The Ambivalence of Hawthorne in Twice Told Tales
As inheritors of the Puritan religious tradition, the notion of 'consciousness` is a major concept in the works of most
American writers. Hawthorne's employment of this conception in his works is observable in his employment of a highly art-conscious
voice who intrudes, every now and then, to pose questions, and provide various possibilities of alternate endings and solutions, but never
attempting to come up with an ultimate point of resolution. Ambivalence arises as the result of this authorial intrusion and as the present
paper attempts to reveal, is the result of an author highly conscious of the art of writing. Hawthorne's employment of this specific technique
of authorial intrusion itself becomes a paradoxical attempt at simultaneously revealing and concealing the art of fiction-writing. Instances
of such ambivalence are drawn from his collection of Twice Told Tales.
However, the present reading of the tales attempts to reveal that Hawthorne is not totally successful in his intension to secure his superior
role as author, as the very breaches he provides within his stories open the possibility for further meaning and interpretation, thus
depriving him of the very power he desires to preserve.
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