Hawthorne's use of mirror symbolism in his writings

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Jane Whicker Kellett (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site: http://library.uncg.edu/
Robert Stephens

Abstract: Throughout the course of Nathaniel Hawthorne's writing one notes an extensive use of mirrors and other reflecting objects—brooks, lakes, fountains, pools, suits of armor, soap bubbles, the pupils of people's eyes, and others. Surprisingly enough, few scholars and critics have had much to say about this significant mirror symbolism; perhaps Hawthorne succeeded so well In concealing; these images that they express meaning without directing attention to their presence. Nevertheless, they are very much in evidence and for a very definite purpose. Hawthorne, whose works cover the problem of moral growth in man, was attempting to show mankind that only through an intense self-introspection and self-examination of the interior of his innermost being--his heart--would he be able to live in an external world which often appeared unintelligible to him; and through the utilization of mirror images, Hawthorne could often reveal truths hidden from the outer eyes of man.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 1968
Hawthorne, Nathaniel, $d 1804-1864 $x Criticism and interpretation
Hawthorne, Nathaniel, $d 1804-1864 $x Symbolism

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