Date of Award

1986

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

English

Abstract

Various scholars have referred to the metaphorical journey in Hawthorne's work. This is the first comprehensive study of the journey image in Hawthorne's fiction. Inquiring into the relationship between the imagery in Hawthorne's short stories and his longer fiction, the study examines the sources of Hawthorne's fascination with the journey motif. Hawthorne uses the journey in his first published work, Fanshawe. Both contrived and derivative of his reading of travel literature and fiction, especially The Pilgrim's Progress, Fanshawe exhibits all facets of the journey-related imagery that Hawthorne employs in his later fiction. Hawthorne wrote his short stories after he wrote Fanshawe and before he wrote his second romance, The Scarlet Letter, so a discussion of the journey imagery in the short fiction is significant to discussing its use in the romances. In the first-person stories, in particular, Hawthorne develops the narrators' point of view. These early narrators--intrusive, prescriptive moralizers--step aside from the "journey" of life to explain how to interpret the story. In the later stories, the more subtle narrator relates his own experiences without moralizing, sharing the path with his fellow travelers. This transformation leads to Hawthorne's development of the reflective, limited viewpoint taken by the narrators of the romances, who see life as a journey and the characters as travelers stepping onto or away from the road of life; they allow the reader to work out the moral, rather than explicitly announcing it. In the third-person stories, Hawthorne's interests lie in the areas of characterization and imagery. The undeveloped, symbolical, isolated characters in Hawthorne's early stories are replaced by the multifaceted, realistic characters who interact with a community in the later stories. The journeys in the early stories, set in exotic, foreign, or fantastic places, are exchanged for the more commonplace settings of the village street or workplace. In the romances Hawthorne develops several characters who must decide whether or not to involve themselves with the community's "journey," symbolized by their relationship to the "path" of life. Likewise, the moral development of each central figure is characterized by the choice he makes to walk on or off the common path.

Pages

306

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