The Scarlet Letter, A Transcendentalist Novel?

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The Scarlet Letter, a Transcendentalist Novel? In many respects, The Scarlet Letter is considered one of America 's great classic novels. But is it a Transcendentalist work? While the novel is commonly viewed as possessing many classic Transcendentalist themes, such as an emphasis on nature and self-reliance, there are key differences in elements of Hawthorne 's novel and the values and ideas that the father of Transcendentalism, Ralph Waldo Emerson, puts forth in his classic writings, such as The Transcendenta ist, The Over-Soul, and Self-Reliance. Simply classifying The Scarlet Letter as "Transcendentalist" is only scratching the surface of the true message and aim of this novel. Yes, Hawthorne did identify with the movement for a time, but many scholars have doubts about his commitment, as evidenced by The Scarlet Letter. Hawthorne writes with a dark pessimism that bares no similarity to the optimistic writings of his fellow Transcendentalists and also uses other techniques to distance himself from their ideals. Although The Scarlet Letter contains some Transcendentalist elements, the novel 's dark pessimism, weak portrayal of the human psyche, view of man 's relationship to the over-soul, and connection to nature cause it to differ greatly from the works of Emerson and other classic Transcendentalists. Hawthorne 's
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