Herman Melville and Nathaniel Hawthorne Show the Unbridgeable Gap Between Human Desires and Human Possibilities and the Mixture of Good and Evil in Even the Loftiest of Human Motives

990 Words Apr 20th, 2013 4 Pages
Eric Santangelo
Hawthorne and Melville In both works, “Bartleby the Scrivener” and The Scarlet Letter, Herman Melville and Nathaniel Hawthorne show the unbridgeable gap between human desires and human possibilities and the mixture of good and evil in even the loftiest of human motives. In “Bartleby the Scrivener” by Herman Melville, this idea is shown by how the Lawyer keeps Bartleby as one of his employers, even though Bartleby does not deserve to still be working. In the Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne, this idea is shown through Hester and Dimmesdale’s relationship and also through the contrast between the Forest and Town. In “Bartleby the Scrivener” the Lawyer’s actions, or lack there of, display the unbridgeable gap
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The Lawyer then understands that before working for him, Bartleby was employed by the Dead letter company, which makes him wonder if this previous job contributed to the void and disdainfulness that Bartleby displayed. In The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne, Hester reflects a similar concept. Hester is the protagonist in the story and commits the crime of committing adultery with Dimmesdale. She is then punished for her mischievous actions and publicly humiliated on the scaffold. Although the identity of her fellow adulterer is kept a secret throughout most of the book, readers see Hester and Dimmesdale’s human desires cloud their judgment. They both care and love each other and even though they can’t physically be seen together, they still are together spiritually. The sin that they committed was not only one of love and passion, but also a sin of human desire even though the possibility of them being together forever was not probable. “ The links that united her to the rest of human kind-- links of flowers, or silk, or gold, or whatever the material-- had all been broken. Here was the iron link of mutual crime, which neither he nor she could break”(Hawthorne 136). This statement displays the notion that they were not linked to society anymore. Their only link was each other, and they maintained this link through their human desires, disregarding whether they were good or evil. In

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