Nowacki, Jessica Chainer. "Current Bibliography." Nathaniel Hawthorne Review 31, no. 2 (2005): 49-77.
Smith, Andrew M., and Elizabeth J. Wright. "Hawthorne." In American Literary Scholarship 2005. Ed. David J. Nordloh and Gary Scharnhorst. Durham, N. C.: Duke University Press, 2007. Pp. 29-54.
The Scarlet Letter. New York: DK, 2008.
Includes "illustrated information pages," "background information and context," "explanation of the major themes," "illustrated glossary," timeline, and brief biography of Hawthorne.
The Scarlet Letter. Ed. Gertrude Coleman. New York: Longman, 2007.
From the Longman Annotated Editions for Developing College Readers, containing sample lesson; biography of Hawthorne and discussion of his technique; preand post-reading chapter exercises; glossary; a series of "block journals" that "increase student comprehension and create more student interaction"; and a "major journal," which "seeks to compile in a logical format the students' knowledge of this entire reading, thinking, writing, and verbal communication process."
The Scarlet Letter. New York: Oxford University Press, 2007.
Oxford World's Classics edition includes annotations by Brian Harding and Introduction by Cindy Weinstein.
Ano, Fumio. Miscellaneous Encounters: Collected Essays on Nathaniel Hawthorne. Tokyo: Shohakusha, 2007. 87 pp.
Anthology of previously published essays with a foreword by Rita K. Gollin. "The Mischianza Ball and Hawthorne's 'Howe's Masquerade'" originally appeared in Nathaniel Hawthorne Journal 1974 (1975); "Hawthorne and Commodore Perry," in Nathaniel Hawthorne Review 15 (Fall 1989); "William H. Foster's Note on Hawthorne's First Article," in Nathaniel Hawthorne Review 17 (Spring 1991); "Hawthorne and Poison," in The Rising Generation (Eigo-Seinen) 131 (June 1985); and "A Long Incubation before a Renaissance: Hawthorne's Introduction to Meiji Japan," in The Essex Institute Historical Collections 129 (July 1993).
Argersinger, Jana L., and Leland S. Person, eds. Hawthorne and Melville: Writing a Relationship. Athens: University of Georgia Press, 2008. 378 pp.
Essays on the Hawthorne-Melville relationship by Argersinger and Person, Laurie Robertson-Lorant, Brenda Wineapple, Robert Milder, Gale Temple, Dennis Berthold, Wyn Kelley (two essays), Robert Sattelmeyer, Robert S. Levine, Thomas R. Mitchell, Richard Hardack, Ellen Weinauer, and Christopher Castiglia. See annotations for each essay below.
Bloom, Harold, ed. Bloom's Classic Critical Views: Nathaniel Hawthorne. New York: Bloom's Literary Criticism, 2008. 273 pp.
Includes introduction by Bloom, brief biography of Hawthorne, chronology, and period commentary on Hawthorne himself, Twice-told, Mosses, Letter, Gables, Blithedale, Faun.
--. Bloom's Modern Critical Interpretations: Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter. Updated Edition. New York: Bloom's Literary Criticism, 2007. 256 pp.
Includes introduction by Bloom, essays by Joel Pfister, Sacvan Bercovitch, Charles Swann, Emily Miller Budick, Janice B. Daniel, Michael T. Gilmore, Leland S. Person, Richard Kopley, Margaret Reid, chronology, and bibliography.
--. Bloom's Modern Critical Views: Nathaniel Hawthorne. Updated Edition. New York: Chelsea House, 2007. 260 pp.
Includes introduction by Bloom, essays by Millicent Bell, Frederick C. Crews, Jane Donahue Eberwein, David C. Cody, Edwin Haviland Miller, Samuel Coale, Michael Dunne, Joseph Flibbert, Dan McCall, David B. Kesterson, and Richard Kopley, a chronology, and bibliography.
Bosco, Ronald A., and Jillmarie Murphy, eds. Hawthorne in His Own Time: A Biographical Chronicle of His Life, Drawn from Recollections, Interviews, and Memoirs by Family, Friends, and Associates. Iowa City: University of Iowa Press, 2007. 320 pp.
Features introduction, chronology, and period commentary on Hawthorne from his friends, family, and fellow writers.
Raw, Laurence. Adapting Nathaniel Hawthorne to the Screen: Forging New Worlds. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow, 2008. 173 pp.
Filmmakers position the Hawthorne "first and foremost as a political writer," because "he uses the past to comment on the present." A 1950 television version of Letter portrays Chillingworth as a "McCarthyesque inquisitor figure," and the 1926 and 1995 adaptations of Letter "demonstrat[e] the importance of individual self-determination in an American society increasingly preoccupied with standardization." The celluloid rendition of Twice-told Tales and the animated Scarecrow (a retelling of "Feathertop") use Hawthorne "to more radical ends" appropriate to the 1960s and early 1970s. Released in 1940, director Joe May's Gables reflects fears of fascism by "mak[ing] an explicit appeal to filmgoers to involve themselves in the Second World War." Raw offers studies of seventeen films based on Hawthorne: eight versions of Letter (1926, 1934, 1950, 1954, 1973, 1979, 1987, and 1995); two of Gables (1940 and 1960); Heart of Gold (adaptation of "Snow-Image," 1952); Feathertop (1961); Twice-told Tales (1963); The Scarecrow (1972) and its remake (2000); Rappaccini's Daughter (1980); Loons (1991, a comedy that combines elements of Gables and "Feathertop").
Weldon, Roberta. Hawthorne, Gender, and Death: Christianity and Its Discontents. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2008. 203 pp.
In Letter, "Custom-House," Gables, Blithedale, and Faun, Hawthorne exposes the "inadequacy" of "the orthodox Christian idea of eternal life, the concept of 'familial immortality,' utopian schemes," and the "belief in the transcendent possibilities of love or art." Male characters attempt to deny death; and, "to make death yield meaning, they often "overlook, reject, and sacrifice women." The typical male protagonist does not "fear ... that he will be parted from his lover but that their union will drag him down to the grave." In chapter one, Weldon argues that Letter "reveals the reasons that a Christian culture like Puritan Boston fosters attitudes that allow some men to do violence to women." Dimmesdale's death represents the culmination of "all of the doubts and questions that the novel has raised about the conventional Christian way of living and dying" and "calls for a reappraisal of the traditional Christian association of women and death." Chapter two views "Custom-House" as the typical "spiritual autobiography" in which the exiled Hawthorne, seeking a true home, traces the "pilgrimage" from the idyllic Old Manse to "infertile decay." Chapter three looks at Gables' critique of the nineteenth-century idea that bequeathing property lent a family a degree of "permanence," relying on David Bakan's theories of "familial immortality" vs. "individual immortality." Chapter four claims that the titular commune in Blithedale "signified the possibility of a social order conceived on the principles of justice and equality for all," but its denizens "end up rewriting the old script of accusation and betrayal of women." Coverdale's narrative "ultimately locates the origin of the social order in the dead body of a woman." The novel contains "elements of the ... accused queen narrative of folk and medieval literature" with Zenobia cast as the "unjustly accused." Chapter five states that death alters everything in Faun: "beliefs are tested and new allegiances form. Because Donatello's committed murder in support of 'Queen' Miriam and the matriarchal order, the male culture calls for a ... reeducation into acceptable ideas concerning women and death." In the "Conclusion," Weldon demonstrates that the myths referred to in Faun "offer no possibility that transformation could free men from the fact of the finality of the body's corruption"; but the novel simultaneously questions "the potency of the Christian answer to death."
Essays and Studies in Books
Argersinger, Jana L., and Leland S. Person. "Hawthorne and Melville: Writing, Relationship, and Missing Letters." In Hawthorne and Melville: Writing a Relationship. Ed. Jana L. Argersinger and Leland S. Person. Athens: University of Georgia Press, 2008. Pp. 1-24.
History of scholars' attempts to decipher the nature of Hawthorne and Melville's relationship, from Newton Arvin's "first queer reading of Hawthorne" in 1929, through Edwin Haviland Miller's bombshell in 1975, to recent biographical works from Laurie Robertson-Lorant and Monika Mueller.
Berthold, Dennis. "Italy, the Civil War, and the Politics of Friendship." In Hawthorne and Melville: Writing a Relationship. Ed. Jana L. Argersinger and Leland S. Person. Athens: University of Georgia Press, 2008. Pp. 133-54.
Melville's and Hawthorne's visits to Italy coincided with a pivotal moment in the Risorgimento, an Italian independence movement; their reactions to the Italian political scene reveal their "varying attitudes toward revolution, democracy, authority, American identity, and nationhood itself, ideological differences that contributed significantly to their estrangement during the Civil War." Hostilities between the Italians and French draw little more than a mention in Hawthorne's French and Italian Notebooks, and, by favoring French troops over Italians, the author "aligns himself with those Americans who considered the typical Italian too superstitious, ignorant, and emotional for republican autonomy." Melville, conversely, "brought to Italy a more sympathetic awareness" of the politics and the people. The authors' relationship did not wane as a result of "homosexual panic" but instead "anxiety over politics" abroad and at home: while Melville "engaged" in the Civil War-era political scene, "Hawthorne fled from them in the United States as he had in Italy, creating an ideological gulf that no ... conviviality could bridge." In Faun, "Hawthorne's indifference to Italian political and social life" prevents him from painting an accurate portrait of a country in revolution. Melville's "Statues in Rome," however, combines art and contemporary politics and "roots Italian and American patriotism in a common Roman past that aspires to a stable, coherent, and unified national identity." When Americans began linking the Risorgimento to the Union ideology, Melville "grasped the significance" and "welcomed the historical foundation it gave to American's national aspirations." But Hawthorne retreated into "artistic isolation and political orthodoxy."
Castiglia, Christopher. "Alienated Affections: Hawthorne and Melville's Transintimate Relationship." In Hawthorne and Melville: Writing a Relationship. Ed. Jana L. Argersinger and Leland S. Person. Athens: University of Georgia Press, 2008. Pp. 321-44.
Examines "the nationalist rhetoric underlying the relationship of Melville and Hawthorne." "Hawthorne and His Mosses," which teems with such rhetoric in its call for a quintessentially American literature, reflects "the more subtle nationalism animating the two men's friendship from its start." Duyckinck may have arranged for Melville and Hawthorne to meet--and, he hoped, form a close friendship--as a way of capitalizing on the "literary nationalism" Melville espouses in the essay. The publisher "could establish his national canon in print," but he wanted the authors "to form an emotional attachment" because "friendship became a prevailing national fascination" during "the early federal debates."
