Changes in Era and American Culture Reflected in Its Literature

1774 WordsFeb 26, 20187 Pages
As the eras changed, so did American culture. Literary works including The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald and The Scarlett Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne, reveal two main characters who are alienated by their societies and who are not valued for their true worth as individuals. Both characters in these novels endure an identity crisis, which then leads to them become their own tragic hero/heroine. Both F. Scott Fitzgerald, and Nathaniel Hawthorne, depict characters that reinvent themselves in order to conform to their own ideas of how they should live and how people should perceive them. In each text, the main characters are both, in a way, trapped in their lifestyles. Jay Gatsby and Hester Prynne both rise from the ashes. Distraught over their pasts, but determined to create a new and better life for themselves, Jay Gatsby and Hester Prynne use every opportunity to better their situations. In the end, both characters leave their marks and leave us as readers to decipher their symbolic meaning. Nathaniel Hawthorne writes a story on the strengths and weaknesses of his Puritan ancestors which inspired him to write The Scarlett Letter. Hawthorne creates the protagonist named Hester Prynne. Hester commits adultery with her secret lover Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale, and with that came her daughter Pearl. The antagonist, the Puritan society in Boston, finds out about this and decides to brand Hester with something to make it know that she is a sinner. They
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