A New England Nun

A New England Nun Symbols, Allegory and Motifs

Caesar the Dog (Symbol)

Freeman establishes a parallel between Louisa and her dog. Caesar has not left his hut for fourteen years, except when he's been on a chain that prevents him from moving too far away for any length of time. He represents solitude. More specifically, Caesar's solitude is a result of an action he enacted many years ago, and he was forced to pay the price for years into the future. Similarly, Louisa chooses to release Joe from their engagement and thus will be alone for the rest of her life.

Linen (Motif)

Louisa expresses a strong love for repairing linen, a pure, woven fabric. One of her aprons is also linen. Thus the ability to wear, sew, and experience linen is an important sensual aspect of Louisa's domestic experience.

Nature (Symbol)

The lush New England countryside in which "A New England Nun" takes place is a symbol of fertility and life, in contrast to Louisa's sterile and pure environment.