Realism vs. Romanticism

Topics: Nathaniel Hawthorne, Fiction, Literature Pages: 2 (538 words) Published: May 16, 2011
Realism and romanticism have been writing styles that have been going on for centuries. Realism sprouted from romanticism around the late 1800s when people grew tired relating to the romanticisms “fairy tale” nature. People wanted a fake character going through many things they did on a daily basis. Edna and Hester represent each of these. Hester represents romanticism while Edna represents realism. Both of the characters are women in later times that go through the hardships close to their era.

The Scarlet Letter is a romanticism novel written by Nathaniel Hawthorne. Hester is a young lady in the seventeenth century that is constantly surrounded by her sin of adultery. Throughout the novel, Hester becomes more of her own person as she cares for her daughter Pearl on the edge of the woods. The format of the novel is written in a romanticists way; formal and fitting for the setting. The writer also expresses splashes of color in the story to retain a positive outlook or effect as the novel goes on. Symbols in the novel are naturalistic, such as roses; the symbol of hope for change. Pearl is also a symbol; a symbol of transgression and Hester’s reason for living. The setting of the novel is slightly depressing, but grows into this mystical-like town as the novel goes on. Hester redeems herself for her sin, the letter “A” in her bosom’s meaning turns into “Able”. The story reveals more secret, though each one brings Hester closer and closer to closure on her sin. There is an antagonist as there usually always is for romanticism novel, though it is usually never the actual main character that is the true antagonist. Chillingworth bogs down on Dimmesdale, mentally tearing Dimmesdale apart to find out the father until helped by Hester.

The Awakening is written by Kate Chopin. In the novel Edna is realistically trapped in her own world of self doubt and sense of unknowing. The novel is written in a modern setting, though the setting is much different. The...
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