Mess: Little Annie’s Rambles

One binary post that I find compelling is Adult versus Child. A moment in “Little Annie’s Rambles” that messes with this binary is the part where the unknown man describes himself with little Annie.

“One walks in black attire, with a measured step, and a heavy brow, and his thoughtful eyes bent down, while the gay little girl trips lightly along, as if she were forced to keep hold of my hand, lest her feet should dance away from the earth.”

This moment differentiates adulthood and childhood through many clear, physical characteristics: eyes, clothes, color. It also includes the way in which the two carry themselves. The adult wearing black is more cautious than the child. His every step is measured to avoid problems. He walks carefully with a formal and serious expression. The little girl, on the other hand, is happy and enthusiastic. She is curious and filled with wonder as she dances and skips along with the man. She does not have the mark of someone who is older and experienced, but someone who is new and excited.


Hawthorne, Nathaniel. “Little Annie’s Ramble.” From Twice-Told Tales , 1837, 1851 By Nathaniel Hawthorne, 1804-1864. Eldritch Press, n.d. Web. 19 Oct. 2015.