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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Analyzing the historical background of Nathaniel Hawthorne and his relation with Puritanism and its impact in his work, the pivotal point of "Young Goodman Brown" is to demonstrate that society can be described as a brotherhood of both good and evil and the damnation of each person is decided by its own actions.
Goodman Brown realizes �There is no good on earth; and sin is but name. Come, devil; for to thee is the world given� (Hawthorne 167).
In "Young Goodman Brown." Nathaniel Hawthorne considers the question of good and evil, suggesting that true evil is judging and condemning others for sin without looking at one's own sinfulness. He examines the idea that sin is part of being human and there is no escape from it.
Nathaniel Hawthorne and Edgar Allen Poe were extremely successful gothic or dark romantic authors of the 19th century. The two authors wrote a plethora of short stories that strayed from the rationalist styles of the 18th century and paved the way for other dark romantic authors. Romanticism focuses on emotions and nature while rationalism focuses on logic and reasoning. Hawthorne and Poe display the darker side of human nature throughout all of their works. Three especially good examples of this particular style are Hawthorne’s “Dr. Heidegger’s Experiment” as well as Poe’s “The Tell-Tale Heart” and “The Black Cat.”
Nathaniel Hawthorne once said, “I do not want to be a doctor and live by men’s diseases, nor minister to live by their sins, nor a lawyer and live by men’s quarrels. So, I don’t see that there is anything left for me but to be an author” (Nathaniel). This statement describes Hawthorne’s personality and life in a way that no other quote could. Nathaniel Hawthorne was an Anti-Transcendentalist writer meaning that he had a negative view of all humans. The Anti-Transcendentalist movement was a pessimistic branch of Romanticism and it began in mid 1800s and lasted until late 1800s. Nathaniel Hawthorne was influenced greatly by his childhood, which is what caused him to be an anti-transcendentalist, yet in his novel The Scarlet Letter there was a bridge created between anti-transcendentalism and utopian transcendentalism.
Nathaniel Hawthorne never really presented a solution to any of his protagonist’s problems, all we were left with questions of what is to become of them next? How did their actions help bring their problems to an end? These problems that aren’t solved are deep internal problems that can be solved by simply researching Hawthorne 's life and all the things going on in his life around the time he wrote the story. Most of these problems are given to the protagonist because of problems Hawthorne face in his own life, problems that he faced while he was a child. These were problems that shaped him into the person he was when he was writing these fascinating stories.
Nathaniel Hawthorne was a brilliant writer of the 19th century. Hawthorne created a novel that reflected the time period of the Puritans in New England. The Scarlet Letter contains a representation of the people during that time period but can also be related to the reader’s time period. Originally, God created the world with complete perfection until man fell, and sin entered the world. In the eyes of God, a sin is a sin. There is no worse sin that one can commit. Man is the one that decided that one sin could be more harshly judged than another. Hawthorne uses the theme of sin to show the importance of one’s faith and conviction and how those principles relate to fallen sinners.
"The Minister's Black Veil" by Nathaniel Hawthorne is a short story that was first published in the 1836 edition of the Token and Atlantic Souvenir and reappeared over time in Twice-Told Tales, a collection of short stories by Nathaniel Hawthorne. The short story narrates the events following Reverend Mr. Hooper's decision to begin wearing a black veil that obscures his full face, except for his mouth and chin. Mr. Hooper simply arrives one day at the meeting house wearing the semi-transparent black veil and refuses from then on to take it of, leading to the loss of his fiancée and isolation form the world. He is even buried in the black veil. Yet, what is important to note are Mr. Hooper's last words to those
When it comes to the topic of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s Young Goodman Brown, most of us will readily agree that duplicity is a major theme in the piece, or the idea of different versions of reality. Where this agreement usually ends, however, is on the question of whether Hawthorne is implying that man is inherently evil. Whereas some are convinced that Young Goodman Brown was good until tainted by the Devil, others maintain that he was evil from the beginning and was completely aware of the evil he was indulging in. My personal view, however, is that Young Goodman Brown was inherently evil, but it did not come to light until the Devil began to influence Brown. This can be seen through the use of symbolism, biblical allusions, and the development of the main characters. While the Devil may have revealed that Young Goodman Brown was not as innocent and pious as he appeared, Brown was willingly indulging in sin and was inherently evil.
"The Minister's Black Veil" by Nathaniel Hawthorne is a short story that was first published in the 1836 edition of the Token and Atlantic Souvenir and reappeared over time in Twice-Told Tales, a collection of short stories by Nathaniel Hawthorne. The short story narrates the events that follow Reverend Mr. Hooper's decision to start wearing a black veil that obscures his full face, except for his mouth and chin. Mr. Hooper simply arrives one day at the meeting house wearing the semi-transparent black veil and refuses from that moment on to take it off, which leads to the loss of his fiancée and isolation from the world. Mr. Hooper even goes as far as to insist on burial in the black veil. Yet, what is crucial to note are Mr. Hooper's last
In “Young Goodman Brown” and “The Minister’s Black Veil” Nathaniel Hawthorne writes about a recurring theme of sin. Although sin is present in both of these works, the way that the characters come to deal with this innate sin of humans is very divergent. In both works sin is somehow concealed from others and keeps them from reaching a point of goodness. “Young Goodman Brown” and “The Minister’s Black Veil” can be considered counterparts and both depict the theme of sin and evil.
“Young Goodman Brown,” a short story written by Nathaniel Hawthorne, recounts the tale of a young Puritan man who is transformed by witnessing the bitter truths of humanity. In Goodman Brown’s journey into the woods, he discovers the hidden evils of the individuals that once appeared virtuous to him. Throughout the story, the forces of good and evil are contrasted. In this short story, Hawthorne uses symbolism, the discordance between a character’s appearance and his/her true nature, and contrasting colors to portray the vicious and hypocritical nature of Puritans.
Nathaniel Hawthorne’s “Young Goodman Brown” and “The Ministers Black Veil” are two short allegoric stories. “Young Goodman Brown” is a moral story which is told through the perversion of a common townsman. In Young Goodman Brown, Goodman Brown is a Puritan man who lets his excessive pride interfere with his relationship and the community; after he meets with the devil he is outraised and has live a life of exile. Similarly “The Ministers Black Veil” is also a moral story that is told through the perversion of a religious Puritan leader. In The Ministers Black Veil, Mr. Hooper is so embarrassed and ashamed of his sin that he attempts to disguise it by wearing a black veil. The veil later becomes the main symbol of all hidden sins. In an ironic way, Mr. Hooper and Goodman Brown are both wearing veils to cover up their guilt, excessive pride, and hidden sin.
In this extract from “Young Goodman Brown”, Nathaniel Hawthorne uses symbolism, imagery and point of view to depict Goodman Brown’s eventual journey from naivety in man’s purity of faith to recognition of man’s disposition to evil. It reveals Brown’s misplaced faith in man, who is deficient, instead of God.
With most writers, readers can identify what topics they tend to write about, how long their pieces often are, and what personal style these authors develop. While this is true of author Nathaniel Hawthorne, there are different elements that influence his writings. His life included many times of trials, many joys, and many ancestors that caused some turmoil within his mind. Two of his major works are influenced almost directly by his background (Werlock). Nathaniel Hawthorne threw his life into every single piece of his writing. His experiences, background, and the setting in which his life took place are prominent