Wednesday, August 3, 2011
Summary: Mrs. Hutchinson is a religious reformer in colonial New England. She stood down the men who were in authority.
“She stands loftily before her judges, with a determined brow, and, unknown to herself, there is a flash of carnal pride half-hidden in her eye as she surveys the many learned and famous men whom her doctrines have put in fear. They question her, and her answers are ready and acute. She reasons with them shrewdly, and brings Scripture in support of every argument. The deepest controversialists of that Scholastic day find her a woman, whom all their trained and sharpened intellects are inadequate to foil.”
She is banished to Rhode Island, becomes too liberal for their settlers and finally sets up a colony in New York.. She died in an Indian massacre. Only a baby survived among the slaughtered settlers who was reared as an Indian.
Comment: Hawthorne would not have recognized the term, but he was an early Feminist. The Blithedale Romance, one of his novels, deals with the contrast between a woman who is intellectual vs. a pretty young thing who captures the hearts of men, including the narrator. RayS.
Title: Tales and Sketches. Nathaniel Hawthorne. New York: Literary Classics of the United States. 1972. Copyrighted by the Ohio State University Press. P. 18-24.