Analysis Of Hawthorne 's Conception Of Human Nature Through His Stories

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Analysis of Hawthorne’s Conception of Human Nature through his Stories
Nathaniel Hawthorne was a brilliant writer of many stories, especially dealing with the nature of human beings, with themes including religion, perfection, and the natural world. His works have been lauded for their treatment of the human condition. Several stories, such as “The Birthmark”, “Rappaccini’s Daughter”, “Young Goodman Brown”, and “The Black Veil”, have been chosen to explain Hawthorne’s understanding of human nature. “The Birthmark” especially explains the pursuit of human perfection and the notion that nature cannot be overcome by humankind. “Rappaccini’s Daughter” details the human temptation to sin. “Young Goodman Brown” expresses the belief that once one sins, they will always be a sinner, cannot atone for their sins, and must pay for it. Finally, “The Black Veil” considers the idea of inherent sin, where the Black Veil represents all of sin in the town. Through his stories, Hawthorne conceptualizes his perspective on human nature by considering that because human beings pursue perfection, and are not content with their inherent imperfection, they experience the loss of their humanity.
Hawthorne’s stories develop a narrative that explores the nature of inherent imperfection and sin. In Young Goodman Brown, the Devil figure says to his “children” that, “Evil is the nature of Mankind. Evil must be your only happiness” (9). The Devil figure speaking to his followers clearly states that sin is

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