Romanticism in the Scarlet Letter

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Romanticism is categorized as “a preference for simplicity and naturalness, a love of plain feelings and truth to common place reality, especially as found in natural scenes”. Nathaniel Hawthorne was an anti-transcendentalist and believed in the dark side of man, hence his dark romantic novel The Scarlet Letter. This allegorical novel depends heavily on symbol and character. The novel is chock full of symbolic dimension of images, characters, and descriptions. The Scarlet Letter defines the American Romanticist movement while using symbolic characters and places that give the book seemingly two different stories. The first story denotes the story going on in the book, including the characters. The other story has symbols that speak on morals, religious doctrine, and public mindset. Furthermore the novel can be defined as a romantic novel by analyzing the characters Hester, Pearl, and Dimmesdale for their overall purpose to the story and the symbolism. An important concept of romanticism includes a close connection to the earth and natural scenes. Being “natural” in the Puritan society can be a very hard thing to do, and a hard thing to get away with. Her strong will and ability to see through the social mockery sets her apart from most in that society. A final important character in this novel includes Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale. Throughout the course of the novel he goes from a healthy, happy young minister to a severely sick and tortured soul. Thus the novel conveys a story of symbols and hidden double meanings. She, in her decision to have a relationship with Reverend Dimmesdale, goes against the Puritan laws and moral code. In addition the prison represents Puritan society, with all of its strict social and moral rules of conduct, and the rose bush symbolizes the individual, standing defiantly on their own, lively and strong, in spite of the society as a whole, against them. The fear of the forest is what makes it safe. She does what she feels may be right...
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