The Power of an Author

Powerful Essays
The Power of an Author

Authors have the ability justify the worst actions. Authors have a way of romanticizing certain situations in order to convey a specific message. A good author has power to influence the reader into believing whatever it is the author wants. When it comes to the story of Hannah Dustan, authors such as John Greenleaf Whittier have romanticized her captivity story along with the actions she took throughout her journey.

Introducing a character that will be seen in the story is one of the most vital parts when creating a piece of literature. Whittier begins his story by writing, “Woman’s attributes are generally considered of a milder and purer character than those of man.”(348) Right of the bat, the reader has a stereotypical idea in his or her mind about how a woman should act and what characteristics she should hold. Whittier does this to show how different and unique his main character, Hannah Dustan, will be seen throughout his piece of work. Whittier then goes on to say, “Yet, there have been astonishing manifestations of female fortitude and power in the ruder and sterner trials of humanity; manifestations of courage rising almost to sublimity; the revelation of all those dark and terrible passions, which madden and distract the heart of manhood.”(348) Here, Whittier romanticizes Dustan’s journey and the events that occurred by stating that the actions were actually manifestations that occurred because of the situation she was in. Before even beginning the story, Whittier gives the reader an idea that Dustan did what she did because the situation overpowered her.

Whittier then goes on to gain sympathy from the reader for Dustan. Since Dustan was a mother and given the time period, the reader woul...

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...ier portrays her character along with how he romanticizes Dustan’s actions.

When an author romanticizes a piece of literature, he or she has the power to convey any message he or she wishes to send to the reader. Authors can make even the most horrible actions, such as Dustan murdering ten savages in their sleep and justify it; somehow, from both the type of mood/tone set in this piece of literature, along with the powerful word choice he used, Whittier had the ability to actually turn the tables on to the victim (i.e. the ten “savages” who were murdered in their sleep). “A Mother’s Revenge” by John Greenleaf Whittier, is a prime example of how authors can romanticize any situation into how they want to convey their message.

Works Cited

The Norton Anthology: American Literature, Volume A: Beginning to 1820. New York City: Norton & Comany, 2007.
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