Nathaniel Hawthorne’s Literature Classified as Anti-Transcendentalist
Nathaniel Hawthorne an American romantic writer, whose literature is known for its Anti-Transcendentalism, wrote Young Goodman Brown and The Scarlet Letter. Nathaniel Hawthorne is a writer during the American Romantics, where the majority of writing is focused on nature, supernatural elements; one’s psychology and the criticism of society’s “norm”. Nathaniel is Hawthorne known for his notorious Anti-Transcendentalist literature. Anti-Transcendentalism ideals are about one’s evil and inner and sinful nature, where everyone is born evil and no matter what, and that humanity is evil and destructive. Hawthorne is not able to accept the optimism of the Transcendentalists and through his writing he tries to look for truths in one’s heart and mind. Hawthorne’s use of symbols, characters, and themes in his literature classify his writings as Anti-Transcendentalist.
Through the use of character development Hawthorne’s literature can be classified as Anti-Transcendentalist. In both pieces of literature Hawthorne uses characters who act as the epitome of Anti-Transcendentalism. The Scarlet Letter has two imperative characters that exemplify Anti-Transcendentalist. First we have Dimmesdale; he is a minister in the town and is one of the most highly respected men in Boston. In reality Dimmesdale is a sinner and an adulterer as he slept with Hester, another man’s wife and got her pregnant. Hester’s punishment for her actions are; public humiliation, and the Scarlet Letter. Though Dimmesdale is not revealed as her accomplice over time he himself grows a Scarlet Letter of his own. “Most of the spectators testified to having seen, on the breast of the unhappy minister, a Scarlet Letter…Mr. Dimmesdale, on the very day when Hester Prynne first wore her ignominious badge, had begun a course of penance”(SL 211). When Hawthorne reveals Dimmesdale having a Scarlet Letter it expresses the ideals of...
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