Narrative and Narrating: Hawthorne’s Romances

Saša Simović


Nathaniel Hawthorne experimented with various techniques of narration, manipulating different aspects of narrative discourse. All of his romances begin with a “Preface” in which he invites the reader to step onto “neutral territory” somewhere between reality and illusion. In three of his romances The Scarlet Letter, The House of the Seven Gables and The Marble Faun we recognise the authorial narrative situation and the narrator who has an external perspective on the events he recounts. It is only in The Blithedale Romance that we recognise the first- person narrative situation, the situation that confirms the “reality” of romance. This paper will try to comment on some of the narrative techniques used in the aforementioned romances and to highlight the complex problem of narration in each of them.

Keywords: narrator; authorial narrative situation; first-person narrative situation; romance; reader.

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