Friday, September 25, 2009

The White Old Maid

The White Old Maid

Similar to The Minister's Black Veil, this story leaves much unsaid and unexplained. I wonder if Hawthorne was experimenting with how much to reveal in a ghost story. As filmmakers have found that what isn't shown, what is only hinted at, can be more frightening and impressive than full revelation, so too I think Hawthorne was testing how much the reader needed to see and understand in order to appreciate this supernatural story.

I like the way we are shown the speculation and various testimony of the witnesses. Like so many ghost stories and legends, this story will never be completely understood and the reader will ultimately have to decide for herself what is believable. In this way, this little supernatural tale became very true to life for me.

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