In "Drowne's Wooden Image," Hawthorne explores the difference between the work of an artist and an artisan through the dialogues between Drowne and John Singleton Copley and through Copley's observations. To understand why this comparison is important to Hawthorne and his ideas about the artist in America, students can do the following:
1. Compare the pictures of the ship's masthead carvings by various artisans
listed below to the portrait
of Sarah Erving Waldo by Copley. What differences do you see between these
two art forms? What skills are needed to be able to create each of them? How
do these differences in skill create distance between the creator of each?
4. Hawthorne knew that New Englanders often viewed artists with skepticism or disdain. How do the comments of townsfolk or the narrator reveal this in "Drowne's Wooden Image"? How do you think someone like Drowne or Copley might feel when hearing these things?