Hawthorne: Experiments Gone Wrong

1854 Words Jun 21st, 2018 8 Pages
Nathaniel Hawthorne is an author whose major fiction writing has influenced the literary world greatly during the course of the nineteenth century. His work during the Romantic period represents his world view through a specific style of writing. While his literature is particularly dark in tone, his short stories show a variety of symbols, themes, and characters. “The Minister’s Black Veil,” “The Birthmark,” and “Dr. Heidegger’s Experiment” are three of Hawthorne’s short stories that illustrate the similar and different nuances in tone and meaning seen in his writing.
One common theme found in these three short stories is experimentation. In each of the short stories’ plots, there is an experiment of some sort undertaken in order to
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It is an imperfection to some, but an attribute to others.
In “The Minister’s Black Veil,” the obvious symbol is the veil. It represents isolation and how Mr. Hooper is shunned by nearly his entire congregation because he wears the veil. The veil becomes part of Hooper, and he wants people to know that, so he keeps it on as he dies. Nathaniel Hawthorne creates these strong images to influence readers to accept and love, and to not take things for granted. Despite the fact that much of his work seems dark and gloomy, his messages are always simple and constant. The only differences between the symbols are that one was chosen by the owner, the black veil; one was given to the owner, the rose; and the other was there by no choice of the owner, the birthmark. The ways the symbols found the owners are different, but the importance of each is similar. They help drive the stories and represent a key element found in the work of author Nathaniel Hawthorne.
Another common element in Hawthorne’s writing is his characters. In all three stories there are strong central male figures. Mr. Hooper in “The Minister’s Black Veil,” Dr. Heidegger in “Dr. Heidegger’s Experiment,” and Aylmer in “The Birthmark” are all strong central male figures. They have the power to alter the story’s plot. This is also representative of the society at the time of Hawthorne’s literature. Women had weaker social roles, and men were heads of households and made
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