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Related Literature: "Old Esther Dudley"

Mirror like Esther Dudley’s
Mirror like Esther Dudley’s (courtesy of The Beverly Historical Society)
  • Excerpts are from the story "Old Esther Dudley" (from Twice Told Tales, Volume 2, 1851) (courtesy of Eric Eldred)

  • This excerpt provides details of Esther's appearance and her relationship to the Province House.

  • In this passage, Hawthorne outlines Esther's guardianship of the abandoned structure."

  • This excerpt contains the charge made to Esther Dudley by Sir William Howe, commanding her to guard and preserve the Province House This excerpt also describes her as "representative of a decayed past," similar to Hepzibah Pyncheon from The House of the Seven Gables.

  • As does House of the Seven Gables, Province House contains a mirror that seems to link together past and present.

  • Though she tends to be distant from adults, Esther Dudley enjoys the company of children, as this excerpt reveals. She also becomes a means for them to learn about the past.

  • Having waited for years for the return of the royal governor, Esther Dudley prepares to greet the man she mistakes for him. In this excerpt Hawthorne presents her feeling of triumph and fulfillment that turns to failure; Hawthorne also shows the republican John Hancock paying her respect.

Full text of "Old Esther Dudley"

Page citation: http://www.hawthorneinsalem.org/page/10163/

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