Journal Entry 1: “ The Custom House” Romanticism is the movement in literature that emphasizes inspiration, selfhood, and the authority of the individual. The purpose of “The Custom House” is that it provides the framework for the main idea of The Scarlet Letter and it also describes Hawthorne’s life. The narrator, who shares similar traits with Nathaniel Hawthorne, takes a post as the “chief executive officer,” or surveyor, of the Salem Custom House. The author’s attitude toward his former job is that the building extremely run down and the Custom House serves the small ship traffic going through the port, but it is usually a quiet place requiring only minimal work. Hawthorne describes his fellow workers as elderly and have been working at the Custom House their how lives. The only reason why they are there is through family connections and they repeatedly tell the stories. So, what I take from this is that he did not like his old job, the reason being is that he only speaks negative about everything relating to his former job. Hawthorne addresses the reader directly and it causes an effect by showing that he 's trying to connect with all sorts of people. He describes the letter as “ scarlet, gold-embroidered piece of cloth in the shape of the letter ‘A’.” Which makes me feel that if they put all that time into making it look nice, that there is some type of importance related to it.
Journal Entry 2: Chapter 1-2 The narrator’s attitude toward the Puritans is that
Nathaniel Hawthorne is one of the greatest American authors of the nineteenth century. He published his first novel Fanshawe, in 1828. However, he is widely known for his novels The Scarlet Letter and The House of Seven Gables. His novel, The Scarlet Letter, can be analyzed from historical, psychological and feminist critical perspectives by examining his life from the past, as well as his reflections while writing The Scarlet Letter. In order to understand the book properly, it’s necessary to use these three perspectives.
Although it is mentioned the narrator in the custom house is not Nathaniel Hawthorne, they are both very similar. The narrator is carefully constructed as being similar to Hester in the sense that they are both isolated by people whom they have no connection to. The author feels this way working in the custom house surrounded by old men. “I am a citizen of somewhere else” (31). Hester, of course, is isolated from the rest of the community because of her sin. Even though the narrator feels he will be criticized for attempting to make a writing career, he makes a fictional account of Hester’s story anyways. Writing for him is similar to needle work for Hester, and it is a further comparison of two similar characters. The author evolves Hester into himself, and it is made clear that is his intention.
Hawthorne was able to show the true intentions and feelings of characters and the relationships between characters. He did this because he wanted the readers to understand that the Puritan society was not as religious or great as it is sometimes portrayed as. Even though their intentions were right with wanting to start a new religious society in the New World, they had their faults. Hawthorne is able to address these through the use of ironies. For example, having the reverend that everyone looks up to and emulates, be suffering from committing a very sinful act. Also, having the townspeople contradict the meaning of the scarlet A, and see it as a positive thing after Hester has just endured the torture of isolation and banishment. Overall, Hawthorne is trying to express his personal views on the Puritan society through the use of
The power of imagination makes us infinite, and when it is dulled, one can feel trapped. Only after freeing ourselves, can we understand the beauty of a creative mind. Nathaniel Hawthorne explains how he also had to get back in tune with his imagination after not using it for years while working at the Custom House. Hawthorne draws a very well sketch of the boring life at the Custom House, and how after his head was “cut off” he got the mindset to be able to write the Scarlet Letter. In this long introduction to the Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne uses rhetorical devices to describe character traits, show relationships between characters, hint at future events, and enrich the plot for the reader's enjoyment. With his effective use of imagery, symbolism and biblical allusions, Hawthorne adds depth to the novel while creating a connection to the meaning beyond the story that it tells.
In The Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne often demonstrates the frailty of humans. Nature is often described as beautiful, while the Puritan society and human nature are viewed in a harsh light. Hawthorne illustrates that human nature is flawed and judgmental through use of figurative language, critical diction, and symbolism.
Hawthorne does not only use human or people for symbolism. He also uses inanimate objects to project his themes and morals. There are many different things used iron, a rosebush, scaffolds, and of course the scarlet letter. In The Scarlet Letter the author might directly state what the objects represents or it might be left to the reader to decide for themselves what the object means.
