Student Companion to Nathaniel Hawthorne

Overview

Unlike the current works of literary criticism available on Nathaniel Hawthorne, which are written for specialists and more sophisticated readers, this critical introduction is designed to meet the needs of high school students and general readers for accessible yet challenging literary criticism. It features a biographical chapter that relates his life to his work, a chapter on his career and contributions to American literature, and chapters that analyze his most important short stories and novels in turn. ...

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Overview

Unlike the current works of literary criticism available on Nathaniel Hawthorne, which are written for specialists and more sophisticated readers, this critical introduction is designed to meet the needs of high school students and general readers for accessible yet challenging literary criticism. It features a biographical chapter that relates his life to his work, a chapter on his career and contributions to American literature, and chapters that analyze his most important short stories and novels in turn. Examined are his best known and most frequently anthologized tales, and the romances The Scarlet Letter, The House of the Seven Gables, The Blithedale Romance, and The Marble Faun. Each of the novels is discussed in a separate chapter. Of additional value in the volume is a complete bibliography of Hawthorne's work, selected bibliography of critical and biographical sources, and lists of reviews of each novel and the stories, both from the time the literature was originally published and from contemporary sources.

The biographical chapter provides an overview of Hawthorne's life, including his years in Salem and Concord, Massachusetts. The chapter on his career traces Hawthorne's development as a writer, his contributions to the genre of the short story and the romance, and his influence on contemporaries and later writers. In examining the fiction itself, the chapters that follow feature close readings of texts that include analysis of setting, plot development, character development, and themes. The discussion of each novel features an alternate critical reading that introduces the reader to various critical approaches to fiction and highlights the richness in Hawthorne's work.

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
An introduction to American writer Hawthorne's (1804-64) work for high school and undergraduate students and general readers. Pennell (English, U. of Massachusetts-Lowell) overviews his life and career, places him within the context of his times, and highlights how he interacted with and reacted to the culture around him. She considers his novels and his most frequently anthologized short stories. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780313305955
  • Publisher: Greenwood Publishing Group, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 8/30/1999
  • Series: Student Companions to Classic Writers Series
  • Pages: 188
  • Sales rank: 434,755
  • Product dimensions: 6.36 (w) x 9.50 (h) x 0.78 (d)

Meet the Author

MELISSA MCFARLAND PENNELL is Professor of English at the University of Massachusetts Lowell, where she coordinates its American Studies program.

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Table of Contents

Foreword

Life of Nathaniel Hawthorne

Hawthorne's Career and Contributions to American Literature

Short Stories I: The New England Tales

Short Stories II: Artists, Seekers, and Solitaries

The Scarlet Letter

The House of the Seven Gables

The Blithedale Romance

The Marble Faun

Bibliography

Index

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