This article reads the well-known poem Evangeline by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow through the work of a Francophone writer of the next generation, Sidonie de la Houssaye. Both use the metaphor of the heroine as a bird, but in the poem, Evangeline’s desperate fate is contained and symbolized by a historic architectural home for birds: the dovecote. The motif of the dove resonates with the generalized containment of the heroine in ATU510A and specifically with the Grimms’ “Aschenputtel” (KHM 21), wherein doves facilitate the heroine’s freedom from containment. Although not contained physically in the poem, Longfellow’s heroine is narratively contained: she will never fly freely to her love and nest with him. When La Houssaye recasts Evangeline, she frees her from the dovecote. Her bird forges her own home and thereby becomes a symbol of French resilience.
Jones, Christine A.
"Architecture and Female Characterization in Three Tales of Evangeline,"
Narrative Culture: Vol. 8
, Article 6.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.wayne.edu/narrative/vol8/iss1/6