Ambiguity In Wieland

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Charles Brockden Brown’s gothic novel, Wieland, or The Transformation, divulges into the ambiguity through the first person narration of Clara, and her inability to decipher between reality and superstition. Throughout the haunting novel, Clara finds herself endlessly questioning the strange events that pierce her and her family’s lives, unable to trust her own skepticism and to find any definite answers. Scholar, Christine Hedlin, observes Clara’s narration in her essay entitled “Was There Not Reason to Doubt?”: Wieland and Its Secular Age, paralleling Clara’s approach to the unfathomable deceiving voices and visions to the secular age of American culture. In a time where skepticism and secularism was emerging from religious establishment, Wieland addresses the difficulty in accepting this new perspective in an age grounded in spiritual and intellectual uncertainty. Although Hedlin argues that …show more content…
Clara’s inability to remain a reliable narrator to the readers, and even to herself demonstrates the hesitancy of the secular age. Hedlin’s interpretation of Clara’s narration remains irrefutable in many aspects, however forgets to acknowledge the authenticity that Clara’s inconsistency provides. She transforms from a rational and educated woman to one consumed by delusions, as she attempts to attribute her family’s fate to the supernatural. Her endless questions provide her with some sensibility as she cannot find an answer, thus leaving her without a solid conclusion. By the end of the novel, Clara still remains in a point of confusion, leaving the readers to attempt to moralize her story. As Hedlin contends, Clara ends up blaming herself, with the events that occured left to haunt her. The secular age that Wieland illustrates remains reflective not just in Clara, but human nature itself, as doubt may always

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