A New England Nun Essay

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In the following excerpt, Martin discusses prominent symbols in "A New England Nun" and asserts that the character of Louisa Ellis is meant to be a symbol of quiescent passivity.

In her best stories Mary Wilkins has an admirable control of her art. . . . Her best story is undoubtedly "A New England Nun." Louisa Ellis, the "New England Nun" who has been waiting fourteen years for her lover, Joe Dagget, to return from making his fortune in Australia, is shocked by his masculine presence—which now seems crude to her—when he finally comes back to claim her hand. For, in the intervening years, she has "turned into a path . . . so straight and unswerving that it could only meet a check at her grave": unwittingly she has become another in the tradition of New England solitaries. Her path is described by the adverbs modifying her unconscious modes of...

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This section contains 416 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the A New England Nun Study Guide
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