The article entitled “Wakefield’s Second Journey” written by Roberta F. Weldon argues that Nathaniel Hawthorne writes the character of Howard Wakefield and his “second journey” to explain that this journey is “necessary to achieve the final reconciliation with oneself before the fullness of age and death” (Weldon 69). Weldon explains in further detail Hawthorne’s usage of details to enthrall the reader into the story, in addition to the use of specific perspectives.
Weldon’s emphasis on Hawthorne’s presentation of the story explains to the audience how to be enticing to the audience. Weldon explains that Hawthorne had written the initial part of the story to be direct, so that the “tone of the first part draws us gradually into the story,” which also helps the audience conceptualize the information that is being presented (Weldon 70).
Weldon continues this thought process by providing additional details concerning Hawthorne’s argument about Wakefield’s character, one of which being that ‘society has more readily accepted the necessity of a journey for a young individual who is seeking a place in society than for a mature person who has a social role and is questioning its value,” which, in turn, shows the discourse that comes with building a story with such a challenging character (Weldon 70).
Nevertheless, that is what makes Hawthorne’s adaptation of Wakefield so enticing to Weldon. The usage of advanced characteristics and the idea that this ‘second journey’ is not typical to a standard reader.
Perspective in storytelling is essential to maintaining the readers’ interest. Weldon explains how Hawthorne’s usage of perspective elevates the complex characteristics of the story Wakefield. Within the article, Weldon elaborates on Hawthorne’s usage of the character, Howard Wakefield, and how the character’s perspective is not supposed to be something relatable to the general reader.
Still, he frees the readers “from admitting any personal identification with his protagonist” (Weldon 71). This is an interesting take on the usage of characterizing a protagonist, based on the fact that most protagonists are those the reader wants to relate to; in this case, it is the opposite. The descriptions of Wakefield’s character fuels this idea that Weldon suggests about the ‘second journey’ and how this specific type of story holds a mesmerizing hold on the reader.
Weldon completes the analysis of Hawthorne’s characterization as ‘a man living the buried life, experiencing neither deep feeling or freshness and activity of thought,” which further encapsulates the idea that Hawthorne’s character is experiencing something that most readers were to understand only happens in the earlier stages of youth, rather than the later stages (Weldon71).
Overall, Weldon’s article “Wakefield’s Second Journey” depicts the ideology of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s characterization of Howard Wakefield, as the pinnacle’ second journey’ that completes a fulfilling story for the reader. Weldon’s emphasis on explaining characterized perspective and the usage of details for the purpose of enticing the reader into an uncommon story.
Hawthorne’s “Wakefield” from “Wakefield’s Second Journey” by Robert F. Weldon in the winter 1977 edition of Studies in Short Fiction, vol. 14, issue 1, 69-74).