Hawthorne: Nature of Humanity Essay

1101 Words Apr 3rd, 2014 5 Pages
Nature of Humanity According to Hawthorne Nathaniel Hawthorne was born 1804 in Salem, Massachusetts. He descended from a Puritan family who participated in the Salem Witch Trials. His father died when Nathaniel was four, and he did not lead a very exciting or remarkable life. A rich tradition of family and local history provided much of the material for Hawthorne’s works. Nathaniel Hawthorne is mostly preoccupied with human flaws, pervasive evil, and evil in humanity. In his stories, “The Birthmark” and “The Minister’s Black Veil”, Nathaniel Hawthorne attempts to convey the nature of humanity by describing a quest for human perfection, creating a sense of loneliness, and proving that flaws structure humans. “The Birthmark” has a …show more content…
“The Minister’s Black Veil” has a theme of loneliness and isolation. Hawthorne goes into details of evil in humanity and how Reverend Hooper undergoes it. He covers his face with a black veil to represent secret sins that people commit everyday. The townspeople think Reverend Hooper has gone mad and completely insane. He becomes an outcast in the town. After the service, those who usually accompany Reverend Hooper out of church do not do so. The parishioner who always invites him to dinner does not invite him on this occasion. “Why do you tremble at me alone?” cried he, turning his veiled face round the circle of pale spectators. “Tremble also at each other! Have men avoided me, and women shown no pity, and children screamed and fled, only for my black veil? What, but the mystery which it obscurely typifies, has made this piece of crape so awful? When the friend shows his inmost heart to his friend; the lover to his best beloved; when man does not vainly shrink from the eye of his Creator, loathsomely treasuring up the secret of his sin; then deem me a monster, for the symbol beneath which I have lived, and die! I look around me, and, lo! on every visage a Black Veil!”(327). Hawthorne shows us that everyone sins and no one can hide it. Both of these stories convey that flaws make a human. In “The Birthmark”, Georgiana has a simple imperfection on her left cheek, a birthmark. Aylmer believes the mark is a sign of imperfection on a

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