Chaney, Michael A. "Urban Anonymity and Mobility in Running and The House of the Seven Gables." In Fugitive Vision: Slave Image and Black Identity in Antebellum Literature. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2008. Pp. 98-101.
Gables provides an example of the "failure of the symbol of the train to separate subjects from the domestic structures that frame them." Clifford and Hepzibah's train ride represents an attempt "to escape the confining ideologies of the house ... of Jaffrey Pyncheon" but "Clifford's delirious celebration of the train's production of a new kind of existence ... is only fleeting." Clifford "decries traditional desires for real estate, ... preferring instead the sensations of fluidity and groundlessness" of the train, but eventually he "grows maudlin at the sights afforded by the train of a dizzying world full of new market-based activities fast supplanting the old and familiar."
Christianson, Frank. "Hawthorne's 'Cold Fancy' and the Revision of Sympathetic Exchange." In Philanthropy in British and American Fiction: Dickens, Hawthorne, Eliot, and Howells. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2007. Pp. 104-39.
"A version" of an essay that appeared under the title "'Trading Places in Fancy': Hawthorne's Critique of Sympathetic Identification in The Blithedale Romance," in Novel: A Forum on Fiction 36 (Spring 2003): 244-62. See annotation in NHR 34 (Spring 2005): 84.
Chura, Patrick. "'Reading Gentry' in Melville, Hawthorne, Jewett, James, and Hawthorne." In Vital Contact: Downclassing Journeys in American Literature from Herman Melville to Richard Wright." New York: Routledge, 2005. Pp. 19-57.
See pp. 31-38. Blithedale "both exposes serious contradictions in the Transcendental dynamic of vital contact and prefigures the determined moral examination of downclassing efforts that would develop in American fiction as capitalism produced heightened forms of social disparity" later in the century. Hawthorne's distrust of reform movements like Brook Farm becomes most obvious in "The Supper-Table," which reveals the "inherent contradictions" in "the attempt of the leisure class to assume the identity of farm laborers." The main characters represent the "paradox" of Blithedale. Coverdale talks of "the redeeming value of labor" but focuses on "his personal comfort," while "Hollingsworth is a humanitarian without humanity." Zenobia supports the rights of women but "cannot assert her rights in her own sexual relationships." Priscilla, however, though a mere "laboring-class seamstress," displays "a reserve of personal strength" far greater than "that of her outwardly more formidable counterparts." Westervelt and Zenobia "profess a desire for ideal social relations while actually conducting themselves in ways that demean the lower class, Westervelt by possessing and marketing Priscilla's spiritual gifts, Zenobia by readily exercising her class position to subjugate the seamstress."
Cook, Sylvia Jenkins. "The Prospects for Fiction: Male Romantic Novelists and Women's Social Reality." In Working Women, Literary Ladies: The Industrial Revolution and Female Aspiration. New York: Oxford University Press, 2008. Pp. 113-19.
Builds on studies by Nicholas Bromell and Amal Amireh to show how Blithedale participates in "the debates about the emergence of both working women and literary ladies." Coverdale and Zenobia no longer write--Coverdale quits, Zenobia kills herself--and thus "both fail, one ignominiously, the other dramatically, to fulfill their utopian hopes." While one might detect an "unsympathetic response to writing women, independent working women, feminism, and idealist reformers" in Hawthorne's oeuvre, "it is buried so deeply in the pervasive skepticism of the human mind in The Blithedale Romance that all ideology, both realist and idealist, is subsumed to the fascination of mental and imaginative processes of assimilating experience."
Davis, Theo. "Sensing Hawthorne: The Figure of Hawthorne's Affect." In Formalism, Experience, and the Making of American Literature in the Nineteenth Century. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2007. Pp. 74-108.
Contra readers who believe that Hawthorne prompts "the reader to participate in the making of meaning," Davis claims the author's "engagement hinges, instead, on emblem making," which involves "obscuring what is being represented ... in order to raise questions about how the voice of the narrator solicits a certain affective experience." "Minister's Black Veil" offers a "particularly notable" example of "the way emotion in Hawthorne emerges around the creation of emblems instead of around persons." The black veil symbolizes "that no one is entirely open in his presentation of himself to another." Hawthorne falls into "the Renaissance emblem tradition" in that he "produce[s] around the image an explication of its rationale that is also an indication of how one should interpret it. And most of all, what Hawthorne asks of the reader is to follow the analytic process of making a connection, marking a similitude, of literal and figurative meaning." For example, the narrator calls the cookie-eating boy in Gables "'the very emblem of old Father Time,'" lending the child "some greater significance," for he "is implicitly indicative of 'Time,' but directly said to be actually emblematic of 'Father Time,' a personification of the abstraction Time." In Letter, "Pearl is an emblem ... hovering between 'material' and 'spiritual' ... and constituting an intimacy between Hester and Dimmesdale outside their individual distinctiveness." Pondering whether the title character in "Goodman Brown" merely dreamed the events of the forest "would be to miss the point of the story, which hinges on not knowing, as Brown watches and wonders for the entire rest of his life." Ultimately, in Hawthorne's works, "meaning is not destroyed ... but is beside the point of the experience of reading."
Deming, Richard. "Foundling Texts: Originality and Authorship in Melville's 'Hawthorne and His Mosses.'" In Listening on All Sides: Towards an Emersonian Ethics of Reading. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2007. 75-106.
Instead of focusing on "Melville as an author," Deming examines "how 'Hawthorne and His Mosses' interacts with Mosses from an Old Manse" and "breach[es] textual boundaries." The titular dwelling in "Old Manse" represents "not merely Hawthorne's residence" but also the author himself; it becomes a "figured and figural site of the interior struggle for self-consciousness, which Hawthorne's persona creates as a type for itself, and which Melville's persona appropriates for its own process of embodiment and exteriorization." Melville "literally uses passages and paraphrases from Mosses from an Old Manse in order to represent Hawthorne and his text" and "intensifies desire for Hawthorne in order to assimilate his authority and thereby sublate him. Just as Hawthorne literally replaced Emerson in the Old Manse, the critic/Melville imaginatively occupies the same study after Hawthorne has left."
Elbert, Monika. "Rewriting the Puritan Past: Food and Illicit Desires in Hawthorne's Fiction." In Consuming Culture in the Long Nineteenth Century: Narratives of Consumption, 1700-1900. Ed. Tamara S. Wagner and Narin Hassan. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2007. Pp. 155-71.
Through "excursions and digressions about food" in Letter, "Egotism," "Christmas Banquet," and Gables," Hawthorne investigates the "disjunction between the material spiritual realms." When he treats the Puritans, he "imagines their extravagance, or excesses in passion, and sinfulness (often narcissism) in terms of their attitudes towards food." When he returns from his meeting with Hester, Dimmesdale "eats 'with ravenous appetite'" as he composes his confession. Food/ eating also figures in tales like "Egotism" and "Christmas Banquet," which reveal that "self-consumption (egotism) and consumption are often identical in the Hawthorne canon." In "Egotism," Roderick attempts to starve the snake that feeds on him; and, in "Banquet," the Christmas dinner "is described in as great a detail as" the self-absorbed banquet attendees' many sins. The "entire framework" of Gables appears "to revolve around the desire for food, that is, for love, and for money." Phoebe, an excellent cook and capitalist, embodies the "nurturing, but also frugal and useful" woman that Lydia Maria Child celebrated in The American Frugal Housewife. Both Colonel Pyncheon and his descendant Jaffrey perish "with the image of sumptuous banquets and festivity on their mind--and with blood in their mouth." Holgrave stands in stark contrast to the Pyncheon men, for he "has the proper attitude towards food--and women." Finally, "the frame" of the novel "is not so much a house, but a cornucopia of food."
Felder, Deborah G. "The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne." In A Bookshelf of Our Own: Works That Changed Women's Lives. New York: Citadel, 2005. Pp. 35-40.
Offers short biography of Hawthorne and a summary and brief reading of Letter, a novel that draws its "power ... from ... a series of striking tableaux that animate the novel's action and the characters' moral and psychological natures." The letter A "is emblematic of each character's state of mind," becoming a symbol of "fallibility" and "fate" for Hester, sin and guilt for Dimmesdale. It "drives Chillingworth ... to embark on a self-destructive pursuit of revenge" while Pearl "is the living symbol of Hester's sin."
Hardack, Richard. "'In Old Rome's Pantheon': Hawthorne, Melville, and the Two Republics." In Hawthorne and Melville: Writing a Relationship. Ed. Jana L. Argersinger and Leland S. Person. Athens: University of Georgia Press, 2008. Pp. 269-96.
Faun is "Hawthorne's final attempt to differentiate his view of American transcendentalism from Melville's." Hawthorne connects transcendentalism and Roman Catholicism in Faun by depicting them as "racialized, primitive, universal, and closely associated with nature." He chooses Rome as a setting "in reaction to Melville's pantheism" and, "most of all," as a reply to Pierre's "'soft social Pantheism.'" The faun's obvious similarity to the "primitive Pan" demonstrates "that Hawthorne is surely aiming his satire at Emerson via his understanding of Melville and his unsocialized wild-child Isabel." In the end, Faun, "recants the Catholicism with which it periodically flirts for the 'nativist' Pantheon," which has, in the narrator's words, "'an impression of solemnity" that "St. Peter's itself fails to produce." Melville sought to "merg[e] with Hawthorne" and believed in "transcendental American literature that would become universal. But Hawthorne annuls that merger, casting one Satan against another, Catholicism against pantheism, a Romanized St. Peter against his own half brother Pan, in the universal church of the universal city, to denigrate the excesses of American transcendentalism."
Kelley, Wyn. "Hawthorne and Melville in the Shoals: 'Agatha,' the Trials of Authorship, and the Dream of Collaboration." In Hawthorne and Melville: Writing a Relationship. Ed. Jana L. Argersinger and Leland S. Person. Athens: University of Georgia Press, 2008. Pp. 173-95.
