The New Bonnet
on Nantucket, a place that preserved American traditions that were reassuring in an era of bewildering change. In a Nantucket kitchen, a young, well-dressed woman shows off a stylish new hat to her more plainly clothed sister. Their father, having returned with the shopper, is hunched by the fireside, warming his hands and waiting for the drink being mixed by his more restrained daughter. Johnson outfitted the setting as if it were a carefully appointed colonial stage set or "period room." The spare interior, exuding humbleness and respect for the past, and the older man, who is physically and psychologically isolated, are in sharp counterpoint to the fashionable daughter and her new purchase. Johnson's narrative commemorates simpler times gone by and takes note of rising consumerism.