American Madonna: Images of the Divine Woman in Literary by John Gatta

By John Gatta

This article explores a striking if not going undercurrent of curiosity in Mary as legendary Madonna, that has continued in American lifestyles and letters from particularly early within the nineteenth century into the later twentieth. This inventive involvement with the Divine lady - verging from time to time on devotional homage - is principally exciting as manifested within the Protestant writers who're the point of interest of this learn: Nathaniel Hawthorne, Margaret Fuller, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Harold Frederic, Henry Adams, and T.S. Eliot. the writer argues that flirtation with the Marian cultus provided Protestant writers symbolic reimbursement for what will be culturally clinically determined as a deficiency of psychic feminity, or "anima" in the United States. He argues that the literary configurations of the legendary Madonna show a subsurface cultural resistance to the present rationalism and pragmatism of the yank brain in an age of entrepreneurial conquest.

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Admittedly, Miriam's complex function as a character cannot be reduced to a single figurative abstraction. Indeed, as the sexually tainted and sometimes irreligious woman of passion, she strikes us as more nearly femme fatale than Madonna. In biblical terms, her moody, spirited character may recall for us the rebellious Miriam of the Old Testament, or else, in view of the book's plentiful Edenic imagery, we may see Hawthorne casting her into the role of a seductive Eve, the terrible anima who tempts Donatello to commit mortal sin.

As such, the Divine Woman satisfied a nineteenth-century Romantic ideal, expressing spiritual and intuitional longings suppressed by the mercantile rationalism of Hawthorne's age. This woman also challenged the predominantly masculine symbol system Hawthorne inherited from the theology of his Puritan-Unitarian forebears. She embodied a creative generativity subversive of machine productivity, a contemplative alternative to the strenuously competitive model of Victorian manhood. " TWO THE VIRGINAL SOUL OF MARGARET FULLER'S Woman in the Nineteenth Century Queen Margaret's Mythmaking Both in her own estimation and as tagged by detractors who mocked her claims to intellectual superiority, Margaret Fuller held sway as New England's queen.

The redemption of matter was interwoven into the coronal of thought, and each serpent form soared into a Phenix" (57). Leila's links to elemental wildness nonetheless conjure also a more positive association with serpents. 1—5, Fuller enlarges on this theme in her "Double Triangle, Serpent and Rays": Patient serpent, circle round, Till in death thy life is found; Double form of godly prime Holding the whole thought of time, When the perfect two embrace, Male & female, black & white, Soul is justified in space, Dark made fruitful by the light; And, centred in the diamond Sun, Time & Eternity are one.

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