Nathaniel Hawthorne Long Fiction Analysis - Essay

Nathaniel Hawthorne Long Fiction Analysis

(Survey of Novels and Novellas)

Central to Nathaniel Hawthorne’s romances is his idea of a “neutral territory,” described in the Custom House sketch that precedes The Scarlet Letter as a place“somewhere between the real world and fairy-land, where the Actual and the Imaginary may meet, and each imbue itself with the nature of the other.” A romance, according to Hawthorne, is different from the novel, which maintains a “minute fidelityto the probable and ordinary course of man’s experience.” In the neutral territory of romance, however, the author may make use of the “marvellous” to heighten atmospheric effects, if he or she also presents “the truth of the human heart.” As long as the writer of romance creates characters whose...

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