Essay on the Hollow of Three Hills

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In the short stories, The Hollow of Three Hills by Nathaniel Hawthorne and The Moving Finger by Edith Wharton, there is an ever present sense of the supernatural. This is shown in various contrasting as well as similar ways in each story. Two such ways would be the use of the supernatural in a physical and impure way in Hawthorne’s story and in a psychological and spiritual way in Wharton’s. The use of the setting to portray the supernatural motif is also used. Firstly, both stories share similar motifs such as the symbolic use of the number three, and the utilization of the romantic genre. As The Hollow of The Three Hills was written before The Moving Finger, Edith Wharton used it to inspire her and she used many language features, which Hawthorne had used to portray the supernatural as it was perceived in that time period, this explains the many similarities between both stories. For example In the Hollow of the Three Hills the idea of the number three is repeated numerous times to reinforce its symbolic meaning, such as three hills themselves, and the number of visions the woman has. This idea is mirrored in Wharton’s piece with the number three being represented by the number of times the painting is refurbished, the love triangle between Mr. Grancy, Claydon, and Mrs. Grancy, and the idea that the dead wife’s spirit is also a wife, giving the total of three wives. In a religious point of view the number three links to the holy trinity, which represents the Father, the Son, and the Holy spirit, the use of it as a motif by the authors adds extra emphasis to the theme of the supernatural in the stories and the idea of the puritan way of life meaning that they will be punished for their sins, which in both cases was adultery we know this because in Hawthorne’s story the young woman says “There is a weight in my bosom that I cannot away with, and I have come hither to inquire of their welfare,” and in Wharton’s piece, Mr. Grancy expresses guilt over the jokes he...
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