The aim of this thesis is to present the diaries of Hosea Stout in the light of literary criticism and analysis. Two questions have been asked: do the diaries contain literary quality by revealing the characteristics, attitudes, abilities, and feelings of Hosea Stout; and, does Hosea Stout's style contain the literary elements necessary to distinquish it from ordinary communication. Passages from the diaries have been quoted and analyzed to answer these questions. Conclusions are made after each analysis, after each chapter, and at the end of the thesis.

This study revealed that, in spite of Hosea Stout's spelling difficulties and stylistic Imperfections, his journals, in actual content and style, often contain literary value. They record Hosea Stout's personal characteristics in their content, and in style are seen to contain narrative and poetic elements. Hosea Stout successfully uses many literary methods and devices. He falls short only when recording feelings of sorrow; in such Instances, he becomes extremely sentimental.

Within his diaries, Hosea Stout vividly records his observations of Nature, events, and people. He seems always interested in going beyond physical detail, and in supplying human meaning to otherwise bare facts. Writing spontaneously, with only his natural skill and ability to aid him, he presents an intense, concentrated, interpreted picture of life. Acknowledging this, it follows that his journals, though outwardly imperfect, inwardly attain literary value.



College and Department

Humanities; English



Date Submitted


Document Type





Hosea Stout, 1810-1889