Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter: A Critical Resource Guide and Comprehensive Annotated Bibliography of Literary Criticism, 1950-2000

Defense Date


Graduation Date

Spring 1-1-2004


Campus Only

Submission Type


Degree Name





McAnulty College and Graduate School of Liberal Arts

Committee Chair

Frederick Newberry

Committee Member

Linda Kinnahan

Committee Member

Monika Elbert


bibliography, criticism, hawthorne, resource, scarlet letter


This project provides a "selectively comprehensive" and cross-referenced record of the enormous body of scholarship on The Scarlet Letter from 1950 to 2000, as well as an introductory overview of the major patterns and trends in the interpretations and critical judgments of the novel over the past fifty years. The four-part study is designed for both new and seasoned readers/critics and can be used in two ways: as a chronological record and historical survey of the development of ideas in criticism as they have appeared over five decades, and as a guide that can be accessed through the Author, Subject, and Critical Approach Indexes.

Part I provides a chronological, annotated listing of the ten most popular and frequently anthologized "Early Reviews" of the novel. Part II offers alphabetically arranged, full citations for "Early Influential Criticism [Pre-1950]" and is comprised of forty-one landmark commentaries that appeared between 1850 and 1950. Part III, which makes up the bulk of the project and begins with the year 1950, presents a comprehensive annotated bibliography of Scarlet Letter criticism that includes books, articles, special critical editions, collections of criticism, general student introductions and help books, teaching aids and guides, and biographies. The six-part Resource Guide that makes up Part IV groups together special critical editions, collections of criticism, general student introductions to the novel, teaching aids and guides, bibliographies, and biographies. An Author Index, a Subject Index, and a Critical Approach Index conclude the study. The Critical Approach Index identifies fifteen dominant critical and theoretical approaches that have been used to analyze The Scarlet Letter over the past fifty years and classifies a significant number of the bibliography's citations to those specific methodologies: morality studies, religious/theological studies, language studies, law studies, New Criticism, archetypal/myth criticism, structuralism, semiology/semiotics, post-structuralism, deconstruction, reader-response theory, historicism, New Historicism, psychoanalytic/psychological criticism, and feminist studies (the last category of which is broken down into sub-categories of feminist studies, black feminist studies, gender studies, and family studies).





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