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Critical Commentary Related to "Lady Eleanore's Mantle"

Critical Commentary Related to "Lady Eleanore's Mantle"

Illustration "Keep my Image in your Remembrance" by Frank T. Merrill for "Lady Eleanore’s Mantle"
Illustration "Keep my Image in your Remembrance" by Frank T. Merrill for "Lady Eleanore’s Mantle" (courtesy of Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, MA)
 
  • Harry Levin in The Power of Blackness views the rift between scornful Lady Eleanore and the people she overlooks as a political metaphor.

  • In his book Hawthorne's Faust, William Stein proposes that the story of Lady Eleanore is a metaphor for the powder-keg atmosphere of the pre-Revolutionary colonial period.

  • Nancy Bunge focuses on Lady Eleanore's interactions and the themes of her pride and punishment in her book, Nathaniel Hawthorne: A Study of the Short Fiction. In this first excerpt, she describes the role of Lady Eleanore's peers in the story.

  • In a second excerpt Bunge finds the crowd to be not so different from the story's cruel heroine.

  • Bunge describes Lady Eleanore as an unfortunate mirror for her peers' own pride.

  • Bunge attempts to identify positive outcomes of the dire consequences faced by Lady Eleanore.

  • Michael Colacurcio makes the most in-depth study of "Lady Eleanore's Mantle" in his book Province of Piety. In the chapter entitled "Plague, Pox, Pride and Corruption," he looks at how the smallpox crisis and other contextual events shaped Hawthorne's story, as well as its allegorical implications.

  • Colacurcio focuses on Jervase Helwyse as a precursor of the revolutionary firebrand.

  • Colacurcio reveals just how Helwyse's action ties into the political and religious atmosphere of the story's setting.

  • Colacurcio also links the physical smallpox epidemic to an equally infectious cultural epidemic.

  • In The Salem World of Nathaniel Hawthorne, Margaret Moore identifies a possible source for Hawthorne's tale of Lady Eleanore.



Page citation: http://www.hawthorneinsalem.org/page/11811/


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