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American Passages: A Literary SurveyUnit IndexAmerican Passages Home
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3. Utopian Promise   

3. Gothic Undercurrents

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Activities: Author Activities

Charles Brockden Brown - Author Questions

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  1. Comprehension: In Chapter IX of Wieland, we are privy to the complexities and subtleties of the thoughts of the narrator, Clara. How would you describe her state of mind?

  2. Context: In what sense is Clara, as she says, "tormented by phantoms of [her] own creation"? How might Clara's words be applied to the interaction of spiritualism and gender described in the Core Context "The Spirit Is Willing: The Occult and Women in the Nineteenth Century"?

  3. Exploration: How might the image of pausing at a closed door, debating whether or not to open it for fear of what might reveal itself, invite allegorical interpretations? Can you think of an experience in which a dilemma between knowledge and comfort presented itself? That is, are there ever times in real life when not knowing the truth seems preferable to knowing it?

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