Publication Date


Advisor(s) - Committee Chair

A. Mosby, Joe Glaser, John Hagaman

Degree Program

Department of English

Degree Type

Master of Arts


Nathaniel Hawthorne's life can be divided into four periods each containing a practical and ideal component. These components create a duality containing the dynamic Hawthorne confronted when moving between the practical world of work, family, and politics and the ideal world of art. This dynamic is used to explain the ambiguity of Hawthorne's works, particularly "My Kinsman, Major Molineaux," "The Artist of the Beautiful," and The Blithedale Romance. The movement present in these works between practical and ideal interests is connected to Hawthorne's view of the artist in society, the relationship of tradition and progress, and the issue of slavery. The conclusion shows that Hawthorne's pride and integrity both lifted up and undermined his art--a paradox in keeping with Hawthorne's character as a practical man and idealistic artist.


Arts and Humanities | English Language and Literature | Literature in English, North America