"Agatha," a story that Melville suggested Hawthorne and he write together, "evokes the issues of authorship, property, and the literary marketplace that occupied both men's attentions" and "seem[s] to dramatize the personal, professional, and political crises that consumed them." Both writers published novels, Blithedale and Pierre, featuring "isolat[ed], emasculat[ed]" protagonists who "reflect the exhaustion of their authors." "Every page" of Hawthorne's next work, a campaign biography of Franklin Pierce, reveals the "conflict between his role as writer and his obligations as citizen." Hawthorne's "long and pious" treatment of slavery in Pierce "suggests Hawthorne's own desire for a stable union, not only between the conflicted sections of the nation but also between the discordant sides of himself--dreamer and doer, writer and politician, poet and professional." The "Agatha" story, too, "concerns issues of property and union," but deals with them "rather differently than" in Pierce; it demonstrates "the importance of marriage in establishing legitimate transfers of property and keeping it within the family unit." The authors' proposed collaboration reveals similar ideas about property ownership, concerns that resonate in an era dominated by debates over slavery: "Did [Hawthorne and Melville] imagine that they together could break free of the rigid compromise that held the nation's different constituencies in suspension and that seemed to have frozen their writings too?" Through this "dream of common property, one that might efface individual ownership, Melville sought to escape the burdens of literary mastery"; Hawthorne, however, "could dally in but not ultimately share this vision."
--. "Letters on Foolscap." In Hawthorne and Melville: Writing a Relationship. Ed. Jana L. Argersinger and Leland S. Person. Athens: University of Georgia Press, 2008. Pp. 156-70.
Fictional work in which Kelley imagines discovering a chest containing lost correspondence between Melville and Hawthorne, along with one letter from Melville to Duychinck. Kelley then presents ten of these fictional letters, which fill in blanks in the Hawthorne-Melville relationship.
Levine, Robert S. "Genealogical Fictions: Race in The House of the Seven Gables and Pierre." In Hawthorne and Melville: Writing a Relationship. Ed. Jana L. Argersinger and Leland S. Person. Athens: University of Georgia Press, 2008. Pp. 227-47.
Gables and Pierre deal with problematic "genealogical histories and legacies." Both novels portray an apparently "thriving, prosperous, democratic United States," but "beneath that happy surface lies an ambiguous history of violation, defeat, and racial entanglement." The predominant modern scholarly view of "Hawthorne as an inveterate racist and Melville as a visionary progressive is in need of reconsideration." Contrary to traditional thinking, Democrats of the period expressed great disagreement over slavery, and "there is evidence that [Hawthorne] was increasingly sympathetic to" the anti-slavery stance of the Free Soil party. In light of Hawthorne's support for the Free Soilers, Gables "can be read, in part as a questioning of the blood-based Anglo-Saxonist nationalism and expansionism." In Gables, Hawthorne constantly "raise[s] questions about the very notion of blood purity and superiority." For example, he highlights the "'blackness' that lurks beneath [Jaffrey's] display of whiteness" and compares Maule to Scipio. Moreover, Maule uses mesmerism--a "Black Art"--to enthrall "paragons of white femininity." The novel's seemingly "happy and escapist" ending with Holgrave's and Phoebe's marriage "is not as conventional as it seems," for, since the couple "are presented in the novel as exemplars of two different 'races,' it is difficult not to see some hinting at cross-racial mixing." Although some have claimed that Pierre "to some extent parodies" Gables, Melville actually "develops some of the more complex and culturally adversarial dimensions of " Gables. The two novels have "numerous parallels ... as genealogical fictions": both feature "the use of portraiture to illuminate (and call into doubt) family history, the importance of rumor in unfixing that history, and the broad consideration of literary nationalism and race."
Lingleman, Richard. "The Puritan and the Pagan: Nathaniel Hawthorne and Herman Melville." Double Lives: American Writers' Friendships. New York: Random House, 2006. Pp. 20-51.
Overview of Hawthorne-Melville relationship details the authors' initial meeting, the composition of "Hawthorne and His Mosses," homosexual overtones scholars have located in Melville's review, Hawthorne's influence on and reaction to MobyDick, and the authors' final encounter.
Mason, Jennifer. "Animal Transformations: Sagacious Dogs, Disgusting Apes, Evolutionary Theory, and Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Marble Faun." In Civilized Creatures: Urban Animals, Sentimental Culture, and American Literature, 1850-1900. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2005. Pp. 52-94.
Hawthorne does not link humans and animals simply to deride human characters, for he engaged "seriously and passionately with the issue of humans' relationship to nonhuman creatures." A journal entry dated after his marriage shows his interest in acquiring a kitten and describes various neighborhood animals--a colt, cows, hens, and a dog--as "fitting accoutrements to what he considers an ideal life." In the preface to Manse, he imagines a dog-shaped cloud watching over his home "symbolizes domestic life." "Julian and Little Bunny" reveals Hawthorne's growing affection for the titular creature, and the description of the faun sculpture in Faun echoes "the language with which Hawthorne describe[s] his fascination with Bunny." In the novel, Hawthorne uses the concept of the felix culpa "to grapple with the question of whether humans were ... set absolutely apart from and above nonhuman animals by virtue of their unique, God-given qualities of mind, or whether the qualities taken of unique human status--intellect and a soul-- could in fact be produced in animals." The portrayal of Donatello as a human-animal hybrid also reflects period thinking about mating between different species. Scientists couldn't discount claims that a human-orangutan union produced Julia Pastrana, a "hairy woman" who toured Europe and America. Hawthorne would call Pastrana "'a wretched monster'" in his journal, projecting some genetic distance between her and the faun. The typical nineteenth-century reluctance to believe that apes represented humans' closest animal relatives necessitated this distancing; Hawthorne article in American Magazine of Useful and Entertaining Knowledge "insists that simians' similarities to humans are both disturbing and decidedly limited." So Hawthorne links Donatello to the dog. His use of science to "articulate his aesthetic theory" in the novel "reflects a fundamental link between evolutionary thinking and the romantic conception of art," for "both ... were premised on the possibility of nondivine original creation."
Meltzer, Mitchell. "Clinging to Narrative." In Secular Revelations: The Constitution of the United States and Classic American Literature. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2005. Pp. 134-39.
Briefly treats Letter on pp. 135-37. The A that appears on Dimmesdale's chest "is a sign, a wonder, a vision, more or less, given its place in the somber historical tale without explanation or rationalization." Because this incident "aris[es] not from a realm of doctrinal truth but from what Hawthorne calls 'the truth of the human heart,'" it functions as "a restatement of the very paradox of the origin of the American People, in which a moment of revelation, a 'founding,' arises from a humanly shared desire for union."
Milder, Robert. "'The Ugly Socrates': Melville, Hawthorne, and the Varieties of Homoerotic Experience." In Hawthorne and Melville: Writing a Relationship. Ed. Jana L. Argersinger and Leland S. Person. Athens: University of Georgia Press, 2008. Pp. 71-111.
Revised version of essay that originally appeared in ESQ: A Journal of the American Renaissance 46 (2000): 1-49. See annotation in NHR 28 (Spring & Fall 2002): 94-95.
Mitchell, Thomas R. "In the Whale's Wake: Melville and The Blithedale Romance." In Hawthorne and Melville: Writing a Relationship. Ed. Jana L. Argersinger and Leland S. Person. Athens: University of Georgia Press, 2008. Pp. 249-67.
Revised version of essay that originally appeared in ESQ: A Journal of the American Renaissance 46 (2000): 51-73. See annotation in NHR 28 (Spring & Fall 2002): 95.
Newberry, Frederick. "The Custom-House." In American History through Literature, 1820-1870. Ed. Janet Gabler-Hover and Robert Sattelmeyer. Detroit: Charles Scribner's Sons, 2006. Pp. 305-10.
In "Custom-House," Hawthorne took vengeance on Salem and the federal government by "exhibiting the power of his pen in ways both somewhat petty and quite profound." He offers a "vindictive attack," but beneath the petty satire lies a note of "regret, even guilt, for having felt the need to accept 'Devil's wages' for employment at the Custom House." In Letter, Hawthorne attacks the Puritans, who "demeaned the value of imagination," and the modern United States for "persecuting not only him but also art itself," thus creating a "link between" Hester and himself. Hester's scarlet letter stands for "adultery and art," as does Hawthorne's: "Her adultery is literal, his figural--he has betrayed his pledge to art in exchange for 'Devil's wages' at the Custom House." By the end of "Custom-House," Hawthorne's "vengeance is complete": he reveals a "materialistic, small-minded, and culturally decadent" America; distances himself from "a Puritan tradition antithetical to imaginative writing"; and redeems himself, "through vengeance and confession," for accepting government "charity."
Newman, Lance. "Nathaniel Hawthorne, Democracy, and the Mob." In Our Common Dwelling: Henry Thoreau, Transcendentalism, and the Class Politics of Nature. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2005. Pp. 45-53.
Views "My Kinsman" in light of Andrew Jackson's defeating John Quincy Adams in the election of 1828. While many read the story "as a conservative political parable ... there are problems with this interpretation." "My Kinsman" reveals "an attitude that had become common among the ruling class of the period: support for the abstract political idea of democratic participation combined with a visceral fear of mobocracy." The menacing horseman, whom Hawthorne characterizes as "a simultaneously comical and terrifying lord of misrule," resembles Jackson, and Molineux represents the "infamously cold and reserved" Adams. Robin represents an "every-voter" and "embodies the basic virtues of the republican citizen." These characters reflect "a way of thinking about class relations" in upper-class New England, especially its Whiggish elite; and "the story records a mixture of disillusionment and urgent determination about the realities of electoral democracy." Hawthorne "believed, not in popular democracy, but in virtuous leaders, gentlemen bred in nature, who he hoped could galvanize the common people and direct their dangerous power in progressive directions."
Otten, Thomas J. "A Culture of Faulty Parallels." In A Superficial Reading of Henry James: Preoccupations with the Material World. Columbus: Ohio State University Press, 2006. Pp. 11-36.
See pp. 21-25. Mines Hawthorne's works for examples of how the American romance conceptualizes the body. In Faun, the narrator's asking whether "'Donatello's ears resemble those of the Faun of Praxiteles,'" demonstrates "Hawthorne's tendency to construe romance in terms of a wavering tension and a wavering continuity between physiology and artifice, and his tendency to treat that relation as one that precludes closure." The A that appears on Dimmesdale's chest near the end of Letter "turns the instability of writing ... into a matter of physiology." Through Priscilla's veil and Westervelt's "overly elegant clothing," Blithedale questions "how deeply fashion permeates the body."
