“The Man of the Hour”: Hawthorn(e), Nebraska and Haunting
AbstractThis paper provides a close reading and critical unfolding of central themes and motifs in Alexander Payne’s acclaimed 2013 comic ‘road movie’ Nebraska. It focuses on three key issues: (1) the symbolic significance of hawthorn as a threshold between different worlds (Hawthorne, Nebraska being the former hometown to which father and son make a detour); (2) the notion of ‘haunting’ in relation both to ‘importuning’ memories besetting the central characters and to particular sites of remembrance to which they return; and, (3) how the film’s pervasive mood of melancholy is subject to repeated interruption and punctuation by comic utterances and put-downs. In presenting us with a reluctant ‘gathering of ghosts’, a veritable phantasmagoria, the film articulates a particular sense of nostalgia, of a ‘homesickness’ understood here not in the conventional meaning of a longing to return to a forsaken ‘home’, but rather as a weariness and wariness at the prospect of revisiting familiar haunts and reviving old spirits. View Full-Text
Share & Cite This Article
Gilloch, G. “The Man of the Hour”: Hawthorn(e), Nebraska and Haunting. Arts 2019, 8, 53.
Gilloch G. “The Man of the Hour”: Hawthorn(e), Nebraska and Haunting. Arts. 2019; 8(2):53.Chicago/Turabian Style
Gilloch, Graeme. 2019. "“The Man of the Hour”: Hawthorn(e), Nebraska and Haunting." Arts 8, no. 2: 53.
Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.