The importance of place in the short fiction of Nathaniel Hawthorne

No Thumbnail Available
Ward, Kathleen Anne
Miller, William V.
Issue Date
Thesis (M.A.)
Other Identifiers

This thesis encompasses a twofold purpose. On the one hand, it seeks to explore and to formulate a definition of the concept of "place" and what is meant by the words "sense of place" in fiction. Within this purview, the thesis also distinguishes between the concept of place and the fictional technique of setting. On the other hand, the study provides an analysis of Hawthorne's work based upon the implications ensuing from a consideration of place. While most of Hawthorn's familiar short stories and novels are discussed briefly and referred to where appropriate, the bulk of the study provides in-depth analyses of several short stories and sketches which have received little critical attention. The short pieces discussed in greatest detail are as follows: "My Visit to Niagara," "Foot-prints on the Sea-shore," "The Old Manse," "The Lily's Quest," and "Main-Street." These pieces were selcted because they focus on "places" directly, because they require critical attention, and because they shed light on several of Hawthorn 's major works. The overall concern with the concept of place is deemed important by the author because the concept figures so prominently in Hawthorn 's work and thus serves as a way of enhancing the reader's understanding of Hawthorne's mind and art.