Robertson-Lorant, Laurie. "Mr. Omoo and the Hawthornes: The Biographical Background." In Hawthorne and Melville: Writing a Relationship. Ed. Jana L. Argersinger and Leland S. Person. Athens: University of Georgia Press, 2008. Pp. 27-49.
Recounts Hawthorne and Melville's friendship. Melville saw in Hawthorne "an intellectual and spiritual passion" for writing much like his own but also found that Hawthorne's "reserved, elusive, and mysterious" nature made friendship with him "a challenge."
Sattelmeyer, Robert. "'Shanties of Chapters and Essays': Rewriting MobyDick." In Hawthorne and Melville: Writing a Relationship. Ed. Jana L. Argersinger and Leland S. Person. Athens: University of Georgia Press, 2008. Pp. 197-226.
Revised version of essay that originally appeared in ESQ: A Journal of the American Renaissance 49 (2003): 213-47. See 216-19 for treatment of "the pervasive presence of Hawthorne" in Melville's revision of Moby-Dick. If the portions of Moby-Dick dealing with Queequeg and Ishmael's relationship "are products of a later ... phase of composition," one might naturally "infer that Melville's powerful feelings of friendship (or something stronger) for Hawthorne provided the stimulus for this portrait."
Temple, Gale. "'Ineffable Socialities': Melville, Hawthorne, and Masculine Ambivalence in the Antebellum Marketplace." In Hawthorne and Melville: Writing a Relationship. Ed. Jana L. Argersinger and Leland S. Person. Athens: University of Georgia Press, 2008. Pp. 113-31.
Hawthorne's Letter and Blithedale and Melville's Moby-Dick and Pierre connect "the ability to break free from the codes and constraints of mainstream American life" with "an opportunity to consummate an intimate bond with another man at some psychic, spiritual, or physical level." Melville wanted "such a consummation," but Hawthorne could not "reciprocat[e] Melville's passion" because Hawthorne had a different view of "the social contract." For Hawthorne, "forms of mediation," whether "sexual, economic, religious," operate as barriers between people, and "to probe beneath those forms of mediation is less an act of soul-liberating jouissance than it is a violation." In Letter, as critics have argued, Dimmesdale escapes Chillingworth's probing by "delivering an inspiring speech ... announcing an obviously heterosexual" liaison with Hester; thus he achieves "a safer, more socially acceptable identity." Dimmesdale and Chillingworth's "conflict-ridden bond" reflects an important theme in Hawthorne: "the conflict between a desire to make money through his writing, and as such to become a proper middle-class masculine subject, and an opposing desire to write meaningful fiction that would complicate the affirmational solace offered through the productions of the 'scribbling women.'" In Blithedale, "Coverdale turns away from the idealistic intimacy offered by Hollingsworth," a character who "bears a striking resemblance, both physically and behaviorally, to Melville." Enclosed in "the self-protective cocoon that his middle-class masculinity has woven around his psyche," Coverdale can't achieve any real intimacy with anyone, reflecting "Hawthorne's own anxiety about his status as a middle-class male author."
Weinauer, Ellen. "Hawthorne, Melville, and the Spirits." In Hawthorne and Melville: Writing a Relationship. Ed. Jana L. Argersinger and Leland S. Person. Athens: University of Georgia Press, 2008. Pp. 297-320.
Compares the treatment of mesmerism and spiritualism in Hawthorne's "Feathertop" and Melville's "The Apple-Tree Table." While both authors remained "skeptical about" spiritualism, "they could not, or would not, merely set the principles of occult possession and dispossession aside." In "Feathertop," featuring a witch who creates "an illusory man who is mistaken for a 'fine gentlemen,'" Hawthorne critiques "a gullible public that mistakes table-tipping and 'rapping' for 'proof ' of contact between the living and the dead." Hawthorne's denigration of the tale in his notebooks and letters indicates a connection between the witch, spiritualists, and himself as an author: all of them produce "fraudulent products" for a credulous public. Like "Feathertop," Melville's more humorous story "uses the occult ... to spectralize the antebellum man, to reveal that man as itself a delusive and contingent production."
Wineapple, Brenda. "Hawthorne and Melville; or, The Ambiguities." In Hawthorne and Melville: Writing a Relationship. Ed. Jana L. Argersinger and Leland S. Person. Athens: University of Georgia Press, 2008. Pp. 51-69.
Revised version of essay that originally appeared in ESQ: A Journal of the American Renaissance 46 (2000): 75-98. See annotation in NHR 28 (Spring & Fall 2002): 99-100.
Essays in Journals
Alkana, Joseph. "Disorderly History in 'My Kinsman, Major Molineux.'" ESQ: A Journal of the American Renaissance 53 (2007): 1-30.
"Molineux" reflects nineteenth-century anxiety over the threat of "mob rule and social disorder," treating this "increase in urban class tensions" through the arrival of Robin, a scruffy, obviously poor country bumpkin. He represents "the decline of the family farm, the concomitant migration from the farms to industrializing areas, and the expanding presence of poor and rootless young men in the cities" in antebellum America. His coming to the city "reflects the conventional fear that a poor, urban population would not feel bound by traditions of social order." Robin carries a cudgel, which might inspire fear, but his "unfashionable appearance merges with his social ineptitude so as almost to obscure the threat of violence contained within his two initial social encounters in town, at the barber shop and at the inn." Both scenes juxtapose "violence, the culminating act in the breakdown of social order and civility," with "seemingly innocuous ... laughter." Period manners guidebooks regarded laughter as "socially suspect," and "characters with lower or questionable social standing laugh throughout" Hawthorne's tale. Yet "laughter also creates a transitory sense of crowd unity, and it is this function of 'the mirth of the mob' that Robin pursues." Grandfather's Chair "blends veneration for founding fathers with fear of crowd actions," and, when the mob in the first scaffold scene in Letter laughs in unison, it's "the index of a corrosive power, here to be opposed by the individual's moral force."
Anseko, Michael. "Is James's Hawthorne Really James's Hawthorne? Henry James Review 29 (2008): 36-53.
In Hawthorne, James borrows quite freely from Emile Montegut, often misrepresenting Montegut's arguments in order to differentiate himself from the French critic. Montegut offered critiques of Hawthorne "that have a curiously indirect-or, quite possibly, direct--bearing on later Anglophone criticism." James's and Montegut's assessments of Hawthorne have "many uncanny parallels." In order to clarify and intensify his differences from Montegut, James "misrepresented his predecessor's conclusions and, in fact, appropriated his crucial insights" into Hawthorne's Puritanism. To refute Montegut's argument that Hawthorne's works reveal the author's pessimism, James employs a "technique of deceptive quotation," simplifying Montegut's much more complicated stance. As for Hawthorne's use of allegory, James follows Montegut's lead closely. And James's "repeated allegations of American provincialism and cultural backwardness" in Hawthorne also have antecedents in Montegut, though "Montegut is seemingly more tolerant than James of Hawthorne's cultural limitations."
Ben-Zvi, Yael. "Clinging to One Spot: Hawthorne's Native-Born Settlers." ESQ: A Journal of the American Renaissance 52 (2006): 17-44.
Examines "Hawthorne's persistent use of the term 'native' as the property of whites," in "Great Stone Face" and Franklin Pierce. For Hawthorne, "native" did not indicate "Native American" but instead "white U. S. subjectivities." In fact, his conception of "nativeness can be read as an early attempt to secure native status exclusively for native-born settlers while marginalizing Native Americans--and discounting African Americans almost entirely." In "Custom-House" and Letter, Hawthorne depicts "native status ... as a heavy burden" that circumscribes "choices and possibilities"; in Gables as an inherited curse. Goodman Brown" seeks "a liberating sense of individualized evil, but finds that Salemites, have already define it. Conversely, Boston offers new "opportunities" to Robin Molineux because he was born elsewhere--the story "refutes the significance of family ties." For Hawthorne, like others of the period, "the 'logic' of native status is closely connected to racialization." In "Face," the "racial impurity implied by [Gathergold's] 'troop of black and white servants' and 'yellow' skin" disqualifies him as the fulfillment of the prophecy, whereas Ernest's whiteness is accentuated. The tale marginalizes Native Americans by relegating them "to a remote past"; they bequeath the prophecy to the white settlers, "enabl[ing] Hawthorne to justify colonization and dispossession." Hawthorne portrays Pierce's views as better representing the country than the abolitionists': "the Union depends on slavery, and slaves have no access to the ground on which the battles for the title 'native' are fought." The Blithedale experiment doesn't succeed because it involves founding "a new society on a spot that has already been appropriated and authoratively stabilized in national discourse and is therefore not available for reinterpretation."
Bidney, Martin. "Fire, Flutter, Fall, and Scatter: A Structure in the Epiphanies of Hawthorne's Tales." Texas Studies in Literature and Language 50 (2008): 58-89.
Uses "Gaston Bachelard's phenomenology of elemental reverie" to delineate "a pattern that can unite Hawthorne's focal visionary moments and show its implications." In the tales, "epiphanic experience" takes the form of "four image-motifs: fire, flutter, fall, and scatter." This "formula" has a basis in psychoanalytic theory and resembles "the Lacanian 'persistence of the letter,' especially as developed by Lacan's disciple and systematizer Serge Lemaire." Hawthorne employs the pattern in a letter to Sophia and in the climactic moments of thirteen tales: "Devil in Manuscript," "May-Pole," "Rappaccini's," "Birth-mark," "Artist," "Brand," "Lady Eleanore's," "Feathertop," "Carbuncle," "Ambitious Guest," "Holocaust," "Celestial," and "Wakefield." Twelve more tales feature incomplete versions of the pattern: "My Kinsman," "Egotism," "Great Stone," "Prophetic," "Old Esther," "Drowne's," "Endicott," "Gray Champion," "Man of Adamant," "Roger Malvin's," "Minister's Black Veil," and "Goodman Brown."
Brennan, Matthew C. "Simms, Hawthorne, and 'The Inutile Pursuit' of 'The Artist of the Beautiful.'" Simms Review 14 (Winter 2006): 14-21.
