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;pfPossibly by Sarah Orne Jewett.
39 WRITING AS A HEALING ART IN SARAH ORNE JEWETT'S THE COUNTRY OF THE POINTED FIRS Michael Holstein* Crucial to an understanding of The Country of the Pointed Firs is an appreciation of the narrator Sarah Orne Jewett presents. UnlikeJewett, who was a native of Maine and needed no introduction to the inhabitants of a small coastal town, Jewett's narrator comes as a summer visitor. She is a naif in the tradition of other protagonists of travel literature whose initial impressions of a quaint people are gradually disabused. This narrator is further particularized as a writer facing a dilemma: whether to disengage herself from society in order to write about it objectively, obeying "the voice of conscience"1 that urges her to isolate herself in order to write, or to participate in the life of the community, an obligation that chides her when, in order to write, she finally does excuse herself with "unkind words of withdrawal" (p. 7). Although the explicit stories Jewett tells concern the inhabitants of a mythical New England town, Dünnet Landing, a secondary narrative records the process of the narrator's finding a stance adequate to her subject and her needs as a writer. At issue are the competing claims of artistic and social responsibility, questions of whether she should stand in her material or outside of it, and ultimately, the choice between solipsicm and social meliorism. The narrator solves her dilemma by adopting the role of a writerhealer , a role she perfects at the elbow of Almira Todd, her landlady, business associate, and friend, under whom she serves a summer apprenticeship . Mrs. Todd is an herbalist, but from the beginning she seems to possess skills and insight essential to a writer. An early description invests Mrs. Todd with verbal skills and wide breadth of knowledge: With most remedies the purchaser was allowed to depart unadmonished from the kitchen, Mrs. Todd being a wise saver of steps; but with certain vials she gave cautions, standing in the doorway, and there were other doses which had to be accompanied on their healing way as far as the gate, while she muttered long chapters of directions, and kept up an air of secrecy and importance to the last. It may not have been only the common ails of humanity with which she tried to cope; it seemed sometimes as if love and hate and jealousy and adverse winds at sea might also find their proper remedies among the curious wildlooking plants in Mrs. Todd's garden (p. 4). '"Michael E. Holstein is a Lecturer at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. He has previously published articles on Sarah Orne Jewett and Maxine Hong Kingston as well as a book, Beginning Literary Criticism. 40Michael Holstein Mrs. Todd is, among other things, a good story teller who, as she dispenses herbs, manages words ably and knows nature and human nature well enough to weave a good plot into her prescriptions. She has important lessons for the narrator. The education of the narrator in her vocation, especially as it is supervised by the healer and parallels the healer's role, is the theme that brings together the many episodes that would otherwise diffuse into anecdotes and sketches. The starting point for both healer and narrator is the general deterioration of the people of the region. The narrator depicts the grim toll taken on the population of Dünnet Landing by the depressed economy and demographic shift in the latter part of the nineteenth century. As a result of blockade during the Civil War, as well as rising tariffs, by the conclusion of the century New England shipping was at a standstill, its condition poignantly captured at the end of the book when the narrator casts a retrospective glance at Dünnet Landing and "the tall masts of its disabled schooners" (p. 132). Fishing grounds were no longer as prolific as in the past, so that fishermen had to work harder to bring in less. The decline of the region was further aggravated by the deaths of its mariners at sea, fatalities during the Civil War, and, later, the migrations westward towards the cheap, fertile land of the...
Henry, Washington Irving, William James, Thomas Jefferson, Sarah Orne Jewett, Samuel Johnson, James Joyce, Abraham Lincoln, Herman Melville, James Michener, John Stuart Mill, Cardinal Newman, Edgar Allan Poe, Budd Schulberg, John O'Hara, Sir Walter Scott, Adam Smith, Gertrude Stein, Lawrence Sterne, Harriet Beecher Stowe, William Thackeray, Henry David Thoreau, Anthony Trollope, Mark Twain, Robert Penn Warren, Eudora Welty, Edith Wharton, Walt Whitman, Oscar Wilde, Thomas Wolfe, Virginia Wolfe, and William Wordsworth.
to Sarah Orne Jewett; New York, 17 Jul 1888.
But with a loss of faith in God, what becomes of morality? This essay will examine how Emily Dickinson, Sarah Orne Jewett, Henry James and Mark Twain wrote literature in this age coupled with war, inhumanity and despair in God. This essay will show that: (1) Dickinson destroys any reliance on the Bibl...
By using the "Archetypal Cycle of Human experience" I will be able to explain the importance of each stage in the story " A white Heron" by Sarah Orne Jewett.
ESSAY ON “A WHITE HERON”, BY SARAH ORNE JEWETT
[A collection of 63 photographs of Sarah Orne Jewett and her home.] 1 boxes
Photograph 3 in the sequence includes images of: Katie Galvin, Mary Galvin, and John L., who were all household staff.
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