Dixon, Thomas, Ku Klux Klan (19th cent.) Reconstruction (U.S. history, and 1865-1877)
Thesis (M.A.)--Florida State University, 2003. Advisor: R. Bruce Bickley, Florida State University, College of Arts and Sciences, Department of English. Title and description from dissertation home page (viewed Sept. 26, 2003). Includes bibliographical references.
Southern, Race, Power, Womanhood, Gender, Anti Semitism, Dixon, Watson, Frank, Phagan, Lynching, Clansman, Birth of a Nation, Ku Klux Klan, Miscegenation, Arts and Humanities, and History
Thomas Dixon Jr. (1864 -1946) and Thomas E. Watson (1856-1922), two controversial and radical figures, are often credited with the second coming of the Ku Klux Klan. Dixon, writer of novels and plays such as The Leopard’s Spots (1902) and The Clansman (1905), and Watson, politician, prolific writer, and publisher of Watson’s Magazine and The Jeffersonian, reached the masses and saturated popular culture with their racial agenda. As each of these men had especially long careers, this thesis focuses on particular times and specific issues. With Dixon, the writing of The Clansman (1905) and production of The Birth of a Nation (1915) are key points in his career and exemplary of his feelings about race, gender and power. For Watson, the Leo Frank controversy (1913-1915) demonstrates the same. Moreover, each man’s career was associated by others with the second coming of the Klan in the late 1910s and early 1920s. Thus, this era is significant for analysis of both men’s work. Through their writings, plays, and political stances, Dixon and Watson ensured widespread reception of a racial message aimed at maintaining the Southern social order at the turn of the twentieth century. While desired social order placed white, Anglo-Saxon, Protestant men at the top of the social pyramid, a viewing of their work through a gendered lens adds complexity to these motivations. This thesis applies a gendered analysis in a comparative study of these two racist publicists in order to identify and analyze what for them, is the fundamental foundation of that social order. In doing so, not only is an obsession with racial control demonstrated, but also a deep-seated desire to protect and control white womanhood—the most important component of the white, Anglo, Protestant majority. In this analysis, gender emerges as a means to augment race and power while maintaining and bolstering the traditional social order.
Texas Studies in Literature & Language. Fall2010, Vol. 52 Issue 3, p247-265. 19p.
LITERARY characters, RACE discrimination, and PLOTS (Drama, novel, etc.)
The author analyzes the character of Lydia Brown featured in the 1905 bestseller "The Clansman" by Thomas Dixon. It states that the book was inspired by the racial paranoia that harassed early 20th-century America. The character is said to mobilizes the racial uplift narrative that drives the motion of the plot. It notes on the effort of Dixon to undermine Brown by describing her as a metaphorically fragmented, disjointed body with an animalistic beauty despite the reality of her silent textual influence.
Southern Communication Journal. Summer2000, Vol. 65 Issue 4, p300. 17p.
BOOKS and CRITICISM
Examines the historical and cultural conditions that led to the writing of `The Clansman,' by Thomas Dixon. Similarities between the book and other rhetorical artifacts produced by Dixon; Summary of the book's utopian and dystopian themes; Description of the use of utopian and dystopian themes as resources for rhetorical practice.