While a focus on landscape and nature is typical of the Romantic period, the detailed attention that Hawthorne devotes to the corporal or material aspects of specific elements without engaging the perspective of his characters is rather unusual. Hawthorne's treatment of stones can be seen as corresponding to a certain degree with alchemical teachings of mystical natural philosophers. As such, it departs from the more common Romantic treatments of nature that imagine the human entanglement with their environment as a poetic mental capacity. Rather than a mental correspondence between characters and Nature, Hawthorne's tales repeatedly indicate a material transcorporeal relation, a point demonstrated by the careful situating of rocks in Hawthorne's short stories “Roger Malvin's Burial” (1831), “The Great Carbuncle” (1835), and “The Great Stone Face” (1850).

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