New Historicism Literary Analysis Essay Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter was influenced heavily by the time era it was written in. To achieve a fuller understanding of the work as a whole it would be best to start by analyzing the time era in which it was written. There are many historical facets that can be explored to help determine some of the underlying meaning in The Scarlet Letter .
Nathaniel Hawthorne was a transcendentalist. He judged his Puritan ancestors in their deeds, especially the witch persecutions. Transcendentalism, Puritanism and the idea of witchcraft were reflected in his novel The Scarlet Letter. Although The Scarlet Letter doesn‘t address witchcraft directly, witchcraft saturates the background of the novel. Many factors factors had their influence on the Puritan society, be it positive or negative.
The society of prejudgments and pity, the place of sin and virtue, the center of true love and hate- these all are the ambiguities of the N.Hawthorne’s novel. The Scarlet Letter, among all these things, also presents the polysemantic view on the Native Americans. Many scholars noticed that Hawthorn refers to Indians throughout his work, but mostly all of them viewed these references as the necessary subjects for the historical aspect of the novel. However, I would argue that these references have a more specific and rectilinear nature. Additionally, the area, in which Hawthorne settles the novel- his birth town Salem - was not a random pick.
Nathaniel Hawthorne was born in Salem, Massachusetts. It is also worth to notice that John Hawthorne, one of the Salem Witch Trial Judges, was his great-grandfather (Concise Dictionary of American Literary Biography). Since Salem was his hometown, he developed his writing through the gospel of American Puritanism and intend to spread those principles through his literature which also gives the focus of his literature. Hawthorne’s writing style was unique and was well-regarded for several reasons. First of all, Hawthorne induces readers to use their own imagination to interpret the meaning of the tale, as it is evident in “The Minister’s Black Veil”.
Hawthorne’s writing style provides readers with a more vivid and colorful reading experience that hopefully pushes them to be more engaged in what they are reading. In having to decode the majority of the novel, it leaves a mysterious and open effect on the entire book. With all this in mind, it is important to recognize Hawthorne’s subtle use of literal devices like alliteration such as “married, happy, and mindful of her mother” (Hawthorne, 360) in his writing. Slight additions such as this spice up his typically repetitive language and peak interest on readers by keeping them on their toes. In having all the skills to represent the darkness and beauty in life in remarkable ways, Hawthorne uses syntax in The Scarlet Letter to improve and enhance the overall quality of his
When members of society do not conform, they are often treated differently. Those who are rebels, those who break the rules and do not fit into the status quo, become outcasts to society. These castaways are often avoided, ignored, and disrespected by societal figures. Modern society is easily said to have multiple different expectations for its affiliates, in relation to physical ideals, emotional processes, and intelligence levels. Societies’ essential goals for human life are everywhere; magazines, television, radio, the internet, and even on everyday streets. The pressure to be ‘perfect’ is strong, however very difficult to attain. However, most people, if not all, do strive to be successful in meeting these qualities of perfection, whether
Nathaniel Hawthorne is one of the most studied and influential writers in history. His many works use symbolism and allegory to portray their purpose, filling them with deep meaning and offering a wide variety of interpretation. Hawthorne was not particularly proud of his family history; he disagreed with some of his ancestors positions in the salem witch trials. He distanced himself with that part of his family and added a “w” to his name to further do so. Hawthorne was born in Salem Massachusetts, which gave him a prevalent theme of puritanism in many of his stories.
Amanda Vicente The Scarlet Letter Reading Response AP English Language Period J 16 August 2016 Journal Entry 1: Chapters 1-2 In The Scarlet Letter, the author sets a mood from the beginning of the book. The setting is old and beat up in front of an aged wooden prison with judgmental Puritans ready to tear a women apart. The Puritans are hypocrites and the author portrays that in the story.
Anti-Transcendentalism, Nathaniel Hawthorne, who many of his novels (or “romances,” to him) were dark, twisted but held a shimmer of light and hope within them. A particular novel, one of which is considered a great piece of American Romantic literature, The Scarlet Letter, due to its story line being set in the remote past of the Puritan era, focuses on the strict laws of the Puritan society and the battle for love, happiness, and acceptance in an anti-Puritan situation. Throughout the novel it becomes evident that this Puritan society is filled with corruption. However, in a way to brighten the dark and twisted storyline that is The Scarlet Letter, Hawthorne uses the truth that is reflected in the surrounding nature as a way to convey an overall mood of select chapters, a way to describe the characters
Nathaniel Hawthorne, a famous American author from the antebellum period, notices the emphasis on individual freedoms in the works by Ralph Waldo Emerson and other Transcendentalists during his residency in the Brook Farm’s community. In response to these ideas, Hawthorne writes The Scarlet Letter, a historical novel about Hester Prynne and Arthur Dimmesdale’s lives as they go through ignominy, penance, and deprecation from their Puritan community to express their strong love for each other. Their love, even though it is true, is not considered as holy nor pure because of Hester past marriage to Roger Chillingworth, and thus Hester gained the Scarlet Letter for being an adulterer. Hawthorne utilizes biblical allusions, such as the stories of
Character Foils In The Scarlet Letter Those who contrast each other make for engrossing storytelling. Nathaniel Hawthorne demonstrates this truth often in his romantic narrative, “The Scarlet Letter”.
The exploration of societal pressures. Life can be separated into two equal parts totally independent from one another. The inner self, being the innermost thoughts and feelings of the individual, and the outer self, how the individual decides to conduct itself around the others in society. Often times one of these parts takes control of the other, suppressing its partner. The suppression is often not of equal frequency because of the obligation humans feel to be liked and to fit in causes the outermost self to be given the most thought and worry.
Literary Devices in The Scarlet Letter Literary devices are often used to capture a reader’s attention in a text. Nathaniel Hawthorne used many different types of literary devices in his book The Scarlet Letter. He uses symbolism to give hidden meaning to elements in the story, conflict to make the story interesting, and allusion to make references to historical events (ex. biblical references). While reading The Scarlet Letter, the literary devices did not jump out at me, but now as I reflect upon them they help me understand the book well. Literary devices can make a passage have a whole different meaning.
Hawthorne is in relation to the Puritan society through his ancestors in addition to a long line of judges preceding him; whom were known for cruel sentencing during the salem witch trials. 20 or more witches were convicted of a crime under the judgement of Hawthorne's grandfather. Considering the correlation between the Puritans and Hawthorne himself- being more open minded- many see why he chose to separate himself with them. (The Scarlet Letter) Among all the Hawthorns were known for judging people and deciding their fate, similar to the Puritan people. They felt very strongly about people getting what they so deserved in return of their sins. In The Scarlet Letter Hawthorne uses his background knowledge and familiarity with the Puritan