The Wives of the Dead Essay

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In the following essay, Harris examines dream and reality in "The Wives of the Dead," and the importance of distinguishing between the two.

The few Hawthorne commentators who have given any attention to the undeservedly neglected "The Wives of the Dead" have either ignored the question of whether it deals with dreams or reality, or acknowledged the question and then dismissed it in one or two cryptic statements. Even those who have looked at the details of the story in any depth have evaded the mystery that asks for solution, or have arrived at erroneous conclusions that contradict the details the story presents.

H. J. Lang, who devotes over two pages to the story (which is, relatively, a lot), summarizes the first two types of criticism I have mentioned:

Arlin Turner summarizes the "slight" story as showing the response of each [sister] when she receives her own...

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This section contains 2,988 words
(approx. 8 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Wives of the Dead Study Guide
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