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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Nathaniel Hawthorne's Development of the New Eve Archetype
by Knight-Slater, Denice F., M.A., Prescott College, 2011, 108; 1501399
Abstract (Summary)

The purpose of this study was to identify New Eve—an idealized female literary archetype utilized by Nathaniel Hawthorne. New Eve, modeled upon Hawthorne's wife, is a messianic redeemer sent to offer spiritual salvation to selected men. New Eve's divine perfection exceeds even that of the True Women/Angels in the House females regularly found in nineteenth-century novels. The examination of Hawthorne's literary expression of New Eve prompted a question: How does Hawthorne utilize his New Eve archetype to transcend the antebellum ideal of True Womanhood/Angel in the House and to disseminate his personal revelations about divine womanhood? In response, this thesis provides an overview of Hawthorne's Christian spirituality, biblical knowledge, and early development of New Eve by extracting information from Hawthorne's letters, journals, and a number of short-stories. The information serves as the basis for a comprehensive analysis of Pearl from The Scarlet Letter (1850), Phoebe from The House of the Seven Gables (1851), Priscilla from The Blithedale Romance (1852), and Hilda from The Marble Faun (1860). The results of this literary review provide evidence that Hawthorne's fiction consistently suggests that the primary means by which a man enters into personal spiritual growth is by accepting the succor of a New Eve.

Keywords: Nathaniel Hawthorne, New Eve, maidens, Angel in the House, The Scarlet Letter, The House of the Seven Gables, The Blithedale Romance, The Marble Faun.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Wolfe, Andrea Powell
Commitee: Stockton, Elizabeth, Stuckey, Priscilla
School: Prescott College
Department: Humanities
School Location: United States -- Arizona
Source: MAI 50/03M, Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Womens studies, American literature
Keywords: Blithedale Romance, Hawthorne, Nathaniel, House of the Seven Gables, Marble Faun, New Eve, Scarlet Letter
Publication Number: 1501399
ISBN: 978-1-124-98448-3
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