Journal of Literary & Cultural Disability Studies

A World Turned Upside Down

Hop-Frog, Freak Shows, and Representations of Dwarfism

Journal of Literary & Cultural Disability Studies (2020), 14, (2), 171–186.

Abstract

The article considers Edgar Allan Poe’s “Hop Frog” and American Horror Story: Freak Show in order to determine how and if any change in the portrayal of dwarfism occurs in the time between the publication of the two texts. First, the article touches on the rise and fall of the freak show, followed by a brief history of dwarfism. Next, a short discussion of several key concepts is undertaken before beginning a close examination of the characters identified as dwarfs in both works. Last, the article analyzes the similarities and differences between the two texts and considers what is at stake in the larger picture of the lived experiences of dwarfs through the concept of “cripping up.”

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Details

Author details

Tyrrell, Brenda