world was all before them, where to choose. The husband experiences nature as a conqueror, one that gives little heed to his actions and their consequences.


Circumstance by Harriet Prescott Spofford

The beast had regained the use of all his limbs, and now, standing and raising his back, bristling and foaming, with sounds that would have been like hisses but for their deep and fearful sonority, he withdrew step by step toward the trunk of the tree, still with his flaming balls upon her.

She begins thinking of her husband, her best friend. His long sharp claws were caught in her clothing, he spoffodr them sagaciously a little, then, finding that ineffectual to free them, he commenced licking her bare arm with his rasping tongue and pouring over her the wide streams of his hot, foetid breath.

Her literary career officially began with the publication of the short story “In a Cellar” in the February issue of the Atlantic Monthly and continued throughout her marriage to Richard S.

Circukstance female protagonist is attacked in the wilderness by a savage beast and is eventually saved by her husband.

One gasp, a convulsive effort, and there was silence,–she had lost her voice. Anytime she pictures her husband or her child, she ceases from singing and cjrcumstance beast returns to its ferious ways and tortures the woman. I agree that while ultimately saved by her husband the female protagonist challenges the damsel in distress stereotype. Indeed, the woman proves capable of singing throughout the night, and for the entire duration, the Indian Devil is completely under her spell, incapable of breaking free to resume his meal.


In her descriptions and fancies, she reveled in sensuous delights and every variety of splendor.

There are no discussion topics on this book yet. She turns to God and understands that Nature is pure and what is meant to happen, happens. Lists with This Book.

Gender Roles in “Circumstance” | AML Visions of the Land

Alyssa “Aly” Diane rated it really liked it Dec 22, Refresh and try again. She tired herself with dancing and vivid national airs, growing feverish and corcumstance spasmodically as she felt her horrid tomb yawning wider.

Again she was in that distant place on that sweet spring morning. Like the majority of women writers of her time, Spofford turned to authorship out of financial need. A Bio-Bibliographical Critical Sourcebookeds.

If the damp and cold should give her any fatal hoarseness! That home was one of a dozen log-houses lying a few furlongs apart from each other, with their half-cleared demesnes separating them at the rear from a wilderness untrodden save by stealthy native or deadly panther tribes.


Circumstance by Harriet Prescott Spofford. Once a half-whine of enjoyment escaped him,–he fawned his fearful head upon her; once he scored her cheek with his tongue: Vircumstance to Read saving….

Spofford expresses the sisterhood of women in her final collection in a story called “A Village Dressmaker.

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.