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Maurice Maeterlinck and Pelléas et Mélisande, Nathaniel Hawthorne and The Scarlet Letter: A Comparative Study

Description: This study shows similarities in the attitudes of and literary influences upon Maurice Maeterlinck and Nathaniel Hawthorne, especially in Maeterlinck's drama Pelleas et Melisande and Hawthorne's novel The Scarlet Letter. Circumstantial evidence indicates Maeterlinck's familiarity with Hawthorne's novel. Since no previous comparative study of Pelleas et Melisande and The Scarlet Letter exists, the works themselves are the major sources of information.
Date: December 1974
Creator: Elliott, Linda Louise
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Feminine Ancestral Footsteps: Symbolic Language Between Women in The Scarlet Letter and The House of the Seven Gables

Description: This study examines Hawthorne's use of symbols, particularly flowers, in The Scarlet Letter and The House of the Seven Gables. Romantic ideals stressed the full development of the self¬reliant individual, and romantic writers such as Hawthorne believed the individual would fully develop not only spiritually, but also intellectually by taking instruction from the natural world. Hawthorne's heroines reach their full potential as independent women in two steps: they first work together to defeat powerful patriarchies, and they then learn to read natural symbols to cultivate their artistic sensibilities which lead them to a full development of their intellect and spirituality. The focus of this study is Hawthorne's narrative strategy; how the author uses symbols as a language his heroines use to communicate from one generation to the next. In The Scarlet Letter, for instance, the symbol of a rose connects three generations of feminine reformers, Ann Hutchinson, Hester Prynne, and Pearl. By the end of the novel, Pearl interprets a rose as a symbol of her maternal line, which links her back to Ann Hutchinson. Similarly in The House of the Seven Gables Alice, Hepzibah, and Phoebe Pyncheon are part of a family line of women who work together to overthrow the Pyncheon patriarchy. The youngest heroine, Phoebe, comes to an understanding of her great, great aunt Alice's message from the posies her feminine ancestor plants in the Pyncheon garden. Through Phoebe's interpretation of the flowers, she deciphers how the cultivation of a sense of artistic appreciation is essential to the progress of American culture.
Date: December 2006
Creator: Serrano, Gabriela
Partner: UNT Libraries

The American Eve: Gender, Tragedy, and the American Dream

Description: America has adopted as its own the Eden myth, which has provided the mythology of the American dream. This New Garden of America, consequently, has been a masculine garden because of its dependence on the myth of the Fall. Implied in the American dream is the idea of a garden without Eve, or at least without Eve's sin, traditionally associated with sexuality. Our canonical literature has reflected these attitudes of devaluing feminine power or making it a negative force: The Scarlet Letter, Moby-Dick, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, The Great Gatsby, and The Sound and the Fury. To recreate the Garden myth, Americans have had to reimagine Eve as the idealized virgin, earth mother and life-giver, or as Adam's loyal helpmeet, the silent figurehead. But Eve resists her new roles: Hester Prynne embellishes her scarlet letter and does not leave Boston; the feminine forces in Moby-Dick defeat the monomaniacal masculinity of Ahab; Miss Watson, the Widow Douglas, and Aunt Sally's threat of civilization chase Huck off to the territory despite the beckoning of the feminine river; Daisy retreats unscathed into her "white palace" after Gatsby's death; and Caddy tours Europe on the arm of a Nazi officer long after Quentin's suicide, Benjy's betrayal, and Jason's condemnation. Each of these male writers--Hawthorne, Melville, Twain, Fitzgerald, and Faulkner--deals with the American dream differently; however, in each case the dream fails because Eve will not go away, refusing to be the Other, the scapegoat, or the muse to man's dreams. These works all deal in some way with the notion of the masculine American dream of perfection in the Garden at the expense of a fully realized feminine presence. This failure of the American dream accounts for the decidedly tragic tone of these culturally significant American novels.
Date: May 1993
Creator: Long, Kim Martin
Partner: UNT Libraries