Ceestial Railroad Analysis

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In the short story "The Celestial Railroad" Nathaniel Hawthorne portrays his views of the Ultimate questions one, four and five. "The Celestial Railroad" was written in 1843 as a part of Hawthorne's book of short stories "Mosses from an Old Manse". "The Celestial Railroad" is based on John Bunyan's "Pilgrim's Progress", only now a railroad has been built between the Celestial City and the city of Destruction providing a "faster" way to the Celestial City while bypassing the cross. Through the story Hawthorne views man as a depraved being who seeks nothing but what they see as pleasure and what they believe to be the truth. He shows man's problem with names of characters and their actions throughout the story. Hawthorne's solution to the problem is to take the path that Christian and other pilgrims have taken to reach the Celestial City yet he chooses not to do so himself.

In the Celestial Railroad Hawthorne's view of man is that he is a depraved being who when given a choice will take the easy way out. Upon learning of the construction of the railroad to the Celestial City the narrator opts to take the train rather than making the trek on foot like Christian and other pilgrims before. "It interested me much to learn that, by the public spirit of some of the inhabitants, a railroad has recently been established between this populous and flourishing town, and the Celestial City…. I resolved to gratify a liberal curiosity to make a trip thither." With that decision the narrator chose the easy way out of a long and difficult journey, but which had a rich reward in the end. Along the way the train passes two pilgrims a foot making their way to the Celestial City, the passengers of the train take it upon themselves to mock and scoff at the pilgrims who had chosen to not make use of the railroad. "We greeted the two pilgrims with many pleasant gibes and a roar of laughter…. Apollyon also, entered heartily into the fun, and contrived to flirt the smoke and flame of...
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