Publication Date

Fall 2018

Advisor(s) - Committee Chair

Erika Brady (Director), Timothy Evans, and David Miller

Degree Program

Department of Folk Studies and Anthropology

Degree Type

Master of Arts


Both folklorists and literary critics have been drawn to Nathaniel Hawthorne’s body of work because of his distinctive style and incorporation of folk motifs. Such motif-spotting presents no challenge in Hawthorne’s juvenile literature like his retellings from Greek mythology in Wonder Book for Girls and Boys; however, contemporary folklore redirects the focus of this scholarship to “how particular literary uses of folklore fit into a larger, more fundamental concept of what folklore is and how and what folklore communicates” (de Caro & Jordan 2015:15). Hawthorne’s work interacts with other forms of cultural expression in the nineteenth century such as dominant cultural narratives and artwork to transform the classical narratives in Wonder Book for Girls and Boys into narratives that reflect customs in conversational discourse and childrearing practice.


American Literature | Children's and Young Adult Literature | Folklore | Literature in English, North America