Nathaniel Hawthorne's Use Of Romanticism

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“No one can be a poet and a book-keeper at the same time” (Hawthorne qtd. In Telgen 307). Nathaniel Hawthorne was born on Independence day of 1804 in Salem Massachusetts. Salem was both well known and an abominable city. (Neilson 276). At a young age, Hawthorne had an accident, one of his foot was injured for three years. While injured, he spent time comprehending literary classics. The injury sparked Hawthorne’s interest in literature (Telgen 307). Hawthorne worked for his uncle as a book-keeper at the Manning stage coach lines (Swisher 15). Nathaniel studied Puritan past. He thought deeply about the Puritans way of life and thinking of the colony in New England ( 15). The past of Puritan’s way of life greatly influenced Hawthorne’s writing …show more content…
American Romantic writers show themes of individualism, self-realization, and idealism (Swisher 28). Romantic writers focused on the past, stressed imagination and conveyed a sense of optimism (28). “Hawthorne incorporated Romanticism in The Scarlet Letter through his use of mysterious character and a historical setting” (29). He used the mystery of mistress Hibbins’s supernatural knowledge and her relation with the Black Man in the forest (29). The Scarlet letter by Hawthorne was not as optimistic as other Romantic writers because of his use of guilt from the past of Puritans. He wants us to be aware of the dark side of human nature (29). Most of Hawthorne’s work shows that sin affects a person’s mind, heart, and that person concept of moral right and wrong. The way each major characters sees sin may or may not different from society’s …show more content…
The main elements that Hawthorne focused in The Scarlet Letter are symbolism and irony. Hawthorne uses the rose bushes in the first chapter as a symbolic element. “Rose bushes symbolizes some sweet moral blossom that may be along the track or relieve the darkening close of a tale of human frailty and sorrow” (Hawthorne 32).The rose bushes act as a comfort from the burden of sin. One of the most obvious symbolic element in the Scarlet Letter is Pearl. She also acts as an ironic character. “Nothing of the calm, white, unimpassioned lustre that would be indicated by the comparison but she named the infant ‘Pearl’ as being of great price,-- Purchased with all she had,-- her mother 's only treasure…”(59) It is very ironic that Hester thinks that Pearl is her treasure when Pearl caused her to be punished. She is a consistent reminder of shame for Hester Prynne (Renner). Pearl is a symbol of truth , she has a kinship with the wildness in nature. It is shown when she decorates herself in the woods to portray the letter A that her mother wears. The A sewn on Hester’s garment is a symbol of shame for Hester because she is an adulterer. Later on in the novel, the A has a different meaning. The A act as a reminder of Hester’s ability of her needlework and the capability with the townspeople. “They said that it meant ‘Able’ so strong was Hester Prynne with a woman’s strength”(Hawthorne 107). One of the

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