Date: April 19, 2012
Creator: Garrido, Alejandro & Joines, Richard
Description: This paper discusses research on Nathanial Hawthorne's political aims and divided audience. In the prefaces to his novels and short stories, Hawthorne explores conflicts that surface when factional tyranny occurs in a democratic state. His prefaces introduce these conflicts and act as guides on how to read what follows. Under threat of oppression by his fellow Americans, he writes carefully and with an implicit only intended message for a select audience. In his stories, Hawthorne heightens the significance of this conflict by echoing its core issues with characters that meet tragic circumstances. He presents these moments in a manner that allows his readers to reflect on their ethical implications. Despite the settings of his stories - often in the years of America's infancy - Hawthorne uses allegorical connections to comment on the dilemmas of his present. In this way he is, perhaps, advocating a revision of the sociopolitical state of antebellum New England and indirectly promoting an agenda that will be capable of bringing the faults of his country to light.
Contributing Partner: UNT Honors College