Wakefield-short story

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  • "Wakefield" by: Nathaniel Hawthorne
  • October 12, 1857
  • By: Jessa Tiedeman
  • Goodbye! Do not to be alarmed if I do not return for three or four days, but can expect me on Friday evening for supper!
  • Isn't that Mr. Wakefield?!!
  • We'll be sure to inform Mrs. Wakefield later. I know she has been worried sick...
  • Mr. Wakefield lived with his wife of ten years in London. One October evening, he left on a trip into the country. Knowing his love of mystery, Mrs. Wakefield does not inquire the details of his trip. She recollects his crafty smile as he departed from her.
  • His absences was noticed after a week which soon turned into months, and then to years. In town, people would recognize him and afterwards, would tell his wife, much to her own despair. After twenty years had passed, Mrs. Wakefield considered herself to be a widow. The conflict was that no one knew where he exactly was and why he was distancing himself from everyone.
  • One afternoon, when Mr. Wakefield found himself walking towards his own house, he caught himself and quickly retreated. He had hoped that neither his wife, the smart maid-servant, nor the dirty foot had seen him loitering, only to pursue him. After seeing his wife, he decides to change his appearance from his customary brown suit; buying a red wig and a variety of other clothing. This encounter had proved to be an "awakening", realizing his fear of being recognized...
  • October, 1877
  • While walking through town, he had another brief encounter with his wife, whom was walking to church holding a prayer book. She had accepted his absence of twenty years assuming he was dead. Thus widowing herself, wearing clothing of settled widowhood.
  • While pondering upon the recent events, he repeatedly said to himself, "I shall soon go back!"- which he had been stating for the past twenty years.
  • On a rainy atumn afternoon, Mr. Wakefield was walking when he stopped in front of his own house. He ascends the steps when the door is opened by his wife. She embraces him with open arms. Since then, he stayed and acted like a loving spouse. "Amid the seeming confusion of our mysterious world, individuals are so nicely adjusted to a system, and systems to one another, and to a whole, that, by stepping aside for a moment, a man exposes himself to a fearful risk of losing his place forever. " (p.71)
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