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'Troubled joy' : The paradox of the female figure in Nathaniel Hawthorne's fiction.


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Gaby, Rosemary Sarah 1986 , ''Troubled joy' : The paradox of the female figure in Nathaniel Hawthorne's fiction.', Unspecified thesis, University of Tasmania.

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The figure of woman is of central importance to the whole presentation
of meaning in Nathaniel Hawthorne's fiction. In comparison
to other writers of the nineteenth century, and especially his male
compatriots, Hawthorne grants the female figure a remarkable degree
of prominence and significance in his works. His presentation of woman
is noteworthy not only for the depth and subtlety with which his female
characters are portrayed but also for the unique way in which he manipulates
the standard female stereotypes to explore through symbolic
suggestion the whole purpose of woman's existence and the foundations
of her relations with man. This thesis attempts to show how Hawthorne's
symbolic method consistently points towards the importance of accepting
women as complex, multi-dimensional human beings. Paradoxically, in
Hawthorne's language, this acceptance means that women can fulfil a
super-human purpose. They operate as a unifying force in his works,
providing the key to harmony and the means by which man can re-establish
his relations with man.
My first chapter considers the contemporary context of Hawthorne's
work, the role of woman in nineteenth century America, the way that
role was perceived in fact and fiction, and the kinds of influence
which were likely to affect Hawthorne's personal vision of womanhood.
Chapter II examines the women of Hawthorne's short stories, the ways
in which he develops a distinct 'family' of characters who reappear
throughout his corpus, and the symbolic language which informs his
whole presentation of woman's role. Chapters III, IV and V deal
respectively with The Scarlet Letter, The Blithedale Romance, and The
Marble Faun, concentrating specifically upon the female characters - their significance in these works and in relation to Hawthorne's
vision as a whole. My conclusion attempts to draw the threads
together, to show how the very individuality of Hawthorne's dark
ladies and fair maidens is representative of a common promise of
'troubled joy', and to show how Hawthorne applied this promise to
the future of his country and of the whole human race.

Item Type: Thesis - Unspecified
Authors/Creators:Gaby, Rosemary Sarah
Copyright Holders: The Author
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Copyright 1984 the Author - The University is continuing to endeavour to trace the copyright
owner(s) and in the meantime this item has been reproduced here in good faith. We
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Includes bibliography

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