In distinction to the present scholarly con-sensus that is aware sentimentality to be grounded on a good judgment of affection and sympathy, Apocalyptic Sentimentalism
demonstrates that during order for sentimentality to paintings as an antislavery engine, it had to be associated with its seeming opposite—fear, specifically the terror of God’s wrath. such a lot antislavery reformers well-known that demands love and sympathy or the illustration of affliction slaves wouldn't lead an viewers to “feel correct” or to actively oppose slavery. the specter of God’s apocalyptic vengeance—and the phobia that this probability inspired—functioned in the culture of abolitionist sentimentality as an important goad for sympathy and love. Fear,then, used to be on the middle of nineteenth-century sentimental concepts for inciting antislavery reform, bolstering love whilst love faltered, and working as a robust mechanism for developing interracial sympathy. Depictions of God’s apocalyptic vengeance constituted the most productive procedure for antislavery writers to generate a feeling of terror of their audience.
concentrating on a number very important anti-slavery figures, together with David Walker, Nat Turner, Maria Stewart, Harriet Beecher Stowe, and John Brown, Apocalyptic Sentimentalism illustrates how antislavery discourse labored to redefine violence and vengeance because the final expression (rather than denial) of affection and sympathy. on the sametime, those warnings of apocalyptic retribution enabled antislavery writers to specific, albeit in a roundabout way, fantasies of brutal violence opposed to slaveholders. What started as a sentimental procedure quick turned an incendiary gesture, with antislavery reformers envisioning the total annihilation of slaveholders and defenders of slavery.