Nathaniel Hawthorne the Dark Romantic
The Dark Romantics explored conflicts between good and evil and the effects of guilt and sin. Nathaniel Hawthorne was a writer in the 1800s whose stories exemplified characteristics of those of the Dark Romantic writers. In all of Hawthorne’s stories there are topics of good and evil, guilt and sin. Hawthorne was a great writer that earned recognition and admiration by all, but seemed to be weighed down by his insight to the human heart. Hawthorne was highly aware of the human conscious and acutely aware of his surroundings and people. Hawthorne’s dark and insightful nature only added to his literature. Hawthorne used literary devices and wrote allegorical and parable stories that the reader could identify with and understand there was more that met the eye. “Dr. Heidegger’s Experiment,” “The Minister’s Black Veil,” and “Rappaccini’s Daughter,” are all stories by Nathaniel Hawthorne that possess the qualities of Dark Romanticism that dug deeper into the human heart and mind to see the negative side that all people have.
Hawthorne’s “Dr. Heidegger’s Experiment” is an allegorical story. An allegorical story is a story with characters and objects that stand for abstract ideas and moral qualities. In the story Dr. Heidegger has an oaken closet that contains a skeleton that symbolizes his secrets from his past that he keeps hidden. Hawthorne knew that everyone, even a respected doctor, could have secrets they are not proud of. All of the characters in the story stand for something and represent immoral ideas. Mr. Medbourne, an old merchant that made bad investments, represents greed. Colonel Killigrew wasted his best years on women and alcohol, representing wastefulness. Mr. Gascoigne was a ruined politician that was power hungry, representing misused power. The women that all three men fought over, Widow Wycherly, represents vanity. When all four characters are given a second...
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