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Transcendentalism In Scarlet Letter

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From an early age, Hawthorne was regarded as a loner and a writer. Originally, this was his draw to the Brooks Farm community where he was first introduced to transcendentalism. Here he began to be influenced by the thoughts of others, and eventually even his own wife, Sophia Peabody, who was a transcendentalist herself. Transcendentalism is simply a belief, a practice, a religion, or a passage way to freedom. Transcendentalism is an escape from the world, and a guide into discovering oneself on a greater scale. However this channel to personal liberty is not only guided by their beliefs, but also their practices which they believe will allow them to discover tranquility and expansion of their mind and soul. But this idea of transcendentalism…show more content…
In his childhood, Hawthorne was raised and surrounded by Puritans, but obviously, as he grew older he no longer shared these beliefs. Although there are a few quotes that extend beyond his writing, which express his true displeasure with the Puritans beliefs, his writings paint a vibrant picture of his thoughts and opinions towards their beliefs. The Scarlet Letter is riddled with statements displaying the harshness and ignorance of the Puritans, which Hawthorne chose to escape from. Eventually, he encountered transcendentalism, which quickly became the foundation of his personal principles. According to US History.com, “Transcendentalism is a very formal word that describes a very simple idea. People, men and women equally, have knowledge about themselves and the world around them that "transcends" or goes beyond what they can see, hear, taste, touch or feel”(p.1). This is the idea of freeing one-self from the bondage of the world and discovering the perfect unity within the world. Man must understand the beauty and power of nature before he can embrace the strength, beauty, and grace which it can deliver. As Hawthorne was searching for a way to freedom from the restrictions and imprudent thoughts of the Puritans, he…show more content…
Hawthorne succeeded in translating this idea in his literary works. As stated by US History.com, “For two years Thoreau carried out the most famous experiment in self-reliance when he went to Walden Pond, built a hut, and tried to live self-sufficiently without the trappings or interference of society. Later, when he wrote about the simplicity and unity of all things in nature, his faith in humanity, and his sturdy individualism, Thoreau reminded everyone that life is wasted pursuing wealth and following social customs. Nature can show that "all good things are wild and free”(p.5). For Hawthorne, he found his peace throughout his writings. Transcendentalism focuses on the purpose and peace of each individual and for Hawthorne it was literature. In regards to transcendentalist and their practices, “Their spiritual practice was aimed at cultivating awareness, transcending the ego, identifying with nature and quickening the conscience…The spiritual practices of the Transcendentalists included self-reliance, leisure, reading, contemplation, solitude, walks in nature, conversation, journal writing, religious cosmopolitanism, action from principle”(Spiritual Practices p.2,8). History portrays transcendentalist as radicals, who rejected authority and conformity; in reality they were simply individuals who embraced a one versus all mentality. In the end, they only requested freedom to not focus on the material
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