Author (Your Name)

Jennifer Milsop, Colby College

Date of Award


Document Type

Honors Thesis (Open Access)


Colby College. American Studies Program


Karen Oakes

Second Advisor

Charlie Bassett

Third Advisor

Pete Moss


The fiction of Sarah Orne Jewett is not traditionally classified with the 'greats' of canonical literature. Many feminist scholars and critics argue that Jewett's excommunication may be in part because her writing doesn't fit the pattern of most American classics, those novels that Nina Baym labeled, "Melodramas of Beset Manhood."l There is no search for the father, no hunt to kill, and no discernable plot. Instead, Jewett depicts the world of female rituals, female relationships, and female initiations, or rites of passage. Her atypical style and format may not fit the classic pattern of adventure and initiation, but she offers a glimpse into a part of Americana that is not portrayed by Melville, Hawthorne, and the like.


Jewett, Sarah Orne, 1849-1909 -- Criticism and interpretation, Women in literature