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Transcendentalism in Nathaniel Hawthornes The Scarlet Letter - Research Paper Example

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The paper dwells upon the transcendentalism. It is an intellectual movement, which began in early nineteenth century America and can be said to have its origins in the works of writers such Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau. …
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Transcendentalism in Nathaniel Hawthornes The Scarlet Letter
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Transcendentalism in Nathaniel Hawthornes The Scarlet Letter

This paper shall seek to closely examine these nuanced facets of the novel. The concepts of free-enquiry and liberal questioning are central to the theory of Transcendentalism. Though Hester is seen to quietly accept her persecution, she is also seen to question and rebel against the rules of the Puritanical society in which she lives. This can be seen in the uncharacteristic vehemence with which she opposes the decision of the clergy to take away her child from her. Hester’s rebellion is also seen in her desire to start her life afresh with Dimmesdale and their illegitimate daughter. It is however Hester’s daughter Pearl, who is an embodiment of this spirit of free-enquiry. Her seemingly naïve, childish questions about the workings of the Puritanical society of Boston are in fact quite radical. The concepts of self-reliance and compensation are central to the theories of Transcendentalism. The idea of compensation dictates that man’s actions shall result in inevitable, inescapable consequences.
It thus rejects the notion of the society or the state penalizing an individual for his transgression. Hester Prynne is an intensely individualistic woman and the her ability to transform the harshly critical letter ‘A’ into a thing of beauty with her needlework is symbolic of her ability to transcend the cloistered moralities of her times (Bell). It is perhaps also significant that Hester, by the virtue of her pious living and virtuous ... Read More
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savanah12 added comment 1 month ago
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Excellent paper! Used it to finish an assignment for a english course. It was easy as ABC, for the first time in my life.
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