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News — Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam

Guest Post: Hawthorne as Horror & the Monstrous Woman by Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam

Guest Post: Hawthorne as Horror & the Monstrous Woman by Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam

Hawthorne as Horror & the Monstrous Woman


By Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam


Before I read Nathaniel Hawthorne’s short story “Rappaccini’s Daughter,” I didn’t understand that women in fiction could be monstrous. Or that “monstrous” didn’t always mean a stalker in the night.  


Beatrice, the daughter of a botanist who breeds poisonous plants, is herself poison. You may argue that she cannot be monstrous because she means no ill will to the man who tries to love her, but villains maintain their own sense of logic. Beatrice...