Featured Work: “Nathaniel Hawthorne as Political Philosopher”
John Alvis, Ph.D., professor of English and director of American Studies Program at
the University of Dallas, puts his expertise in American Literature to use in his
latest publication. In this and in many of his other works, Alvis investigates political
dimensions of literature’s finest works, tackling authors from Shakespeare to Melville.
With examples drawn from the American novelist’s fiction, Alvis, ‘66, shows in Nathaniel Hawthorne as Political Philosopher that Hawthorne’s characters bear something sacred in their generic humanity, yet
are subject to moral judgment.
“Hawthorne’s ‘The Scarlet Letter’ offers lessons in the meaning of the Declaration
of Independence as a guide to Americans in their individual conduct, to secure justice
in their communities and to foster family integrity,” said Alvis. “It renders in personal
and dramatic terms the meaning of such American principles as a higher law of nature,
the sanctity of individual rights and the moral significance of liberty and equality.”
Alvis’ book is available in hardcover ($49.95) from amazon.com.
Originally published in Tower Magazine, Winter 2013.