Hawthorne and William Gilmore Simms share "sympathy for the solitary artistic temperament and its antagonistic relation to the prevailing world of the practical." Although Hawthorne scorned the popular writer's work, Simms's treatment of isolation in Martin Faber influenced Letter. Hawthorne's "Artist" and Simms's poem "The Inutile Pursuit" also bear thematic similarities: the works "combat Americans' limited utilitarian pursuits" and demonstrate the authors "distrust of Americans' blind faith in industrial progress." Simms "criticiz[ed] Franklin, who encouraged pursuit of money at the expense of the beautiful and the sublime"; likewise, Hawthorne's quoting Poor Richard's adage "Time Is Money" in "Artist" functions as "a dig at Franklin's philosophy." The authors also take aim at "tradesmen who narrowly labor to multiply gains and who scorn the artists of the beautiful," Hawthorne through Hovenden, and Simms more directly in statements castigating "'the vulgarly practical man.'" To combat utilitarianism, "Hawthorne and Simms promote the inutile pursuit of the beautiful as a corrective to the vulgar avarice and practicality." In "Artist," when the Danforths' child destroys the butterfly, "Owen stays placid," knowing he has already "achieved the beautiful." Simms expresses the same sentiment in Poetry and the Practical.
Blythe, Hal, and Charlie Sweet. "Using Active Learning to Teach Hawthorne's 'My Kinsman, Major Molineaux.'" Eureka Studies in Teaching Short Fiction 7 (Fall 2006): 6-16.
Offers an active learning-based lesson plan for "My Kinsman." After a "mini-lecture": for a lesson on "My Kinsman," the instructor engages the class in "Socratic questioning" to clarify and probe issues arising from the text and assigns an oral presentations about these issues. The students then split into groups to work on a "more complex subject" related to "My Kinsman." The learning communities must "look for creative ways of engaging their classmates," such as Power Point presentations, video, and handouts. Blythe and Sweet also recommend "class activities": projects "that transcend the normal classroom protocol." A "reflection" assignment helps students to think more deeply "about the things they are doing." Blythe and Sweet also include a list of "discussion questions" and "a sample reading quiz" for "My Kinsman."
Bross, Kristina. "Antinomian Impulses in the Undergraduate Survey." Early American Literature 40 (2005): 343-49.
Offers a plan for teaching early American literature in a survey course, using Letter as the central text and hoping to show students "how the earlier writings help make sense of the later." Alongside chapters from Letter, Bross has students read Bradstreet; Pagitt; Mather; period midwifery texts; excerpts from Hutchinson's trial transcripts and "Mrs. Hutchinson"; Emerson's "Experience"; and Dickinson's poems. Bross's appendix comprises an "Annotated Outline" of a segment of her survey course entitled "Antinomian Impulses."
Brouwers, Anke. "The New Mother: Maternal Instinct as Sexual Liberation in Victor Sjostrom's The Scarlet Letter (1926)." Quarterly Review of Film and Video 24 (May 2007): 249-66.
Just as Hawthorne's Hester in Letter reflects mid-nineteenth-century ideas of womanhood, director Victor Sjostrom and screenwriter Frances Marion's Hester in the 1926 film adaptation of the novel bears a strong resemblance to the flapper of the 1920s: "Like the Hester that Lillian Gish would portray in 1926, the Hester that was put to the page in 1850 was probably not an entirely truthful image of an actual Puritan woman living in the mid-seventeenth century." Hawthorne's Hester bears the markings of the nineteenth-century debate over "true womanhood" as conceptualized by Catharine Beecher, Margaret Fuller, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and forebear Mary Wollstonecraft. Gish's Hester "is hard to contain, somewhat of a rebel," much like the flapper. The film also emphasizes a point "only implied in the novel": "that being looked-at and judged by the unrelenting gaze of the community is preferable to private, masked feelings of guilt and shame."
Burgauer, Deb. "Reading Hawthorne's 'Rappaccini's Daughter'--With Envy and Suspicion." Eureka Studies in Teaching Short Fiction 7 (Fall 2006): 62-65.
The tale "often leads students to consider current issues regarding the consequences of modern day science and technology." Baglioni's questioning Rappaccini's motives in the story's final sentence "is an effective starting point" and can be approached from "three representative points of view": "literal," "literary history," and "philosophical." An instructor might also invite students to examine how Rappaccini, Beatrice, Baglioni, and Giovanni "embody various views of science."
Cording, Sue. Hawthorne's 'The Minister's Black Veil': A Tale of a Heart Imprisoned." Eureka Studies in Teaching Short Fiction 7 (Fall 2006): 56-61. Offers plan for teaching "Veil" in high school literature classes. "Veil" has become very popular among instructors because students find the tale's themes "very meaningful" and it offers portal to other works by Hawthorne. Cording has students "put on veils made of black netting fabric" and discuss "how the wearing of ... veils has changed the atmosphere in the classroom." As the students delve deeper into the meaning of the veil in the story, they "need to consider what their own black veils may be." The lesson on "Veil" segues nicely to Goodman Brown's "painful awareness of evil in himself and the pillars of his community and to Letter's Dimmesdale who resembles Hooper in "hypocrisy."
Deines, Tim. "Hawthorne, Sacrifice, Sovereignty." Discourse 27 (Spring and Fall 2005): 179-97.
Draws from Hegel, Bataille, Derrida, Jean-Luc Nancy, and J. Hillis Miller to treat the concepts of "sovereignty and sacrifice" in "Minister's Black Veil." The veil's meaning "oscillates, sometimes wildly" in the story, bringing "disorientation." At the wedding, the veil "mocks Hooper's attempt to affirm the couple's marriage." Elizabeth's shock when she learns that Hooper will continue to wear the veil "impli[es] that the veil is also a metaphor for sexual abstinence." But Hooper calls it merely "'a mortal veil'": "On the one hand, he is preparing for eternal happiness, the 'time' in which sacrifice itself will have been sacrificed, when earthly weeds will fall away as so much waste. On the other hand, he knows that this preparation itself requires sacrifice." When a dying Hooper refuses to remove the veil, "he draws attention to the condition of sovereignty."
Downes, Paul. "Democratic Terror in 'My Kinsman, Major Molineaux' and 'The Man of the Crowd.'" Poe Studies/Dark Romanticism History, Theory, Interpretation 37 (2004): 31-35.
Both tales offer complex treatments of American democracy that "hint at the specific forms of terror and uncertainty introduced by post-feudal and egalitarian forms of social belonging." At first, Robin seeks "a premodern or late feudal way of making a name for himself," but "democracy ... will force [him] to go it alone." He learns that "democratic independence" depends "on the possible existence of absolutely rightless and vulnerable human beings precisely at the moment when the human being is becoming the foundation of political power." Because tarring and feathering has a "distinct association with revolutionary propaganda," the title of the tale may be read as ironic: "the tarred and feathered Molineaux is, and will continued to be, the intimate 'kin' of all these democrats." While Hawthorne's colonial-era protagonist searches, "hopelessly, for connection," Poe's contemporary character "is driven to the brink of insanity by the desire to find sovereign independence." In the end, each of these characters finds only a "democratic horror" that emanates "from the revelation that there is no longer a short cut to sovereignty."
Elbert, Monika. "Poe and Hawthorne as Women's Amanuenses." Poe Studies/ Dark Romanticism History, Theory, Interpretation 37 (2004): 21-27.
Uses D. H. Lawrence's linking of Hawthorne's Hester with Poe's Ligeia as a starting point for a discussing "whether the authors empower or disempower their female characters." Like Nina Baym and Leland Person, Elbert posits "that Hawthorne identifies with" Hester's "creativity." Poe and Hawthorne want "to get woman's story right, or at least try to empower the hushed woman" and embark on an "arguable attempt ... to fathom the woman and the space she inhabits" and "to speak for the woman who cannot speak." The narrator of "Custom-House" delves into "the emotional layers of history that envelop Hester." The "tangible burning sensation" the narrator feels upon putting the A to his chest demonstrates "the gravity of the mission." Although Hester "becomes more and more statuelike and lifeless as she grows intellectually and becomes less driven by romantic love," she nevertheless "has the charge to 'speak' for Dimmesdale in the marketplace during the first scaffold scene, to think for him in the forest scene"; she "is the strong one." Similarly, Poe speaks for women in his Godey's Lady's Book article "Literati of New York City," promoting female writers whose work he admires, even offering quotations from their works. He takes the same approach to Ligeia: "these women in Godey's, like Ligeia, are only empowered through the voice of Poe." Likewise, "Hester's history is appropriated by Hawthorne." Finally, readers are left to ponder "whether women offer a way to self-recovery or a way to self-actualization for Poe and Hawthorne."
Fraden, Rena. "Suzan-Lori Parks' Hester Plays: In the Blood and Fucking A." The Massachusetts Review 48 (2007): 434-54.
Examines how Suzan-Lori Parks reimagines Hester in In the Blood and Fucking A. Parks works have few plot points in common with Letter, but all three texts deal with "possession": "Both Hawthorne and Parks are possessed by the idea of being possessed by the past, a past that they cannot escape even if they wish to." They view literary tradition "as something you can take or leave, riff on." Pue represents a "fake and easily manipulated" tradition: "Hawthorne never believes he ought to be faithful to Mr. Pue's manuscript." Parks does the same with Hawthorne's novel. Hawthorne's and Parks's Hesters differ significantly. In Letter, Hester "insists on her individuality, her right to her own feelings and thoughts." Parks's main characters, conversely, "are trapped, entirely and absolutely in a tragic plot." In addition, while Letter's "ambiguity ... mitigates, at least partially, the single-minded trajectory of the tragic," Parks's In the Blood offers so such mitigation. Despite these differences, "in the end, both write performances that transcend particular histories, of women, or Negroes, or the languages they are stuck with."
Fuller, Randall. "Hawthorne and War." The New England Quarterly 80 (2007): 655-86.
