The Blithedale Romance

by

Nathaniel Hawthorne

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Mr. Moodie / Fauntleroy Character Analysis

An enigmatic acquaintance of Coverdale’s in Boston, Moodie is Zenobia and Priscilla’s father. He is a peculiar old man who has a habit of never looking at anyone head on. He stays in the shadows as much as possible and nobody is quite sure what his personal history is. This is particularly odd because Moodie’s job as a peddler forces him to be out and about in the public eye. After Coverdale discovers that Moodie is somehow connected to both Priscilla and Zenobia, he gets Moodie drunk and Moodie tells a story about a man named Fauntleroy, which is presumably Moodie’s real name. In the story, Fauntleroy was a conceited and materialistic man who was married with a daughter (implied to be Zenobia). However, after losing everything to debtors, Fauntleroy’s wife died of shame and he fled his former life, leaving Zenobia with his brother. After this, Fauntleroy changed his ways. He married again and had another daughter, Priscilla, who—unlike Zenobia—grew up with her father, but with none of his wealth. Moodie (presumed to be the identity Fauntleroy assumed after fleeing his old life) seems stalked by shame—so much so that he becomes a person who literally lives in the shadows, not wanting anyone to know about his past failings. Hawthorne ultimately reveals that Moodie sent Priscilla to Blithedale so she could bond with Zenobia, as Moodie wanted the sisters (who had never met) to have a relationship. Moodie seems to see in Zenobia an echo of his old self; she is flamboyant, wealthy, and confident, just as he once was.
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Mr. Moodie / Fauntleroy Character Timeline in The Blithedale Romance

The timeline below shows where the character Mr. Moodie / Fauntleroy appears in The Blithedale Romance. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1: Old Moodie
Self-Interest and Utopian Societies Theme Icon
Secrecy and Self-deception Theme Icon
A man calls out to Coverdale twice before Coverdale recognizes him. It’s Moodie, a mysterious old man who has a habit of only revealing half of himself at... (full context)
Self-Interest and Utopian Societies Theme Icon
Secrecy and Self-deception Theme Icon
Coverdale assures Moodie that he wants to help, but Moodie refuses to explain what he needs. He asks... (full context)
Chapter 10: A Visitor from Town
Secrecy and Self-deception Theme Icon
...anything about his history, although it must be interesting. When he gets closer, Hollingsworth greets Moodie and offers him some bread and cheese. Moodie seats himself so he’s mostly obscured by... (full context)
Progressive vs. Traditional Gender Roles Theme Icon
Secrecy and Self-deception Theme Icon
...saying that surely Coverdale has already figured out that Priscilla makes the purses. Hollingsworth tells Moodie it’s good that he’s come to visit Priscilla—she’s grown lively and beautiful since coming to... (full context)
Secrecy and Self-deception Theme Icon
Moodie tells Hollingsworth that nothing would make him happier than to see the “beautiful lady” holding... (full context)
Chapter 18: The Boarding-house
Secrecy and Self-deception Theme Icon
...city streets). When Zenobia reappears, Westervelt is behind her. It seems to Coverdale that only Moodie and Hollingsworth are missing to complete the set of people that have fascinated Coverdale for... (full context)
Chapter 21: An Old Acquaintance
Progressive vs. Traditional Gender Roles Theme Icon
Secrecy and Self-deception Theme Icon
...spend time with, since they don’t want him around. Instead, Coverdale decides to seek out Moodie and get more information about Priscilla from him. Coverdale goes to Moodie’s usual bar to... (full context)
Chapter 22: Fauntleroy
Secrecy and Self-deception Theme Icon
Moodie says the events of his story take place 25 years earlier and the story involves... (full context)
Secrecy and Self-deception Theme Icon
Manipulation, Control, and Ambition Theme Icon
Fauntleroy marries a seamstress who gives birth to his second daughter but dies shortly thereafter. Fauntleroy’s... (full context)
Progressive vs. Traditional Gender Roles Theme Icon
Secrecy and Self-deception Theme Icon
Meanwhile, Fauntleroy’s first daughter grows up in wealth and luxury with Fauntleroy’s brother. Without a mother’s influence,... (full context)
Progressive vs. Traditional Gender Roles Theme Icon
Secrecy and Self-deception Theme Icon
A few months after Priscilla’s departure, Zenobia goes to Fauntleroy’s rooms. Coverdale doesn’t know the details of their conversation, but he presents what he believes... (full context)
Chapter 28: Blithedale-pasture
Self-Interest and Utopian Societies Theme Icon
Progressive vs. Traditional Gender Roles Theme Icon
Secrecy and Self-deception Theme Icon
...they bury her on the hillside where they planned to build their cottage. Priscilla and Moodie go to the ceremony together, as do Hollingsworth and Coverdale. Together, they watch while Zenobia’s... (full context)