American Literature, American Culture

By Gordon Hutner | Go to book overview

Frazier E. Franklin. The Negro Family in the United States. Rev. with foreword by Nathan Glazer. Chicago: The U of Chicago P, 1966.

Genovese Eugene. Roll, Jordan, Roll. The World the Slaves Made. New York: Pantheon Books, 1974.

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Hooks Bell. Ain't I a Woman: Black Women and Feminism. Boston: South End Press, 1981.

Klein Herbert S. "African Women in the Atlantic Slave Trade." Robertson and Klein29-39.

Meillassoux Claude. "Female Slavery." Robertson and Klein49-67.

Moynihan Daniel P. "The Moynihan Report" { The Negro Family: The Case for National Action. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of labor, 1965}. The Moynihan Report and the Politics of Controversy: A Transaction Social Science and Public Policy Report. Ed. Lee Rainwater and William L. Yancy . Cambridge: MIT Press, 1967. 47-94.

Robertson Claire C., and Martin A. Klein, eds. Women and Slavey in Africa. Madison: U of Wisconsin P, 1983.

Scarry Elaine. The Body in Pain: The Making and Unmaking of the World. New York: Oxford UP, 1985.

Smith Valerie. "Loopholes of Retreat: Architecture and Ideology in Harriet Jacobs' Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl." Paper presented at the 1985 American Studies Association Meeting, San Diego. Cited in Henry Louis Gates Jr. "What's Love Got to Do With It?" New Literary History 18.2 (Winter 1987): 360.

Strobel Margaret. "Slavery and Reproductive Labor in Mombasa." Robertson and Klein111-30.

Suleiman Susan Rubin, ed. The Female Body in Western Culture. Cambridge: Harvard UP, 1986.

Rodorov Tzvetan. The Conquest of America: The Question of the Other. Trans. Richard Howard. New York: Harper Colophon Books, 1984.

White Deborah Grey. Ar'n't I A Woman? Female Slaves in the Plantation South. New York: Norton, 1985.

Sacvan Bercovitch


Hawthorne's A-Morality of Compromise

Midway through the novel, in the course of a subtle and devastating critique of Hester's radicalism, Hawthorne remarks that "the scarlet letter had not done its office. "1 Hester still has to learn the folly of her wild "freedom of speculation" (259)--has yet to recognize that her love requires, more than a consecration of its own, the consecration of history and community. When in the Conclusion she returns to New England, Hester reveals what has been implicit all along, that the office of the A is socialization. She neither reaffirms her adulterous love nor disavows it; or rather, she does both by incorporating it into the vision of an age of love to come. It is an act of compromise--bridging memory and hope; self and society; nature and institutions; past, present, and future--that reconciles the novel's various antinomies:

____________________
"Hawthorne's A-Morality of Compromise" by Sacvan Berkovitch. Copyright 1988. Originally appeared in Representations24, pp. 1-27. Reprinted by permission of the author.

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