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Scarlet Letter And Transcendentalism Summary

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In Loring’s article "The Scarlet Letter and Transcendentalism,” the stories of the characters from "The Scarlet Letter" by Nathaniel Hawthorne are used to present the main point. Specifically, that to follow rules made by society you have to deny your own wants and needs. To do this you must harden yourself to the world, which is shown by Loring, to not be beneficial in any way.
Loring’s first point about society, Puritan society especially, is that it does not value of encourage human desires. It demands a cold onlook and heart. The strictness of society had remarketed human wants into temptations from the devil. He brings up the example of Arthur Dimmesdale whose only true crime was acting on his desires. He had gone against the age old taboo of sex before marriage. Dimmesdale grew up in a strict society with the idea that restraint was most important. To Loring, weakness was viewed as a moment of true human passion. This was to be avoided at all costs by Dimmesdale who believed it to be a horrible crime
This act of passion imbued on him an undying guilt. Although he had only acted on his true nature, he had gone against society. Loring speaks of a two-fold nature that a member of society is demanded to have : the nature born
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If one commits these acts and if they realize the effects of their actions, Loring states, they are able to gain a higher understanding of themselves and the factors in their lives. They gain wisdom and essentially a greater understanding of the “over-soul,” a transcendentalist concept of an interconnected universal mind, that unites all beings. Then if they act upon this newfound wisdom they gain virtue. This virtue is the saving grace of humanity that blesses “the broad universe of human hearts, and..make(s) the whole spiritual creation blossom like a
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