Art and Sexual Repression: Miles Coverdale and The Blithedale Romance

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Title: Art and Sexual Repression: Miles Coverdale and The Blithedale Romance
Author: Beaudoin, Maria Elaine
Advisors: Allen Stein, Committee Chair
Anne Baker, Committee Member
Carmine Prioli, Committee Member
Abstract: Throughout Nathaniel Hawthorne's body of work, including his short stories and novels, there is a strong connection between artistic production and repressed sexual longing or genuine love for another person. Most of Hawthorne's artists repress their desires for another person because of social circumstances or the lack of courage to express them, and therefore, they channel those emotions through their artistic efforts. Not only do those artists who are sexually repressed use their art as an outlet, but Hawthorne shows that they are also those artists who produce the greatest and most long-lasting work. The artists who are able to find long-lasting love can create only minor or ephemeral art. Hawthorne's third novel, The Blithedale Romance, most fully explores the relationship between the creation of art and the expression of sexuality by the artist. This novel, with Miles Coverdale as Hawthorne's only first-person narrator, provides the most extensive portrait of a self-isolated, sexually repressed artist, which is arguably a thinly veiled portrait of Hawthorne himself. Because Coverdale remains a bachelor without ever finding an outlet for his passions, he creates a genuinely significant work of art: a fictional account of his experiences at Blithedale, The Blithedale Romance.
Date: 2003-04-08
Degree: MA
Discipline: English
URI: http://www.lib.ncsu.edu/resolver/1840.16/1675


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