This booktakes issue with the tendency in twentieth-century Hawthorne-criticism to blur the distinction between symbolism and allegory. Rejecting the long-standing tion that Hawthorne is a symbolist in allegorical disguise, Ullen argues that allegory is the key to understanding how religion, sexuality, aesthetics and politics are interwoven in Hawthorne's writings. The study presents a model for allegorical interpretation of general applicability, which is brought to bear on each of Hawthorne's mature romances, and on the oft-neglected Wonder Books written for children. An unparalleled analysis of the formal intricacies of Hawthorne's writings, this book is an eloquent plea for the necessity of grounding ideological analysis in aesthetical considerations.
The Author: Magnus Ullen received his Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from Uppsala University. He is currently engaged in research at Stockholm University.