In this paper I would like to discuss that “monetary power or capitalism destroys the humanly values in American society during its industrialisation period in ‘the Man that Corrupted Hadleyburg’ and ‘Bartleby the Scrivener’”
In these two short stories of Melville and Twain, it is both possible to observe the cultural values and changings in American society during the second half of the 19th century. As we may remember from Hawthorne’s ‘Young Goodman Brown’ it is easy to figure out that Puritans take important place in American society: “Good, goodman Brown! I have been as well acquainted with your family as with ever a one among the Puritans; and that’s no trifly to say.” (Hawthorne, 615) According to Encyclopedia Britannica the word itself ‘Puritan’ is derived from the word ‘purify’ and Puritanism is described as a religious reform movement in the late 16th and 17th centuries that sought to “purify” the Church of England of remnants of the Roman Catholic ‘popery’. From this description, it is certain that Puritans are in search of pure Christianity and they try to be good Christians.
On the grounds that Puritans take significant place in those years’ America, I would like to take the Puritanism as the starting point of my discussion. Puritanism has key role in Twain’s Hadleyburg which is not an ordinary or randomly selected town. Indeed, “Hadleyburg was the most honest and upright town in all the region round about.” (Twain, 361) However, Hadleyburg consisting of nearly fully Puritans soon proves to be hypocrite and the readers realize that Hadleyburg and its people do not deserve their fame for being honest. There arise some questions in our mind about the religion of Puritanism, since Twain takes our attention to the corruption of a fully Puritan town for a sack of gold. He might either want to show that money corrupts every humanly values even in places like Hadleyburg that we never expect, or want to prove that puritans are hypocrites and just show...
Cited: Hawthorne, Nathaniel., “Young Goodman Brown.” Literature: Reading, Reacting, Writing. 6th ed. Eds. Laurie G. Kirszner and Stephen R Mandell. Boston: Thomson/Heinle, 2007. 489-498. Print.
Melville, Herman., Bartleby the Scrivener: A Story of Wall-street. New York: Putnam’s Monthly. A Magazine of Literature, Science and Art., 1853. Print
"Puritanism." Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica Online Academic Edition. Encyclopædia Britannica Inc., 2013. Web. 09 Jun. 2013. .
Twain, Mark., The Man That Corrupted Hadleyburg and Other Stories and Essays. New York: Harper & Bros., 1900. Print
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