Sylph Etherege

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In Nathaniel Hawthorne’s Sylph Etherege, the story begins with two individuals observing a girl named Sylvia Etherege on the balcony of her house. One of the observers, Edward Hamilton who seems to be already familiar with Sylvia decides to give her a miniature, or a doll, of herself. The other observer calls the doll a spell and doesn’t think that it would be a good idea for Edward to give it to her. Sylvia Etherege was an orphan girl, who had spent her life under the care of an old uncle. While she was still a baby, she had been the pre-determined bride of her cousin. Their future of joining together had been predictable, and would have been very useful for both families. Edgar Vaughan, the future husband of Sylvia, had been raised in Europe, and had never seen the girl. For the past several years, the writing of letters had been kept up between the cousins, and had produced an intellectual relationship, though it could but poorly notify them of each other's character. As time went by Sylvia began writing to Edgar Vaughan and envisioning what he looked like, hoping for the best. When Edgar wrote back to her letters, he would call her by the name sylph, meaning slender, showing that he was at least a little conscious of her figure. When her uncle died, Sylvia was put under the care of a distant relative named Mrs. Grosvenor. This was around the same time in which Edgar had finished his studies in Europe and was ready to return to Sylvia. He had sent his closest friend Edward Hamilton to deliver this message across the Atlantic. Three weeks after Edward arrived, a peculiar miniature, or doll, arrived. The miniature was a model of Edgar himself, or Sylvia’s cousin of which whom she is to marry. This was the miniature, in the study of which Sylvia was so absorbed, at the beginning the story. She noticed that the miniature doll was like nothing she had ever seen and that her face looked similar to the miniatures face, which was a common quality for couples who are...
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