Excerpt from Student Companion to Nathaniel Hawthorne by Melissa McFarland Pennell
Excerpt from Student Companion to Nathaniel Hawthorne by Melissa McFarland
Pennell (courtesy of Greenwood
In this passage, Melissa McFarland Pennell maintains that Hawthorne, despite his sympathy with the artistic endeavors of Owen Warland, still sees value in the point of view represented by the Hovfenden-Danforth family.
"Concerned about the place of creativity in American culture, Hawthorne focuses on the struggle of the artist to realize his dream. The final scene of the story also presents the need to find a middle way between two extremes. Owen has sacrificed his connection to people to achieve his dream, whereas the Hovenden-Danforth family risks a limited future by being mired in the material and utilitarian. Hawthorne draws clear distinctions between those who see only analytically or practically and those who see imaginatively. He suggests that these two perspectives are actually complementary and necessary for a balanced life" (57).