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Look Inside New Essays on 'The Scarlet Letter'

New Essays on 'The Scarlet Letter'


Part of The American Novel

Michael J. Colacurcio, Michael Davitt Bell, David van Leer, Carol Bensick
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  • Date Published: March 1986
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521319980

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About the Authors
  • The introduction to this volume outlines the critical history of the novel from the moralising reactions of Hawthorne's contemporaries, through the assessments of writers such as Henry James and D. H. Lawrence, to the more recent approaches of the New Criticism, formalism, psychoanalytical criticism, structuralism and feminism. Each of the interpretative essays that follow places The Scarlet Letter in a specific historical and cultural context. The first shows that an awareness of the convention of romance is essential to an understanding of the novel. A second investigates the tension between Hawthorne's Puritan setting and his Romantic language, suggesting a complex relationship among author, narrator, characters, and story. A third considers the novel's pervasive metaphor of sexuality. The final essay locates the work in the genre of 'the novel of adultery'.

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    Product details

    • Date Published: March 1986
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521319980
    • length: 176 pages
    • dimensions: 214 x 139 x 14 mm
    • weight: 0.24kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Introduction: the spirit and the sign Michael J. Colacurcio
    2. Arts of deception: Hawthorne, 'romance' and The Scarlet Letter Michael Davitt Bell
    3. Hester's labyrinth: transcendental rhetoric in Puritan Boston David van Leer
    4. 'The woman's own choice': sex, metaphor and the Puritan 'sources' of The Scarlet Letter Michael J. Colacurcio
    5. His folly, her weakness: demystified adultery in The Scarlet Letter Carol Bensick
    Notes on contributors
    Selected bibliography.

  • Editor

    Michael J. Colacurcio


    Michael J. Colacurcio, Michael Davitt Bell, David van Leer, Carol Bensick

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