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Panther and the Prefaces


Choose two questions: select two of the assigned texts (whichever ones interested you the most) and then respond to one question about each of them (two responses total).


Here are your options (broken down by text): BROWN/EDGAR HUNTLY PREFACE QUESTIONS:

1. How does Brown describe his writing? Is he really concerned about the “moral constitution” of humankind? Is Brown comfortable just declaring that you can just read for pleasure?

2. How does he differentiate the American gothic from the European gothic? What would motivate him to stress differences rather than continuities? How does the change in setting possibly alter the cultural stakes of the gothic genre in the U.S.?

HAWTHORNE/HOUSE OF THE SEVEN GABLES PREFACE QUESTIONS:

3. What is the central concern of this preface? How does it carry forward some of the ideas introduced in the Custom House essay?

4. What’s the purpose of the Romance? How is it different from the novel? What seems to be the relationship between this romance and history?


PANTHER NARRATIVE QUESTIONS:

5. What is gothic about this story? Is it borrowing from the conventions of the British gothic?

6. “A Beautiful Young Lady” becomes a hatchet-wielding warrior. Whose nightmare is this?

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