The Anatomy of National Fantasy: Hawthorne, Utopia, and Everyday Life
Examining the complex relationships between the political, popular, sexual, and textual interests of Nathaniel Hawthorne's work, Lauren Berlant argues that Hawthorne mounted a sophisticated challenge to America's collective fantasy of national unity. She shows how Hawthorne's idea of citizenship emerged from an attempt to adjudicate among the official and the popular, the national and the local, the collective and the individual, utopia and history.
At the core of Berlant's work is a three-part study of The Scarlet Letter, analyzing the modes and effects of national identity that characterize the narrator's representation of Puritan culture and his construction of the novel's political present tense. This analysis emerges from an introductory chapter on American citizenship in the 1850s and a following chapter on national fantasy, ranging from Hawthorne's early work "Alice Doane's Appeal" to the Statue of Liberty. In her conclusion, Berlant suggests that Hawthorne views everyday life and local political identities as alternate routes to the revitalization of the political and utopian promises of modern national life.
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TWO The Paradise of Law
FOUR The Nationalist Preface
FIVE America in Everyday Life
abstract Alice Doane's Appeal American Ann Hutchinson antinomian argued authority Bellingham Bercovitch body chapter citizen citizenship civil Colacurcio collective identity colony colony's conscience consciousness constituted construction context counter-memory crisis crucial Custom-House defamiliarization desire Dimmesdale Dimmesdale's discourse dominant effect embodied everyday experience federal female forms Fredric Jameson gender Hawthorne's Hester Prynne historical icon ideology imagination individual Jacqueline Rose John Winthrop juridical landscape law's literary logic magistrates male material meaning memory mnemotechnique mode monument narrative narrator narrator's Nathaniel Hawthorne national culture national fantasy national identity National Symbolic natural negative novel official patriarchal political public sphere popular position present tense privilege provides public sphere Puritan relation representation represents reveals Sacvan Bercovitch Salem scaffold Scarlet Letter scene semiotic sexual social space state's Statue of Liberty tale theory thorne's tion tional trans transfiguration transformation University Press Utopian promise Winthrop woman women York