Examines Hawthorne's treatment of war in "Chiefly about War-Matters" and Elixir of Life Manuscripts. "War-Matters" offers "a fully realized, dismaying, ironic piece of fiction nonfictional writing," but Elixir utterly fails. In "War-Matters" Hawthorne finds "the tragedy of war in the unwavering moral extremism of men like [John] Brown," then offers images of bedraggled Confederate P.O.W.s. "By humanizing Southern soldiers," the author advances "competing perspectives deliberately excluded from Union ideology." The fictional editor in "War-Matters" practices a "kind of censorship that, while common in times of war, is precisely what disturbs Hawthorne." "War-Matters" provides "an ironic demystification of a 'holy war.'" But Hawthorne could not match this deep and multifaceted depiction of war in Elixir, for he "found that the historical trauma of civil war had exploded any existing conceptual and symbolic frameworks through which it might traditionally have been represented." The manuscript that purports to solve the mystery of immortality becomes, "in many ways, a symbol for Hawthorne of war." Because of the "interpretive indeterminacy" of the "unreadable and garbled" text, Septimus can "project upon it any apocalyptic or utopian fantasy he wishes." Both Elixir and "War-Matters" arrive at the conclusion that "the future of the nation would be assured not so much by the absolutist idealism of those who believed in providential history as by its citizens' willingness to adopt ambiguity and uncertainty as necessary moral appurtenances, to cease the uncompromising and totalizing representations of 'holy war.'" But, when Elixir reaches "this insight," it "collapses from narrative exhaustion, as the play of thought runs up against the implacable obstruction of wartime events."
Goddu, Teresa. "Integrating Hawthorne." Poe Studies/Dark Romanticism History, Theory, Interpretation 37 (2004): 36-38.
Questions why Hawthorne does not hold as prominent a place in race studies as Poe does. Pierce, "Chiefly about War Matters," and Journal of an African Cruiser "are only the most obvious" among the "wealth of information and documents related to how Hawthorne viewed slavery or thought about race." Scholars will discover in Hawthorne's correspondence and other texts "explicit statements and positions" about race "that critics can only suspect about Poe." As race studies move away from a focus on the American South and "toward a more transatlantic model," Hawthorne should become a "figure through which to locate the complex configurations of Northern economic investment in racial politics."
Greven, David. "In a Pig's Eye: Masculinity, Mastery, and the Returned Gaze of The Blithedale Romance." Studies in American Fiction 34 (Autumn 2006): 131-59.
Hawthorne "complicates gendered subject positions vis-a-vis the gaze" and "makes it impossible to assign clear positions of dominance and submission." In depicting men "as the objects as well as the wielders of the gaze, Hawthorne insists that we view men as possible objects of erotic contemplation." Through Coverdale, Hawthorne tallies "the psychic costs of wielding the gaze." The gaze doesn't function as a "symbol of power"; rather, it offers "evidence of the debilitated fragility of the gazer." Like Freud, Lacan, and Hitchcock, Hawthorne "use[s] the voyeuristic gaze as a means of both establishing and deconstructing normative models of patriarchal power." Coverdale emerges "as an onanistic Peeping Tom in the ever-illuminated pornographic theater of the Blithedale community." Freud echoes the "sadomasochistic quality of Coverdale's anguished yet merciless voyeurism while the "slippages between homoeroticism and homophobia" anticipate Lacan. Zenobia and Westervelt are linked with Medusa, foreshadowing "Freud's eloquently shocking formulation of the Medusa myth as representative of the terror of the primal scene." Moreover, the "homophobic" portrayal of Westervelt as a "dandy" reflects "Jacksonian mythologies and cultural dictates about European dandyish, effeminate artificiality versus sturdy American naturalism." Coverdale's reaction to Westervelt indicates "a general erotophobia that seemed to characterize Hawthorne's reactions to Fourierianism" and might also bear traces of "the dynamics of the Hawthorne-Melville relationship." After finding Coverdale spying on them, the denizens of Blithedale pursue Coverdale "expos[ing] him to the returned gaze, a central theme in the novel." This reversal represents "a moment of radical resistance to the domination of the patriarchal male gaze." But "the apotheosis of the novel's demythologization of male power" comes in the description of Blithedale's pigs, which Coverdale calls "'fellows,'" thus designating them male.
Guillain, Aureie. "Discolouring: The Power of Ascetic Ideals in Hawthorne's Fiction." Revue Francaise d'Etudes Americaines 105 (September 2005): 44-52.
Hawthorne's describing a character as pale indicates his or her "conviction: not only in the sense of a firm, fanatical belief, but also in the judicial sense of a conviction that the character is inflicting upon himself." Frequently, these self-accusing, ascetic "pale characters are compared to" daguerreotypes that "betray and dramatize a hidden flaw for the benefit of some spectator." The townspeople in Letter mistake Dimmesdale's pallor for an indication of "saintliness," but Chillingworth and readers see it correctly as "a symptom of guilt." Holgrave's daguerreotypy in Gables is "associated with the involuntary disclosure"of guilt, suggesting Pyncheon's true nature. Hooper doesn't become pale in "Veil" but instead "loses his colours by blackening his face entirely." In Faun, "it is not until Miriam is convinced of having taken part in ... murder that" Hawthorne describes her as "'pale and worn.'" One may read "Birth-mark" "as an allegory of the wedding between amoral flesh and the ascetic mind that despises it." In Letter's forest scene, Hester's cheek, "'long so pale,'" colors when she removes the A, but her face turns white when she replaces it. Both of these instances "dramatize the crucial moment when the female character consents to her own victimization."
Gustafson, Sandra M. "Historicizing Race in Early American Studies: A Roundtable with Joanna Brooks, Philip Gould, and David Kazajian." Early American Literature 41, no. 2 (2006): 305-11.
See pp. 305-06. Uses Hawthorne's treatment of race in Gables as preamble to a discussion of race in early American studies. When he closely associates Hepzibah with her "degenerated ... race" of chickens, Hawthorne "evokes a set of reflections on the dynamics of heredity and human culture." Initially, in the 1500s, the term "race" described "a breed or stock of animals"; in the 1770s, the term is first applied to races of humans. Hawthorne draws from both meanings of the term.
Hewitson, James. "'To Despair at the Tedious Delay of the Final Conflagration': Hawthorne's Use of the Figure of William Miller." ESQ: A Journal of the American Renaissance 53 (2007): 89-111.
In "Hall of Fantasy," the guide to the Fantasy world "compares Miller favorably" to reformers "who are attempting to create an earthly millennium exclusively through human effort." The narrator is also drawn "to Miller's representation of divine transformation as fundamentally distinct from human agency," conforming with Hawthorne's belief that reform "must be inspired by a desire for good that is predicated, not on particular ends, but on empirical findings." This sentiment recurs in Franklin Pierce--"while slavery is clearly wrong, attempting to end it would do more damage than the institution itself"--and "Chiefly about War Matters." Yet Hawthorne does not back Miller fully: "by focusing on the destruction inherent to Miller's theory and his apparent disregard for the aspirations of humanity, Hawthorne reimagines him as motivated less by his desire for divine revelation than by the need to have his prophetic timelines vindicated." "Earth's Holocaust" and "Adam and Eve" address Miller's prophecy. The bonfire in "Holocaust" "is an analogue to the global destruction" that Miller foretold. Hawthorne reveals that reform movements offer "nothing but annihilation, for a "frustration with the nature of humanity itself " drives them and "constitutes a common bond between Miller and the story's reformers." Hawthorne sets "Adam and Eve" in the aftermath of Miller's Second Coming and claims even more strongly that the changes the reformers would implement "do not address humanity's actual situation." In "Christmas Banquet," Miller is "disappointed, not because his expectations for supernatural salvation have failed, but because his hopes for the destruction of the world have not been fulfilled." He becomes "a misanthrope, whose very interest in regeneration derives from a deep antipathy to life itself " which aligns him with the titular character in "Brown" and Digby in "Adamant." In Blithedale, Hollingsworth contains "many traces of [Hawthorne's] earlier descriptions of Miller," his reformist obsession dividing him from the world.
Holland, Matthew S. "Remembering John Winthrop--Hawthorne's Suggestion." Perspectives on Political Science 36 (Winter 2007): 4-14.
Although Hawthorne "mostly rejects the regime Winthrop so centrally established," he offers in Letter, "Main-street," "Endicott," and "Mrs. Hutchinson" a more "revised and balanced assessment" of Massachusetts's first governor than most sources. Hawthorne disparages Puritan leaders in Letter but "seems to refrain from tarring Winthrop." In "Main-street," the author "contrasts Winthrop with" his very severe forebear William Hathorne while in "Endicott" the title character "is forced to admit" admiration for Winthrop's wisdom and mildness." "Mrs. Hutchinson," too, contrasts the wise, reasonable Winthrop with the violent Endicott. As evidenced by works like "Birth-mark" and "Earth's Holocaust," Hawthorne favors "accepting human nature," despite its flaws. Thus to dismiss Winthrop completely "because of some demonstrable imperfections of thought and action would seem ... to replace one form of Puritanism ... for another."
Jamil, S. Salina. "Carnivalesque Freedom in Hawthorne's YOUNG GOODMAN BROWN." The Explicator 65 (Spring 2007): 143-45.
While the "official discourse" of "Brown" deals with a "human heart's encounter with evil" and the consequent "surrender to gloom," the "unofficial discourse"--a "carnivalesque discourse of freedom"--finds Hawthorne employing "irony and parody, first, to ridicule the power of the Puritan world of official virtue and, ultimately, to ridicule the power of evil itself." The sabbath rituals "parodically mirror church rituals" but, at the same time, "ironically, endorse 'solemn' church rituals." When the "'sable form'" announces that his "'power [is] at its utmost,'" he "mirrors the official world's restrictive control over the congregation." Thus the story "ridicules the 'power' of evil just as it ridicules the power of the Puritan church."
Jaynes, Michael. "Moving Toward an Understanding of 'Evil': 'Young Goodman Brown,' University Freshmen, and Semiotics." Eureka Studies in Teaching Short Fiction 7 (Fall 2006): 66-77.
A semiotic approach to teaching "Young Goodman Brown" uses "students' critical thinking skills, engages their literary analysis tools, and forcibly broadens their current worldview," especially regarding conceptions of good and evil.The tale "is useful because it shows there may actually be no good people or bad people." A close reading reveals that "the terms 'evil' and 'good' are empty signifiers." The teacher must concentrate on passages that lead students to question why "hardwired" human proclivities like "selfishness, hedonism, and rebellion are ignored and repressed in our society." Students must understand that Brown can't be excused, that he, like them, cannot simply blame "lack of judgment or the subtle persuasion of demoniac forces."
Kopley, Richard. "Periodicals as Key in Poe and Hawthorne." Poe Studies/Dark Romanticism History, Theory, Interpretation 37 (2004): 28-30.
