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Fragmented Self: Hawthorne's Prescient Eye in "The Prophetic Pictures" and "Wakefield"

Naruhiko Mikado
2019 Litinfinite Journal  
This brief essay intends to shed a fresh light on two short stories written by the celebrated American author Nathaniel Hawthorne from the perspective of how the 'self' is explored; the works to be discussed are "The Prophetic Pictures" and "Wakefield". Concretely, it will demonstrate that the author presents a characteristic individual whose self is fragmented in each of the two tales. In other words, those characters are separated not only from a common community to which they should
more » ... hey should ordinarily belong but also from themselves-namely, they are fissured inside themselves. The process of the argument would go as follows: first, it will explain in what way the self of the characters is impaired, then analyze the characteristics, and, in closing, theorize that Hawthorne urges us to review our naïve conception of the self and to introspect ourselves from another outlook. Put differently, he, by shaking our common notion of the self, goads us to make a brief halt and be self-reflective in this bustling world where people often lose themselves.
doi:10.47365/litinfinite.1.1.2019.34-40 fatcat:ccjvuvduyfcsdobwh2uw26o3se