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 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
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