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Introduction "Alice Doane's Appeal"

Materials prepared by:

Joseph R. Modugno , Department of English
North Shore Community College, Danvers, MA

The Hanging of a Witch
The Hanging of a Witch (courtesy of Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, MA)
“This company of devils and condemned souls had come on a holiday, to revel in the discovery of a complicated crime; as foul a one as ever was imagined in their dreadful abode. In the course of the tale, the reader had been permitted to discover, that all the incidents were results of the machinations of the wizard….” In “Alice Doane’s Appeal,” Hawthorne presents a complex tale--a story within a story—that touches upon themes of incest, fratricide, and delusion. In grappling with the past—his own, as well as Salem’s, Hawthorne explores the dark impulses of the human heart and presents a narrator-storyteller whose success is achieved when he discovers that truth is more powerful than fiction.

Page citation: http://www.hawthorneinsalem.org/page/11846/

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