Nikkis Hawthorn

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  • EXPOSITION
  • Old Esther Dudley by Nathaniel Hawthorn Nikki Oberhammer
  • Conflict
  • I will not pass from it until they bear me to the tomb of my forefathers.
  • Mistress Dudley, why are you loitering here?
  • Rising Action
  • I was given this key to keep this lovely home safe and to await for another Royal Governor's arrival. I shall do so till the day I die.
  • The short story, "Old Esther Dudley", contains a very important main character, who has also taken the title, old Esther Dudley. Old Esther Dudley has spent a great amount of time in this mansion, making her become inseparable from the historical landmark. She was the daughter of an ancient eminent family, who had once ruled in the mansion. Her family fell into poverty and the only item left behind was the shelter within the walls of the Province House. Old Esther Dudley was not going to leave what she called home, until they feared her from her tomb.
  • Climax
  • Could that be..
  • The main conflict of the story is that the mansion no longer has a ruler. Sir William Howe was to "pass over the triumphal threshold of the Province House, and embark," promising himself to the British fleet. He said goodbye to his servants and military attendants and on his way out, Sir William Howe saw an aged woman between him and the door. The woman happened to be old Esther Dudley. He asked what she was doing there and she replied. (122) After there goodbyes, Sir William Howe gave old Ester Dudley a purse full of money and a key to the Province House.
  • Falling Action
  • Receive my trust! Take it quickly! For methinks Death is striving to snatch away my triumph. But he comes late.
  • Old Esther Dudley was left to watch the lonely Province House. She would dwell in memory and hope, memory for her past family and hope for the Royal Governor. "So Esther Dudley dwelt year after year in the Province House, still reverencing all that others had flung aside, still faithful to her King, who, so long as the venerable dame yet held her post, might be said to retain one true subject in New England." (123) A rumor said that she did not dwell in loneliness and that a slave owned by Governor Shirley's from the blurred mirror, would be sent to find familiar guests.
  • Resolution
  • I have been faithful unto death. God save the King!
  • After very many years, old Esther Dudley knew, or dreamed, that a Royal Governor was "on the eve of returning to the Province House, to receive the heavy hey which Sir William Howe had committed to her charge" (127) Because of this crazy thought, she cleaned the mansion up to the best of her abilities. Then, she dressed herself in the nicest silks and gold she could find staring at herself in the mirror. As she was waiting one day, talking to herself and her own fantasies, she heard the tramp of many footsteps in the street. She was beheld by who she saw coming to her much loved Province House.
  • Old Esther Dudley hurried down the grand staircase with her silks sweeping and rustling as she went. "O happy day! O blessed, blessed hour!" (128) Esther Dudley thought that as soon as she opened the door to the new Royal Governor, all the loneliness would leave the Province House. As she raced out of the mansion she realized that she recognized the strangers face. Years ago he was banned by the King and she is astonished that he could be there, trespassing. He tells her that since there is no King, his ban is no longer in tact.
  • The man tells old Esther Dudley that she is too afraid of change. "And I, and these around me-we represent a new race of men-living no longer in the past, scarcely in the present-but projecting our lived forward into the future." (129) While the man spoke, he continued to support Esther Dudley. Her weight continued to grow heavier against his arm, until she decided to use all of her energy to sink down by a pillar. The key to the Province House feel from her grasp, and fell onto the stone. The man recognized what she had done all her life and him and his followers set onward into there futures.
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