Professor Millington's lecture "The Meanings of Hawthorne's Women" connects most clearly with the relationship between Hawthorne and Melville when he notes that "Melville's famous label-'Hawthorne: a Problem'-seems to belong with special force to this whole question of identification with women-of vicarious femininity or feminism in Hawthorne's work." While Millington necessarily leaves open many of the questions that can be raised about his topic, he persuasively shows that Hawthorne identified in many ways with women in his work whereas he lacked any corresponding advocacy for women in the real world. The following excerpts from Millington's lecture develop the concept of Hawthorne's "imaginary femininity."
Here David Kesterson comments upon the fact that it was Hawthorne's fascination
with and exploration of the idea of evil that so captivated the younger Herman
Melville. In Melville's comments, Kesterson captures Melville's idea that
no "deeply thinking mind" is ever completely free from a consideration of