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“Made to Feel Wretched”: Royall Tyler and the Trouble with Global Sympathy

“Made to Feel Wretched”: Royall Tyler and the Trouble with Global Sympathy sarah sillin Gettysburg College “Made to Feel Wretched” Royall Tyler and the Trouble with Global Sympathy I pity you too, replied I, the tears standing in my eyes. —e Th Algerine Captive At a key moment in the middle of e Th Algerine Captive (1797), Royall Tyler sends his American narrator, Updike Underhill, to Africa aboarde Th Sympathy . The slave ship’s allegorical name is just one of n-u merous signs that the novel is concerned with sentiment. Beyond sig- nal ing this attention to feeling, e Th Sympathy invites us to recognize that sen- timent carries Underhill into a series of fraught cr cu os ls- tural encounters. Tyler conveys the influence of these encounters through depictions of Underhill’s ae ff ct, including recurring scenes of sympathetic crying, such as the one quoted in the epigraph (126). These scenes suggest that the pro - tagonist cannot resist expressing sympathy for foreign peoples, even as his tears signal the pain and vulnerability that compassion creates. F -or in stance, when Underhill comes to pity enslaved Africans aboard e Th Sy-m pathy, his sentiment simultaneously attests to his power as an American and destabilizes it through his identification with slaves. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Early American Literature University of North Carolina Press

“Made to Feel Wretched”: Royall Tyler and the Trouble with Global Sympathy

Early American Literature , Volume 51 (1) – Mar 16, 2016

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Publisher
University of North Carolina Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2008 The University of North Carolina Press.
ISSN
1534-147X

Abstract

sarah sillin Gettysburg College “Made to Feel Wretched” Royall Tyler and the Trouble with Global Sympathy I pity you too, replied I, the tears standing in my eyes. —e Th Algerine Captive At a key moment in the middle of e Th Algerine Captive (1797), Royall Tyler sends his American narrator, Updike Underhill, to Africa aboarde Th Sympathy . The slave ship’s allegorical name is just one of n-u merous signs that the novel is concerned with sentiment. Beyond sig- nal ing this attention to feeling, e Th Sympathy invites us to recognize that sen- timent carries Underhill into a series of fraught cr cu os ls- tural encounters. Tyler conveys the influence of these encounters through depictions of Underhill’s ae ff ct, including recurring scenes of sympathetic crying, such as the one quoted in the epigraph (126). These scenes suggest that the pro - tagonist cannot resist expressing sympathy for foreign peoples, even as his tears signal the pain and vulnerability that compassion creates. F -or in stance, when Underhill comes to pity enslaved Africans aboard e Th Sy-m pathy, his sentiment simultaneously attests to his power as an American and destabilizes it through his identification with slaves.

Journal

Early American LiteratureUniversity of North Carolina Press

Published: Mar 16, 2016

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