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The Lives of Chang and EngSiam's Twins in Nineteenth-Century America$
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Joseph Andrew Orser

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9781469618302

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469618326.001.0001

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Southern Curiosities

Southern Curiosities

(p.147) Chapter Five Southern Curiosities
The Lives of Chang and Eng

Joseph Andrew Orser

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter explores how conjoined twins Chang and Eng Bunker, more famously known as the “Siamese twins,” came to symbolize America's disunion in general and the growing divide between North and South in particular during the Civil War. It first considers Chang and Eng's return from California to North Carolina in early 1861, the changes in their households during the war years, and the North's distrust of the twins. It then examines popular representations of the brothers in the final years of the Civil War that focused on their supposed duplicity, self-interest, and greed. It also looks at Chang and Eng's time in Britain and their emergence as an allegory for national healing and unity.

Keywords:   conjoined twins, Chang and Eng Bunker, Siamese twins, disunion, North, South, Civil War, North Carolina, Chang and Eng, unity

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