The "connection between Poe and Hawthorne goes beyond their reliance on one another to a correspondence in their processes of composition." For Pym and Letter, both authors drew from "a contemporary periodical source," which, in turn, "led to a biblical motif." Period articles about the shipwreck of the Ariel provided material for Pym while an issue of the Pioneer, which featured Poe's "Tell-Tale Heart" and a novel called The Salem Belle: At Tale of 1692, played a role in the genesis of Letter. "Heart" influenced Letter, and Salem Belle is echoed in "three passages." Belle's author, Ebenezer Wheelwright, was a "descendant of ... John Wheelwright, an antinomian associate of Anne Hutchinson. Dimmesdale resembles Wheelwright. Through Hawthorne's overt use of Hutchison and more subtle use of Wheelwright, Letter becomes "an allegory of ... the Antinomian Controversy." Like Adam and Eve, Wheelwright and Hutchison "disobeyed the authorities and were expelled": "the historical allegory thus becomes a biblical one."
Logsdon, Loren. "Hawthorne's 'Wakefield': The Teaching Potential of a Flawed Story." Eureka Studies in Teaching Short Fiction 7 (Fall 2006): 108-119.
Uses the "flaws" in "Wakefield" to segue into classroom discussions of "point of view," "character motivation and believability," "theme," and "the problem of moral" and compares the tale to other works in which men abandon their spouses, such as "Young Goodman Brown" and "Rip Van Winkle."
Loman, Andrew. "Cosmopolitan Detachment in Hawthorne's 'Prophetic Pictures.'" ESQ: A Journal of the American Renaissance 53 (2007): 57-88.
Because the painter in "Prophetic Pictures" doesn't understand the Colonial political scene, he "becomes not merely a detached observer but an active participant in the events of the story: in his apparent effort to warn the couple, he may well precipitate the very attack he imagines he has predicted." If the artist grasped the political upheaval in early 1770s New England, he could "contextualize" Walter's fears, which reflect "tensions between Anglophilia and Anglophobia in the Boston of the 1720s, tensions that would erupt into revolutionary violence fifty years later." Because Hawthorne implies that the artist creates Walter and Elinor, Walter's autonomy comes into question, suggesting "an alternate possibility--that the painter may instigate the attack." Walter compares the artist to "two doctors, Mather and Boylston" in order to "illustrate the painter's virtuosity"; but Hawthorne may be referring to "the smallpox inoculation crisis in the early 1720s." Ultimately, the artist's "cosmopolitan detachment ... has generic implications." The story melds gothic and realism: "the portraitist articulates his gothic reading of Walter and Elinor even as he is subject to the narrator's tacit critique for failing to register the specific cultural origins of Walter's anxiety."
Matheson, Neill. "Intimacy and Form: James on Hawthorne's Charm." The Henry James Review 28 (2007): 120-39.
Studies James's use of the ambiguous term "charm" to describe Hawthorne's works. For Brodhead, the term becomes an expression of disdain, but "the idea that charm is a disparaging term for Hawthorne's writing is complicated by James's extensive use of this word throughout his oeuvre." Sometimes in James's novels, "charm seems the quality above all that expresses feminine desirability," as in the cases of Isabel Archer, Verena Tarrant, and Madame de Vionnet. James also employs the term to describe his own works in his New York Edition prefaces. As the OED indicates, "charm" relates closely to "delicate," and James links Hawthorne's works and the author himself to "'delicate ... flowers.'" James ponders "the unlikely prospects of the 'flower of art' trying to bloom in the thin soil of antebellum American culture" and identifies with the fragile, talented author at odds with American culture: "It is as if James is drawn to a story that he knows he has largely invented, projecting the figure of a beautiful, imaginative young man against the blank background of an unresponsive America."
McDowell, Marta. "Verdant Letters: Hawthorne and Horticulture." Arnoldia 63, no. 3 (2005): 28-33.
Foliage and landscape play important roles in Hawthorne's writings. Flower imagery conjures images of "innocence" and "youth," and, "if Hawthorne's houses are haunted, his New England gardens are transcendent."
McKenna, John J. "Lessons About Pygmalion Projects and Temperament in Hawthorne's 'The Birth-mark.'" Eureka Studies in Teaching Short Fiction 7 (Fall 2006): 36-43.
Applies David Keirsey's theories of temperament to "Birth-mark" in order "to get students to understand lessons in forming successful pair bonds." Keirsey defines four categories of temperament: "Guardians, Artisans, Idealists, and Rationals." Georgiana, as an Idealist, "must be able to pursue the true self " while the Rational Aylmer "prize[s] knowledge and power over nature." Each character engages in his/her own "Pygmalion Project," trying to change the other to meet his/her ideal. Georgiana seeks a "soul mate" and Aylmer "a model of feminine perfection"; they persist in these quests despite the impossibility of finding these qualities in each other. The story demonstrates that Pygmalion Projects never succeed.
Meyer, Priscilla. "Life as Annotation: Sebastian Knight, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Vladimir Nabokov." Cycnos 24, no. 1 (2007): 183-91.
The Real Life of Sebastian Knight finds Nabokov exorcizing his guilt over an extramarital affair "through a system of allusions to the myth of the poison damsel and a set" of Hawthorne's tales. Female characters in both Knight and "Rappaccini's Daughter" can kill flowers with their touch, and in both works a male character employs a spider in "a test of his poison damsel." Both males "free themselves from the sensual attractions" of the women through antidotes. In Knight, Sebastian appears with a "'sham'" hand in a dream, an allusion to the titular blemish on Georgiana's cheek in "Birth-mark." Aylmer's attempt to remove the birthmark kills Beatrice, while "the tiny pink hands that spill from Sebastian's black glove suggest the multiple tiny deaths Nabokov inflicted on his own wife through infidelity." "Goodman Brown" features a man who leaves his wife to pursue an evil errand, a situation not unlike Nabokov's illicit "trips to Paris." In "Egotism," Roderick's wife's forgiveness chases the serpent; by referring to the tale in Knight, "Nabokov both admits his guilt and expresses gratitude for" his wife's forgiveness.
Milder, Robert. "Beautiful Illusions: Hawthorne and the Site of Moral Law." Nathaniel Hawthorne Review 33 (Fall 2007): 1-23.
Critiques Darrel Abel's claim that "three 'systems' of reality"--"God's, nature's, and society's"--function in Hawthorne's works. "The moral law, as Hawthorne shows, is not unequivocally derivable from scripture; it is not educible from nature; and it is not correlative with the laws and customs of any historical society." Early in Letter, the "young wife who understands that sin is an inward matter to be resolved not by any law and punishment but by a heart-logic" represents moral law; with her death, "something wise, supple, and compassionate has departed from New England life." Faun finds Hawthorne questioning the beneficence of providence: Kenyon views providence as "'utterly inscrutable'" while Hilda "feels the heartsickness of skepticism." Hester, Zenobia, and Miriam, act as "feminist challenges to patriarchy and representations of the sexual" but also "call into question the entire range of moral suppositions that have defined Western culture." "The real threat of the dark heroine is not that she is a transgressor but that she comes to understand transgression circumstantially rather than absolutely and as a vehicle for moral freedom." In claiming her tryst with Dimmesdale "'had a consecration of its own'" and in her plan of escape, Hester both "legitim[izes] a past act" and "posits an ideal of character development deeply at odds with the Hawthornean notion of sin as an identity-defining fall." Both Miriam and Zenobia's "real sin" is experience: they "seem to have lived too much and to know more than is proper for a woman to know." Hawthorne finds "what the dark heroines represent" very attractive but also frightening.
Obenland, Frank. "Intertextuality and History: America's Colonial Past in The Scarlet Letter (1995)." Zeitschrift fur Anglistik und Amerikanistic: A Quarterly of Language, Literature and Culture 53, no. 3 (2005): 211-23.
Roland Joffe's film version of Letter features "a web of intertextual references" to the transcript of Anne Hutchinson's trial and Mary Rowlandson's captivity narrative. Critics derided the film for its anachronistic feminism, but this "allegedly 'feminist' agenda can also be read as an explication of a historicist interpretation" of the novel: "Joffe's film seems to foreground ... [Michael] Colacurcio's reading of a Prynne-Hutchinson analogy." The film's court scenes are not derived from the novel but instead from the transcripts of Boston's two examinations of Hutchinson. Chillingworth's interactions with his Native American captors and his difficulty readjusting upon his return to white civilization bear striking similarities to Rowlandson's experiences. In meshing historical events with elements from the novel, the movie mimics Hawthorne's approach in Letter : the novel's narrator "invites the reader to associate characters with historical personalities," but he "never disambiguates the relationship to the point where it takes the form of an allegorical representation."
Pringle, Michael. "The Scarlet Lever: Hester's Civil Disobedience." ESQ: A Journal of the American Renaissance 53 (2007): 31-55.
Compares Hester's civil disobedience to that advocated by Thoreau in "Resistance to Civil Government." The meaning of the A and its role in the novel "as social symbol, punishment, and act of rebellion" becomes "more complex as the story progresses." A theocracy like that of the Puritans "depends on the ability to fix the play of interpretation through access to grace, and hence to God," and, if the scarlet letter "begins to signify contrary to what the magistrates have publicly determined, then that shift in meaning constitutes a loss of control." By refusing to implicate Dimmesdale, "Hester makes an important claim," which "disassociate[s] the symbol from the magistrates." Yet Hester knows she can't, as Thoreau does, enter a power struggle with the state: "Hawthorne posits less potential for individual agency and a greater personal toll for" civil disobedience. Pearl, in her role as a "signifier," becomes "the A rampant: cut loose from any 'center' or transcendent signifier, she represents the sort of 'play' that threatens to undermine the authority of those who would fix meaning." If Hester does engage in civil disobedience, "using the office of the A as a lever to exert 'a counter friction to stop the machine,' then we find in The Scarlet Letter an implicit criticism of Thoreau's positioning of the individual in relation to the slave-holding society of the era."
Roggenkamp, Karen. "The Short Story Cycle and Western Gothic in The Pastures of Heaven." Steinbeck Review 4 (Spring 2007): 19-31.
See pp. 21, 24, and 26. Very briefly notes similarities between Hawthorne's gothic stories and Steinbeck's The Pastures of Heaven. Hawthorne's "tales about curses, the facade of goodness, and the deep stain of human evil" appear to have influenced Pastures. Steinbeck's book, like "Goodman Brown," does not feature simple "binary constructions of good and evil," and neither story reveals whether the events in their respective wildernesses actually transpire.
