Hawthorne's protagonist, Hester Prynne, shows in excellent example how human nature can be sinful. In this way transcendentalists saw a direct connection between the universe macrocosm and the individual soul microcosm , so according to this concept intuition, rather than reason, is regarded as the highest human faculty. Hawthorne challenges the stereotype of reverends being perfect through the identity of Dimmesdale. Hester and Pearl live on a little peninsula, surrounded on three sides by the bay and separated from the mainland by a patch of woods. Hawthorne believed in the existence of the devil and the way the citizens reacted over one simple sign of sin could be a reference to how the Puritans believed that one of their own kind is a witch during the Salem Witch Trials in 1692.
Leeches are used for medical purposes--to suck blood out of the patient, in hopes of curing the patient of bad spirits or illness. Nathaniel Hawthorne who had been brought up in a puritanical society with its rigid laws tried to blend his favor upon transcendentalist ideas with his religious thought together in his masterpiece The Scarlet Letter. Hidden Elements: Romanticism and Puritanism Dark. American Romanticism embraced the individual and rebelled against the confinement of neoclassicism and religious tradition. His growing relationship with the intellectual circle that included Ralph Waldo Emerson and Margaret Fuller led him to abandon his customs post for the utopian experiment at Brook Farm, a commune designed to promote economic self-sufficiency and transcendentalist principles. Fanaticism to a deity is not a good thing.
She does not truly accept him until he reveals his sin before the whole community, at the end of the book. Though she was humiliated and cast out by this society that isolated her, she was able to deal with everything that the community threw at her. Instead of giving Dimmesdale life he is making him sick, as he is taking life and making it miserable. They learn about the spiritual world by means of reason. Through Chillingworth in particular, he is clearly refuting the suggestion that humanity is inherently good, something that I believe the Transcendentalists strongly espoused. Hester has a baby and she refuses to turn in her baby's father, Arthur Dimmesdale.
Chillingworth is sucking the life and soul out of Dimmesdale. Social ostracism first gives her leisure for meditation and a just angle from which to attack social problems, and then it permits her to enter upon a life of mercy and good works which would have been closed to a conventional woman in this freezing puritan society. He was dying because of his sin but all the people consider his dying situation as the result of his purity and holiness: Some declared, that if Mr. Condemned as an adulteress, Hester has become a free thinker, something far more dangerous in this stuffy, illiberal world. At first, the meaning… Symbols in Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter Throughout the novel, The Scarlet Letter, the author, Nathaniel Hawthorne uses a few key symbols to represent major themes in the book.
Hypocrisy was present in Puritan society and it endures still even today. Georgiana dies in the process, though the birthmark is effectively removed. Emotions and matters of the heart play major roles in Romanticism, along with the struggle of the individual. But by writing the important events of the past, such as the story of the adulterous woman, he can better explore the internal characteristics of human nature, particularly in a transcendental way. No longer is it a symbol of her sin, but rather it is symbolic of her selflessness and salvation. She wanted her sin to be forgotten so she could better function in society. In addition to her exquisite needlework, Hester makes a stable living tending her garden, while Pearl grows up exploring land and sea, seeing herself in the wilderness of both.
The parallel drawn between these two characters is important to note because they represent such contrasting positions in the Boston society. If Hester had not sinned, she would never have discovered the true depths of tenderness within herself. Also, guilt of hiding the truth about being the father eats away at Dimmesdale, causing his downfall. Hawthorne includes this action to draw a parallel between Hester and Dimmesdale: Hester wears the scarlet letter on her heart while Dimmesdale puts his hand on his heart a traditional gesture of honor. The deity, for them, is far bigger, and can be understood through reading the sacred texts of all faiths and taking from their teachings that which resonates in the soul. This post is just my ramblings trying to put the novel in context with the transcendentalists.
Alienation, or isolation, is when one character suffers through self-cause, societal-cause or a combination of both. As a physician he goes into Dimmesdale's home and eventually his suspicion becomes reality when he finds out Dimmesdale is the coward who can't step up and accept pearl as his own. The Romantic Movement in America created a new literary genre that continues to influence American writers. The story is set against the background of Puritan, New England, a stern, authoritarian,… Symbols in The Scarlet Letter In many stories, symbols included by the author add deeper meaning. Hawthorne is expressing that humans are capable of inner darkness and evil, which enable his literature to be classified as Anti-Transcendentalist. They also loved the beauty of people who lived close to nature and were uncontaminated by the refinements and restrictions of civilization: the noble savage, the illiterate peasant, the free-spirited child.
Society, for the transcendentalists, is a blinding, deforming, and devouring force. In both pieces of literature Hawthorne uses characters who act as the epitome of Anti-Transcendentalism. . Practically, author's mother, sister and wife had made a significant input in Hawthorne's success as a literary genius. The Scarlet Letter, by Nathaniel Hawthorne set a genre standard for American Romanticism, with an intrinsic love of nature, sense of freedom of imagination and emotion, and the low regard Hawthorne holds for organized religion and all that it entails.