This book analyzes the theme of homelessness in American literature from the Civil War through the depression. Drawing on the work of Harriet Beecher Stowe, Horatio Alger, Stephen Crane, Jacob Riis, Jack London, Meridel Le Sueur and many others, it reveals how homelessness has been either romanticized or objectified.
Introduction: How the Other Half Lives: Representations of Homelessness in American Literature 1. "In my Father's House are Many Mansions": Homelessness and Domesticity in Uncle Tom's Cabin 2. "Street Arabs" and the "Tramp Menace": The Function of Homeless Characters in the Work of Horatio Alger 3. The Other (Half) and How It Lives: Jacob Riis and Stephen Crane's Vision of Poverty and Homelessness 4. Romance of The Road: Jack London and the Publication of Tramp Autobiographies in America 5. "I did not Write These Stories": Meridel Le Sueur and American Testimonial Literature Conclusion: American Testimonial Literature and The Contemporary Discourse of Homelessness