Smith, Barbara. "The Mysterious and the Human in 'The Murders in the Rue Morgue' and 'Young Goodman Brown.'" Eureka Studies in Teaching Short Fiction 7 (Fall 2006): 44-55.
Offers a plan for teaching "Brown" and "Murders in the Rue Morgue" in tandem. The two stories feature mysteries in that their main characters discover "clues" that lead to "conclusions about human nature." The texts also "invit[e] readers to challenge those conclusions." Moreover, while Brown and Dupin arrive at different understandings of the human propensity for evil, "both authors' implications on that subject are identical while at odds with those of their protagonists." The evaluation of evidence emerges as a major issue for both characters: Dupin relies on "his own observations, knowledge, and analysis," rejecting much of what others tell him, while "Brown believes all he is told, and forms conclusions only on that basis." Students should discuss the implications of such "unilateral thinking" and ponder the relevance of Brown's predicament in their own lives.
Tompkins, Kyla Wazana. "'Everything 'Cept Eat Us': The Antebellum Black Body Portrayed as Edible Body." Callaloo 30, no. 1 (2007): 201-24.
Examines the "black-body-as-food trope" in Gables, Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin, and Wilson's Our Nig. See pp. 203-07 for treatment of Gables. When the boy eats the Jim Crow cookie he purchases from Hepzibah, "rather than projecting a white body into black physicality," as minstrel shows did, "Hepzibah's black cookie is eaten by the white child." And the black cookie's staining the white boy's face "returns us to the scene of the minstrel theater, albeit as a photonegative of minstrel makeup." The child's eating the cookie affects him and Hepzibah, for "the miscegenating implications of the child's consumption, as blackness penetrates the white body, are here also enacted on Hepzibah's body, newly implicated in the market economy: her hand is stained, not black, but copper, a miscegenated color that is never to be washed away." A study nineteenth-century whites' "alimentary, that is, oral desire for blackness," reveals white America's "profound ambivalence toward, and ongoing dependence upon blackness."
White, Charles Dodd. "Hawthorne's EDWARD RANDOLPH'S PORTRAIT." The Explicator 66 (Fall 2007): 9-11.
Like other tales in "Legends of the Province-House," the tale "reveals history as a living and influential force on the present." The "obscuration preventing the reader from a clear sight of the portrait" represents "history itself." Not surprisingly, "an artist figure," Alice Vane, "becomes an agent of exposure," and her "art restoration may be read as the reader's/viewer's impulse to interpret/see." The tale demonstrates "the inescapability of history and destiny" and reveals "the role art plays in revealing that truth."
--. "Hawthorne's MY KINSMAN, MAJOR MOLINEUX." The Explicator 65 (Summer 2007): 215-17.
Robin "must literally and figuratively learn to see his revered cousin in his true light." In the moonlight, Robin mistakes a prostitute for "an enchanting lady": the light "mellows the harshness of physical reality." Later, the mob's torches obscure the moonlight--and Robin's perception--which "may be read as either
Robin's own desire not to see what the torchlight reveals or as an optical illusion of conflicting heavenly and earthly lights." When Molineux finally does appear, the torchlight and moonlight blaze brightest, and Robin "is awakened to" his kinsman's "true condition," acheiving "his true sight." Unlike "Goodman Brown" and "Wakefield," the tale ends with the possibility of "a hopeful future."
Williams, Susan S. "Daguerreotyping Hawthorne and Poe." Poe Studies/Dark Romanticism History, Theory, Interpretation 37 (2004): 14-20.
Poe's and Hawthorne's writings helped to establish the way the widely circulated daguerreotype images of the authors "would be read." John Adams Whipple's daguerreotype of Hawthorne propagated "the author's reputation as a dreamer unwilling to contend with the realities of the custom house or the literary marketplace." Because they "could serve as an emblem of both 'repose' and 'unity of effect,'" daguerreotypes offer a means to understand the relationship between the two authors. Hawthorne believed that daguerreotypy "might ... expose hidden truths." Holgrave's daguerreotypes in Gables probe beneath the facade, "emphasiz[ing] the power of images to capture the soul as well as the surface of a subject, and thereby challeng[ing] sentimental readings that would equate surface likeness with 'truth.'" In "Birth-mark," the daguerreotype "reflects what Aylmer sees," as the blurred image shows nothing but the titular stain on his wife's beauty. Hawthorne composed "Molineux" seven years before daguerreotypy's invention, but the story "foretells the ways in which visual imitation can be an agent of violence," for "part of the story's nightmare involves the continual confusion of Robin with the portraits of others."
Wilson-Jordan, Jacqueline. "'Paint it Black': Teaching Hawthorne's 'Rappaccini's Daughter' as a Gothic." Eureka Studies in Teaching Short Fiction 7 (Fall 2006): 17-35.
Uses the film Stir of Echoes and the Rolling Stones' "Paint It, Black" to illuminate "Rappaccini's Daughter" for introductory fiction classes. Because students have a much greater understanding of film narrative than complex literary narrative, viewing Echoes helps them grasp Hawthorne's use of the Gothic. The story and the film present a man obsessed with a female character "who is only part human" and "allow us to see weird phenomena through someone else's eyes." In "Paint It, Black," the dark hue becomes "a metaphor to explain how [the speaker's] mind's eye compulsively turns to literal and figurative darkness." Because the "source of the blackness is internal"--the speaker reveals that his "'heart is black'"--the song can elucidate Giovanni's predicament in "Rappaccini's" and Tom Witzky's in Echoes. Both protagonists see "visions of ugliness and horror, and wonder if those images represent reality or reflect the darkness of their inner selves."
Wineapple, Brenda. "The Battered Trunk." American Scholar 74 (Summer 2005): 144.
Briefly details the discovery of a trunk containing "hundreds of Hawthorne family letters," including a letter from Rose Hawthorne to Woodrow Wilson, imploring him to pardon Hawthorne's son, and evidence that "Nathaniel himself had romanced his reform-minded sister-in-law." Stanford University bought the letters from the Hawthorne estate.
Hawthorne and Others
O'Malley, Maria. "Speaking with Abandon: The Conversational Poetics of Hawthorne and Dickinson." DAI 69, No. 4 (Oct 2008). University of Colorado, 2008. Advisor: Martin Bickman. 260 pp. Publication No.: AAT 3303892.
General Topics that Treat Hawthorne
Bell, Sophia R. "Naughty child: The Racial Politics of Sentimental Discipline in Selected U.S. Antebellum Texts." DAI 69, No. 3 (September 2008). Tufts University, 2008. Advisor: Elizabeth Ammons. 208 pp. Publication No.: AAT 3304090.
Dupre, Joan Alcus. "Fighting Fathers/Saving Sons: The Struggle for Life and Art in Paul Auster's 'New York Trilogy.'" DAI 68, No. 9 (Mar 2008). City University of New York, 2007. Advisor: William P. Kelly. 224 pp. Publication No.: AAT 3283188.
Emmett, Hilary. "Marion Jane 'Passion More Than Fraternal': Towards a Poetics and Politics of Sisterhood in the American Novel, 1798-1987." DAI 68, No. 8 (February 2008). Cornell University, 2007. Advisor: Hortense J. Spillers. 179 pp. Publication No.: AAT 3276847.
Jarenski, Shelly. "Narrating Vision, Visualizing Nation: The American Nineteenth Century after 1839. DAI 68, No. 12 (June 2008). Loyola University Chicago, 2007. Advisor: Christopher Castiglia. 207 pp. Publication No.: AAT 3295457.
Kowalski, Philip J. "Cultural Genetics: Theories of Inheritance and Nineteenth-Century American Literature." DAI 68, No. 11 (May 2008). The University of North Carolina, 2007. Advisor: Jane F. Thrailkill. 236 pp. Publication No.: AAT 3289062.
Lamm, Kimberly Kay. "Composing and Contesting the Space of Visibility: Literary and Visual Portraiture in Nineteenth--and Early Twentieth-Century American Culture." DAI 68, No. 11 (May 2008). University of Washington, 2007. Advisors: Priscilla Wald and Alys Eve Weinbaum. 630 pp. Publication No.: AAT 3289768.
Leise, Christopher. "A Covenant in Fiction: Legacies of Puritanism in the PostWar American Novel. DAI 68, No. 9 (March 2008). State University of New York at Buffalo, 2007. Advisor: Robert J. Daly. 224 pp. Publication No.: AAT 3277776.
Li, Zhanhong. "Biblical Origin and Echoes: Modern American Literature and Biblical Archetypes." MAI 44, No. 4, (August 2006). State University of New York at Buffalo, 2006. Advisors: Diane Christian and Bruce Jackson. 60 pp. Publication No.: AAT 1431934.
McCarty, Ryan C. "Negotiating within Ideologies: Gender, Class, and the Growing Bourgeois Hegemony in Ruth Hall and The House of the Seven Gables." MAI 45, No. 5 (October 2007). University of Kansas, 2007. Advisor: Susan K. Harris. 70 pp. Publication No.: AAT 1443697.
Pelletier, Kevin D. "Apocalyptic Incarnations: The Aesthetics of Fear and Catastrophe in the Nineteenth-Century Literary Imagination." DAI 68, No. 9 (March 2008). State University of New York at Buffalo, 2007. Advisor: Carrie Tirado Bramen. 176 pp. Publication No.: AAT 3277706.
Schneider, Erika. "Starving for Recognition: The Representation of Struggling Artists in America, 1810-1865." DAI 68, No. 6 (December 2007). Temple University, 2007. Advisor: Gerald Silk. 264 pp. Publication No.: AAT 3268204.
Weikle-Mills, Courtney Anne. "The Child Reader and American Literature, 1700-1852." DAI 68, No. 6 (December 2007). Ohio State University, 2007. Advisor: Jared Gardner. 281 pp. Publication No.: AAT 3268910.
Westover, Paul Aaron. "Traveling to Meet the Dead, 1750-1860: A Study of Literary Tourism and Necromanticism." DAI 69, No. 3 (September 2008). Indiana University, 2007. Advisor: Mary Favret. 254 pp. Publication No.: AAT 3297950.
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|Author:||Clark, Richard M.|
|Publication:||Nathaniel Hawthorne Review|
|Date:||Mar 22, 2008|
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