When he was a student at Oxford University, C. S. Lewis wrote to a friend expressing his great admiration of and enthusiasm for the novels of Nathaniel Hawthorne, particularly The House of the Seven Gables and Transformation (British title of The Marble Faun). This study examines the parallels between these two kindred spirits and their works, focusing on their similar worldviews, their personal backgrounds and lifestyles, and the "Ultimates" they both pondered. It discusses common themes in their works, such as myth, scientism, and "the great power of blackness." Their respective attitudes toward these issues and others, such as faith, repentance, heaven and hell, confession, church attendance, the clergy, and Puritanism are strikingly similar. Considerable attention is given to "companion pieces" of the two writers, with discussion of the so-called "Fortunate Fall" in The Marble Faun and Perelandra, veil imagery in "The Minister's Black Veil," The Blithedale Romance, and Till We Have Faces, influence of Bunyan's allegory on The Pilgrim's Regress and "The Celestial Railroad," and multiform love in The Four Loves and The House of the Seven Gables. Examination of such affinities between these two writers and their works provides mutual illumination and enhanced appreciation of each.
Kehl, D. G.
"Jack Lewis and His American Cousin, Nat Hawthorne: A Study of Instructive Affinities,"
Sehnsucht: The C. S. Lewis Journal: Vol. 5
, Article 3.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.georgefox.edu/cslewisjournal/vol5/iss1/3
American Literature Commons, Literature in English, British Isles Commons, Religious Thought, Theology and Philosophy of Religion Commons