Romanticism versus puritan philosophies in the book the scarlet letter

In addition, it will enable us to understand the radically non-Smithian nature of Hawthorne's objections to the form of utopianism which Hawthorne found in old Boston. In his meeting with her in the forest, he finds, as she does, that no "golden light" was ever as "precious as the gloom of this dark forest" p.

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Interestingly, the narrator in the first few chapters of the novel more or less disappears for most of the book. The only escape from public scrutiny is the forest. The effect of the argument of The Scarlet Letter is to deny the accuracy of the impression Smith gives us by undermining the importance of the impartial spectator.

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The colony would not have survived without the faith, hard work, courage, and perseverance of these early religious believers.

Superficially, the novel is a revenge tale, but over and above the narrative are meditations of madness, power, and the nature of being human. So much, then, for my account of Smith's theory.

The Scarlet Letter

Take heed how thou deniest to him — who, perchance, hath not the courage to grasp it for himself — the bitter, but wholesome, cup that is now presented to thy lips! Hester had been hoping that his new inner resources would give him the courage to escape with her, but he admonishes her from the scaffold that his strength must "be guided by the will which God hath granted" him p.

I might have found peace, long ere now". Hawthorne tells us bluntly that, seven years after the first scene on the scaffold, "the scarlet letter had not done its office" pmeaning that it had not accomplished the purposes of its Puritan perpetrators.

His publication of Leaves of Grass in marked a critical moment in the history of poetry. While what the community does to Hester is a failure in their terms, what Chillingworth does to Arthur is a success in his.

Again she Romanticism versus puritan philosophies in the book the scarlet letter a question: His sing-song rhythms and dreary settings earned him criticism on multiple fronts, but his creativity earned him a place in the first rank of American artists.

The most important contrast, one might say, is not with any one of the theses I have attributed to Smith, but with their general import. This is why full sympathy can only be had at the considerable price of self-revelation, or what Hawthorne calls truth.


All things are seen perpetually from the moral point of view. He cannot protect himself because he cannot trust his own thoughts. Dimmesdale's response to the social world is, we feel, an omnipresent factor in all of us.

As Chillingworth stands, incognito, in the crowd before the scaffold, he has a talks to an apparently typical Puritan townsman about the fact that the identity of Hester's lover is as yet unknown pp.

The Neoclassical Period of the eighteenth century included very strict expectations regarding the structure and content of poetry. We can gather from Hawthorne's narrative a fairly clear account of how this process works itself out.

Sympathy, for Smith, is our tendency to feel what others feel upon perceiving expressions of those feelings as when we hear someone crying or become aware of the circumstances which cause them as when we hear someone dragging his or her fingernails across the blackboard.

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There, in a brief flood of sunshine, he finds himself for the first time in seven years "in the same sphere" p. The individual consciousness and especially the individual imagination are especially fascinating for the Romantics. Tragedy and Utopia What Hawthorne has been saying about the ethical and psychological effects of Puritan morality have applications that are far wider than their implications for a discussion of the shortcomings of Puritanism.

If what I have just said is true, it means that the letter does not stand for an abstract quality or idea: Because the Puritans chose to defy these assumptions, they were persecuted in England. By the end of the novel, his sympathies lie with Hester as a prophetess of a better time and place where personal relationships can be based on more compassionate beliefs.

What has brought about the effects Hawthorne describes is a collection of attributes that all moral codes possess, insofar as they are moral. In Hawthorne's terms, this task, what might be called Dimmesdale's redemption, is only complete when he turns to Pearl and presents to her the fact that he has now paid the heavy price of human contact with her, saying "dear little Pearl, wilt thou kiss me now?

However, there work was in other respects a clean break with any permutation of Romanticism that had come before. Dimmesdale and Chillingworth, both "sinners" for their part in this drama, are valued and revered members of this repressive community, while Hester is an outcast because of her publicly acknowledged sin.

All he can see there are the false images of himself that he presents to them. The second group in the s settled in the area of present-day Boston in a community they named Massachusetts Bay Colony.

The Old and New Testaments were his source material, but his own sensibilities transfigured the Biblical stories and led to something entirely original and completely misunderstood by contemporaries. When Pearl persists with her questioning, Hester threatens to lock her up in a "dark closet" p.

The tales of King Arthur were especially resonant to their imaginations. He explains it by saying "whatever of good capacity there originally was in me, all of God's gifts that were the choicest, have become ministers of spiritual torment.

It is perfectly natural that Hester would remove herself from such a community as this, in one way or another.

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Gloriously colored and painstaking in their design, few of these were produced and fewer still survive to the present day. The novel itself is dark, mysterious, and hints at the supernatural.The Scarlet Letter shows his attitude toward these Puritans of Boston in his portrayal of characters, his plot, and the themes of his story.

The early Puritans who first came to America in founded a precarious colony in Plymouth, Massachusetts. - Content •writing that can be interpreted 2 ways, on the surface for common folk or in depth for philosophical readers- Emerson attempts to define philosophy in simple terms in his address.

•sense of idealism- authors and poets came up with the idea of "Transcendentalism" which. Romanticism, then, can best be described as a large network of sometimes competing philosophies, agendas, and points of interest. In England, Romanticism had its greatest influence from the end of the eighteenth century up through about Romanticism, Reason, and Puritanism in The Scarlet Letter The novel, The Scarlet Letter, is about the struggle three people face while trying to live their lives and find happiness in a Puritan society.

In his masterpiece, 'The Scarlet Letter', Hawthorne's Romantic ideals shine through. American Romanticism Nathaniel Hawthorne is widely recognized as one of the leaders in the important American Romantic movement of the midth century.

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Romanticism versus puritan philosophies in the book the scarlet letter
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