Themes

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Last Updated on June 19, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 137

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The Marble Faun is a classic novel by Nathaniel Hawthorne. The book was published in 1860, and one of the major themes in the book is romance. It’s set in Italy, and the focus is on Americans living in the country, such as Miriam, who is a painter whose past is never explained.

The “fall of man” as depicted in Genesis in the Bible is also an important theme in the book, since the character Donatello, goes through a kind of fall from innocence when he kills a monk who is following around Miriam, Donatello’s “Eve.”

This murder is a central event in the novel and Donatello has to deal with the guilt of it. This changes him, just like the sin committed by Adam in the Bible changes Adam and all of his children thereafter.

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