Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Poe & Hawthorne

(This was a very poor essay submitted to enable me to complete the Peer Review section.)

Original Essay:

Both Poe and Hawthorne wrote stories that have echoes of the morality tales retold by the Brothers Grimm.  Where these authors particularly vary from the older morality tales is by a lack of provision of a happy ending. In some ways this harks back to earlier, less sanitised versions of the Grimm's tales, but with additions from the more modern Gothic sensibilities of Shelley and Stoker.

In The Birthmark, Hawthorne shows a character, Aylmer, who tries to take over the role of the creator. This is specifically alluded to when the narrator talks of the jealousy of "our great creative Mother" who will not permit "on no account to make". Aylmer is punished for his temerity in presuming to remove the imperfection Nature has placed on Georgiana's cheek. In this moral tale, however, when he is punished through the loss of Georgiana, there is no potential for her return of he repents. Hawthorne's moral tales are final and complete in their decisions, and once you have trod the path, there is no way to regain that lost innocence.

Works cited:

Twice-Told Tales / Nathaniel Hawthorne [Project Guttenberg edition]
The Portable Poe / Edgar Allen Poe
Children's and Household Tales / Brothers Grimm, trans. Lucy Crane
The Hard Facts of the Grimm's Fairy Tales / Maria Tatar

Edited and updated essay:

To be added later

No comments:

Post a Comment