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Ethan Brand

In this excerpt from "Ethan Brand's Homecoming," published in New Essays on Hawthorne 's Major Tales, edited by Millicent Bell, Rita K. Gollin underscores the theme of alienation in "Ethan Brand" by including the archetypal Wandering Jew.

"Hawthorne next turns to another homeless performer - an itinerant showman who displays diorama pictures to a 'circle of spectators,' the villagers who had climbed the hill to see alegendary hero and were disappointed to see only Ethan, a wayfarer who sat staring into the fire. Therefore they welcomed other amusement, vicarious travel through a showman's tattered pictures. By calling the showman 'the Jew of Nuremburg,' Hawthorne transmuted a German he had encountered in the Berkshires into an archetype of homelessness, the Wandering Jew, whose skepticism about Jesus doomed him to restless wandering until the Second Coming" (93). (courtesy of Cambridge University Press)

 



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