The purpose of this chapter is to give sort of a background to the novel. It introduces Salem as well as Puritan society and the Custom house. The author's attitude toward his old job and workers is mainly positive, giving descriptions of the groups and people. He puts them in either a mundane or positive light by showing their qualities even if they are strange. An example of this is his description of the General's overwhelming kindness or the President's love of past meals (Hawthorne, 284). Even though they are seen as positive, the author still shows they no longer belong at the Custom house. He states " [they knew] they ought to have given place to younger men" (Hawthorne, 280). He sees them generally as senile and unfit for their jobs, but still as people. Because the author address
Romanticism is categorized as “a preference for simplicity and naturalness, a love of plain feelings and truth to common place reality, especially as found in natural scenes”. Nathaniel Hawthorne was an anti-transcendentalist and believed in the dark side of man, hence his dark romantic novel The Scarlet Letter. This allegorical novel depends heavily on symbol and character. The novel is chock full of symbolic dimension of images, characters, and descriptions. The Scarlet Letter defines the American Romanticist movement while using symbolic characters and places that give the book seemingly two different stories. The first story denotes the story going on in the book, including the characters. The other story has symbols that speak on
In Hawthorne's revered novel The Scarlet Letter, the use of Romanticism plays an important role in the development of his characters. He effectively demonstrates individualism in Hester to further our understanding of the difficulties of living in the stern, joyless world of Puritan New England. It is all gloom and doom. If the sun ever shines, one could hardly notice. The entire place seems to be shrouded in black. The people of this society were stern, and repressed natural human impulses and emotions than any society before or since. But for this reason specifically, emotions began bubbling and eventually boiled over, passions a novelist
In stark comparison to his ancestors, his life was relatively normal; he was married with children and spent his days doing what he loved the most, writing. Hawthorne would often draw from his own personal understandings or beliefs, just as he did when he wrote “but the past was not dead” in “The Custom House”. It was evident that Hawthorne’s Puritan past was alive within him, and even after his death in 1864; it continued to live on forever in the pages of his books.
a scarlet letter A in a Salem custom house. &#8220;The Custom House'; is basically an attempt
Frederick William Robertson once said, “There are three things in the world that deserve -- no mercy, hypocrisy, fraud, and tyranny.” Ushering in the Romantic era in literature, this quote stood as the foundation for many transcendental pessimists; Nathaniel Hawthorne was no exception. As described in The Custom House, the introduction to The Scarlet Letter, Hawthorne heavily disapproves of his own extreme Puritan past and, in fact, heavily critiques it throughout the entire novel. However, while not directly, Hawthorne criticizes Puritan culture and ideals by exposing their sin in the community. He does this in a number of ways, but readers can plainly see that he chastises the Puritans by portraying them as religious extremists, intelligently
In the 19th century, a new ideology called Romanticism emerged, pushing back against strict conformist beliefs and relying on nature, individualism, and emotion. Many writings from this time period are still being discussed because of their relatability to modern societal problems. Of the many Romantic writers, Nathaniel Hawthorne and Herman Melville effectively explain the negative effects of society on individuals. In The Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne narrates a Romantic story of a young woman in the Puritan Era who is convicted of adultery and has to face being a social outcast. On the other hand, in “Bartleby, the Scrivener” Herman Melville examines the story of Bartleby, a copyist who mysteriously refuses to work and is, therefore, put in jail. Both Hawthorne and Melville use the characterization of Hester Prynne and Bartleby as nonconformists to critique the effect society’s evils have on the Romantic ideal of individualism in order to remind their readers that despite the human inclination to conform to one’s society, self-reliance is more important than the status quo to support progress for humanity.
The Scarlet Letter is a modern classic of American literature written about controversy and published with controversy. The main topic of the book, adultery, is written in a dark and sad way, as Hawthorne describes injustice, fate or predetermination and conscience ( Van Doren, 1998) . No other American novel of the time has such a controversial theme as Hawthorne's, The Scarlet Letter. The setting of Nathanial Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter is the seventeenth century Puritan New England. But Hawthorne's writing for this book is heavily influenced by his own nineteenth century culture. Hawthorne strongly believed in Providence. Hawthorne was descended from the Puritan
He himself had declared it to be a ‘romantic’ genre along with gothic interests and it being a carrier of Puritan History of England. For the obvious reasons this novel deals with issues concerning the times of mid-1850 wherein Hawthorne has juxtaposed “poverty and riches”, “aristocracy and democracy”, “youth with age”, “greed with unselfishness”, “complex with simple”, “appearance with reality”, “pride with humbleness”, “the isolated with un-isolated” (Dillingham, 59) all these parallels are supported by detailed characterizations of almost all main characters in the text. Hawthorne has provisioned and facilitated his characters with an independent backbone with which they support his themes and carry them on their own shoulders. The text in its romantic narrative fashion has been well-crafted to involve various themes which Nathaniel Hawthorne wished to include in this 1851 published Gothic work. It will not be incorrect to put forth the view that Hawthorne’s The House of Seven Gables is a representative of the era and society of that time. He has accurately projected the concerned subjects of that time and how they used to affect the humans of that period. The juxtapositions too are echoes of the society and mirror the basics of whatever contrived into being the fundamentals of that society. Therefore, the themes of this text are majorly colored by the real world of that period and the