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A Note on S. Behrman as a Jew in Frank Norris's The Octopus

A Note on S. Behrman as a Jew in Frank Norris's The Octopus NOTES & DOCUMENTS A Note on S. Behrman as a Jew in Frank Norris's The Octopus Donald Pizer, Tulane University Frank Norris's epic novel of California life, The Octopus, is based upon the late 1870s conflict between the Southern Pacific Railroad and Tulare County farmers for control of large bodies of arable land occupied by the farmers but claimed by the railroad. The conflict culminated in the infamous Mussel Slough massacre of May 1880, when a number of farmers were killed as they sought to prevent their forcible evictions. Norris's sympathies were entirely with the farmers (or "ranchers" as he calls them), and he depicts in the novel the full litany of evils ascribed to the railroad by anti-railroad groups, ranging from false promises and corruption of officials to rate fixing. Almost all of these practices are embodied in Norris's portrayal of one of the central figures in the novel, the railroad official S. Behrman. Behrman is not only the railroad's county land agent, directly responsible for management of its vast land holdings, but he also sets its freight rates for the area and runs the county's largest bank. He is in a sense the railroad personified. In http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Studies in American Naturalism University of Nebraska Press

A Note on S. Behrman as a Jew in Frank Norris's The Octopus

Studies in American Naturalism , Volume 6 (1) – Feb 24, 2011

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University of Nebraska Press
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Copyright © University of Nebraska Press
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1944-6519
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Abstract

NOTES & DOCUMENTS A Note on S. Behrman as a Jew in Frank Norris's The Octopus Donald Pizer, Tulane University Frank Norris's epic novel of California life, The Octopus, is based upon the late 1870s conflict between the Southern Pacific Railroad and Tulare County farmers for control of large bodies of arable land occupied by the farmers but claimed by the railroad. The conflict culminated in the infamous Mussel Slough massacre of May 1880, when a number of farmers were killed as they sought to prevent their forcible evictions. Norris's sympathies were entirely with the farmers (or "ranchers" as he calls them), and he depicts in the novel the full litany of evils ascribed to the railroad by anti-railroad groups, ranging from false promises and corruption of officials to rate fixing. Almost all of these practices are embodied in Norris's portrayal of one of the central figures in the novel, the railroad official S. Behrman. Behrman is not only the railroad's county land agent, directly responsible for management of its vast land holdings, but he also sets its freight rates for the area and runs the county's largest bank. He is in a sense the railroad personified. In

Journal

Studies in American NaturalismUniversity of Nebraska Press

Published: Feb 24, 2011

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