In his story, “The Birthmark,” Hawthorne depicts a troubling narrative and a theme which is largely rooted in feminism.
Barwell, Ismay. “Levinson and the Resisting Reader: Feminist Strategies of Interpretation.”Journal of Gender Studies, 09589236. Vol. 4, Issue 2. (1995). Net Library.
The author of this paper discusses the application of feminist perspectives when interpreting literature. Barwell explores the process through which a feminist critique is likely to go when analyzing a piece of text. One of the feminist authors Barwell discusses is Judith Fetterley, who has famously analysed Hawthorne’s “The Birthmark,” in her essay “Women Beware Science: ‘The Birthmark.” Barwell talks about ‘anti-female’ devices used within text, and the ways in which these can be noticed and interpreted.
This source will be helpful in writing my paper as it provides an interesting insight into subconscious methods of text interpretation, particularly regarding feminist readers. As my thesis focuses on Hawthorne’s story and how its roots are largely feminist, this source will inject and interesting point of view into my research.
Idol, J.L. and Melinda M. Ponder. Hawthorne and Women: Engendering and Expanding the Hawthorne Tradition. Amherst: U of Massachusetts. (1999). Net Library.
This book comprises a collection of essays providing an in-depth yet constructive interpretation of Hawthorne's outlooks towards women. It explores the ways in which women in Hawthorne’s immediate family influenced him and his work. The book also explores the writer’s connections with a variety of women authors, along with his views of female characters in his own stories.
This source will provide an interesting contribution to my research as it will give me an insight into different views of Hawthorne’s relationships with women, both real and fictional, and how such relationships inspired and influenced him. In order to complete an informed analysis of a text, it is important to take into account the lifestyle and perspective of the author, as well as the time and culture in which the piece was written. This collection of essays offers much of this information. Furthermore, as the essays are written by various different individuals, the book provides a variety of opinions, reducing the risk of it being an unreliable source.
Mascia-Lees, Frances E. Tattoo, Torture, Mutilation, and Adornment: The Denaturalization of the Body in Culture and Text. State University of New York Press. (1992). Net Library. Web. 25 Apr. 2011.
This book explores the body as a figure of “adornment, manipulation, and mutilation, practices with roots reaching far back in the human record, at least 30,000 years.” In a more relevant context, this book discusses how the body is depicted in this way through literature, and speaks of Hawthorne’s “The Birthmark” as a useful example. Mascie-Lees also goes on to discuss how the mutilation in Hawthorne’s story is portrayed through a feminist perspective.
This source will be valuable to my research as it explores, in depth, the depiction of the body through literature. Moreover, it discusses the range of manipulation that can exist between a man and a woman and, in particular, with the man holding power over the woman. The nature of the conversation regarding “The Birthmark,” is predominantly feminist, as my thesis suggests the story to be.