Roars of laughter : a study of the use of laughter as a sound-image motif in selected short stories and tales of Nathaniel Hawthorne

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Martha Stribling Smith (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Robert Stephens

Abstract: The purpose of this thesis is to study Hawthorne 's use of ironic laughter as a sound-image motif pointing to the presence of evil. Hawthorne's concept of sin grows out of his world-view inherited from the Puritan ancestors and Elizabethan literature. Sin is a violation of one's ordained place in the chain of being, either the aspiration toward the knowledge, powers, and prerogatives of God, or the materialistic, sensual refusal to rise above animal nature. Laughter as part of a characterization is traced in one instance to Shakespeare's Robin Goodfellow. Hilton's use of laughter suggests the philosophical ideas inherent in Hawthorne's use of laughter as a sound-image. Gothic novels furnish the convention of fiendish laughter which Hawthorne use3 and adapts to his own purposes.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 1964
Hawthorne, Nathaniel, $d 1804-1864 $x Criticism and interpretation
Hawthorne, Nathaniel, $d 1804-1864 $x Style

Email this document to