Herman Melville and Nathaniel Hawthorne Show the Unbridgeable Gap Between Human Desires and Human Possibilities and the Mixture of Good and Evil in Even the Loftiest of Human Motives

987 WordsMay 6, 20134 Pages
Eric Santangelo Hawthorne and Melville In both works, “Bartleby the Scrivener” and The Scarlet Letter, Herman Melville and Nathaniel Hawthorne show the unbridgeable gap between human desires and human possibilities and the mixture of good and evil in even the loftiest of human motives. In “Bartleby the Scrivener” by Herman Melville, this idea is shown by how the Lawyer keeps Bartleby as one of his employers, even though Bartleby does not deserve to still be working. In the Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne, this idea is shown through Hester and Dimmesdale’s relationship and also through the contrast between the Forest and Town. In “Bartleby the Scrivener” the Lawyer’s actions, or lack there of, display the unbridgeable gap…show more content…
The Forest is seen as a frontier, where anything can happen and anything can exist whether it’s good, freedom, individualism, or even evil. The town, however, is a civilized place where one must follow orders and laws, and a place where human Desires normally do not prosper. The town resembles the evil and the human possibilities meaning that Hester and Dimmesdale’s possibility of being together in the town is not very promising due to how strict and evil that place can be. Hester and Dimmesdale’s human desires however lead them to the forest where anything can exist including their desires to be together. “Thus they went onward, not boldly but step by step, into the themes that were brooding deepest in their hearts. So long estranged by fate and circumstances, they needed something slight and causal to run before, and throw open the doors of intercourse, so that their real thoughts might be led across the threshold”(Hawthorne 163). This statement reveals the nature of the meeting between Dimmesdale and Hester in the forest, and all the emotions that they have kept locked inside their hearts. They both know that this meeting could have only occurred in the Forest because their desires cannot be fulfilled in the Town. Both Hawthorne and Melville show the unbridgeable gap between human desires and human possibilities and the mixture of good and evil in even the loftiest of human motives. In “Bartleby the Scrivener”,

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