Document Type



Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor's Name

Bruce Harvey

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Nathaniel Cadle

Second Advisor's Committee Title

Committee member

Third Advisor's Name

Ana Luszczynska

Third Advisor's Committee Title

Committee member


Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter, The Marble Faun, Counter-monuments, Identity, America, Eighteenth century

Date of Defense



This study examines the crisis of identity the United States was experiencing in the nineteenth-century through two of the major literary works of Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter and The Marble Faun. Hawthorne, who lived through this crucial and important developmental period, was concerned as to what this identity would be, how the United States would shape and define itself, and what its future would be if this identity was malformed. In addition, this study will look at counter-monuments as argued by James E. Young in his essay “The Counter-Monument: Memory against Itself in Germany Today” to expand on these issues of identity. If according to Young, the ideal goal of the counter-monument is “not to remain fixed but to change,” one can conclude that Hawthorne understood that national identity must be fluid; otherwise, the nation would crumble under the pressure and force of change.





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