The wives of the dead. The Wives of The Dead by Nathaniel Hawthorne 2022-11-03
The wives of the dead
In literature and folklore, the wives of the dead have often been portrayed as mournful figures, doomed to a life of grief and loneliness after the loss of their husbands. These women are often depicted as passive and powerless, struggling to cope with the sudden and often violent loss of their loved ones.
However, this portrayal is not always accurate or fair. In reality, the wives of the dead are often strong and resilient, finding ways to carry on despite their immense loss. They may grieve deeply, but they also find ways to honor their husbands' memories and to build new lives for themselves.
One example of a wife of the dead who defies the stereotype is Antigone, a character in the ancient Greek play of the same name. After her two brothers kill each other in a civil war, Antigone's brother Polyneices is banned from receiving a proper burial by the ruling king, Creon. Despite knowing that she will be punished for disobeying the king's orders, Antigone bravely gives her brother a proper burial, stating that it is her duty as a sister and a daughter to honor the gods and the dead.
Another example is the biblical character of Ruth, who refuses to abandon her mother-in-law, Naomi, after the death of Ruth's husband. Ruth declares, "Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God" (Ruth 1:16). Ruth's loyalty and devotion to her mother-in-law serves as a model of strength and faith in the face of tragedy.
The wives of the dead are not defined solely by their loss, but by their courage, resilience, and determination to move forward. They may grieve, but they also find ways to honor their husbands' memories and to create new purpose for themselves. They are not passive or powerless, but rather they are powerful examples of the human capacity to endure and to find meaning in even the darkest of circumstances.
The Wives of The Dead by Nathaniel Hawthorne
He tarried at my house to refresh himself with a drop and a morsel, and I asked him what tidings on the frontiers. Readers must suspend their own doubt and believe the mask is a real person. The five Manaw… Saint Margaret Of Scotland , St. I judged you would n't mind being broke of your rest, and so I stepped over to tell you. . .
The Wives of the Dead
Again there was a quick peal upon the street-door. He tarried at my house to refresh himself with a drop and a morsel, and I asked him what tidings on the frontiers. The dire images of night and storm and sea and season also suggest a larger, cyclical world in which good and evil, pain and pleasure, despair and promise balance out. But her hand trembled against Margaret's neck, a tear also fell upon her cheek, and she suddenly awoke. A vivid dream had latterly involved her in its unreal life, of which, however, she could only remember that it had been broken in upon at the most interesting point.
The Wives of the Dead
And if, as may well be the case, the narrator is giving us more than a straight retelling of the story he came across, Mary may be getting the false report he feels she deserves for too quickly getting over her loss. Later that evening Mary receives word that her own husband is alive, and on his way home. Hawthorne presents the tale as if his narrator had physically been present. While Margaret groaned in bitterness, she heard a knock at the street door. After the visit, Mary watches Stephen with a doubt of waking reality, that seemed stronger or weaker as he alternately entered the shade of the houses, or emerged into the broad streaks of moonlight. As the window grated on its hinges, a man in a broad-brimmed hat and blanket-coat stepped from under the shelter of the projecting story, and looked upward to discover whom his application had aroused. Hawthorne employs other visual symbolic imagery such as the lantern, the hearth, morning mist, and windows to emphasize the relationship between truth and seeing, sight and insight.
The Wives of the Dead Summary
But Mary, like her sister-in-law, is overjoyed when she hears the news that her husband is alive. Margaret, on the other hand, rebels—not just against her bad fortune, but against God. . Margaret lay in unquiet sleep, and the drapery was displaced around her; her young cheek was rosy-tinted, and her lips half opened in a vivid smile; an expression of joy, debarred its passage by her sealed eyelids, struggled forth like incense from the whole countenance. Happy is it, and strange, that the lighter sorrows are those from which dreams are chiefly fabricated. And perhaps the point is not that the women differ they do , but that the traditional Christian norms by which we tend to judge these differences belie their complexity.
Joy flashed into her heart, and lighted it up at once; and breathless, and with winged steps, she flew to the bedside of her sister. Will Mary, then, since she seems much more accepting of her loss, remain without her husband? But Margaret stayed not to watch these picturesque effects. Like her husband, the Indian fighter, Margaret grapples with her fate—as she does with her emotions. I could n't have slept a wink before speaking to you, Mary, for the sake of old times. Joy flashed into her heart, and lighted it up at once; and breathless, and with winged steps, she flew to the bedside of her sister.
It is left unclear whether Mary awakens Margaret or wakes herself up with her own crying. Obsessed by the ways in which the Puritans shaped The Scarlet Letter. They joined their hearts, and wept together silently. Fearing that her sister would also be disturbed, Mary wrapped herself in a cloak and hood, took the lamp from the hearth, and hastened to the window. Her mind was thronged with delightful thoughts, till sleep stole on, and transformed them to visions, more delightful and more wild, like the breath of winter but what a cold comparison! She opened the chamber-door, which had been closed in the course of the night, though not latched, advanced to the bedside, and was about to lay her hand upon the slumberer's shoulder.
After the other mourners have left the house of the sisters-in-law, Mary prepares a meal, encouraging Margaret to be grateful for what they still do have. When the night was far advanced, Mary awoke with a sudden start. They joined their hearts, and wept together silently. Her face was turned partly inward to the pillow, and had been hidden there to weep; but a look of motionless contentment was now visible upon it, as if her heart, like a deep lake, had grown calm because its dead had sunk down so far within. Put yourself in 1730 and write a story for the local newspaper conveying the information the women learn about their husbands.
But joy could not long be repressed, even by circumstances that would have excited heavy grief at another moment. Their love, a lamp fashioned in isolation, glows tentatively, perhaps even promisingly—until the curtain is, as it were, withdrawn to reveal a prank: daylight without. Dark implications about the relativity and complexity of our most idealized emotions fall back in perspective alongside the simple, apparently selfless love Stephen displays in visiting Mary. Hawthorne sprinkles this story with such observations. Michael Colacurcio treats the tale in some depth, but like other critics he makes erroneous statements about the plot e.
I could n't have slept a wink before speaking to you, Mary, for the sake of old times. Thus, a key element of the story is introduced: the difficulty of distinguishing between reality and unreality. She now shrunk from Mary's words, like a wounded sufferer from a hand that revives the throb. . The brothers and their brides, entering the married state with no more than the slender means which then sanctioned such a step, had confederated themselves in one household, with equal rights to the parlor, and claiming exclusive privileges in two sleeping-rooms contiguous to it. Research the history of shipwrecks in the early eighteenth century.