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Heritage and Culture - Essay Example

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Heritage and Culture

This paper discusses achievements of the above mentioned writers in depicting their ancestral elements and thereby making their traditional aspects integral parts of the works. It also explores how Hawthorne and Marshall differ from each other in the two mentioned novels as far as their inherited and Puritanical standpoints are concerned.
Nathaniel Hawthorne's Puritan ancestry is evident in many of his literary works. The beliefs of Puritans are often linked with human nature in his writings. The characters of the books depict the author's personal feelings regarding Puritanism. A puritan ancestry coupled with an ancestor, who served as judge in the witch trials in Salem, further served to influence the inclusion of Puritan themes in many of his books. It is generally opinionated that Hawthorne used his work as an outlet for expressing his guilt for the Puritan ways. His torment against the cruelties of Puritanism is very effectively portrayed in 'The Scarlet Letter.' Through this book he revealed the grotesqueness of the Puritan principles. (Gervens, 2006)
The puritan era and its cultural aspects have been depicted through Hawthorne's novel 'The Scarlet Letter.' Hard work linked to servitude to God is a dominant Puritan philosophy. But the rather ascetic views on certain other aspects of life; have been portrayed in many of Nathaniel Hawthorne's work. ...
In the book, Hester a young woman is forced to wear the letter "A" hewn on a red cloth with gold thread in an elaborate and intricate design. This letter is a badge of disgrace imparted by the Puritan elders for Hester's actions of bearing an illegitimate child. The Puritan elders had thus set an example for sinners who dared to disobey the principles of the Puritan society. (Lots of Essays, 2008) The author's feelings about the Puritan punishments are evident in the contrast with which he depicts the grace of Hester with the cold severity portrayed by the Puritan elders. His abhor and disgust for the Puritan practices has been exemplified through this book.

Paule Marshall and West Indian Heritage
Marshall's views on her West Indian heritage are expressed in her book 'Praisesong for the Widow.' For instance the use of Creole dialect, even only for a weekend by the out - islanders in the book is proof of the close ties that is maintained with their ancestry. The author has expressed her own feelings through the journey of the protagonist - Avey in the book.

Avey's appreciation of the traditional Creole dance is a way of reconnecting with her roots, which is something that the author personally wants to do. The author's feeling has been aptly described in the book, through Avey's feelings, when she says, "centered and sustained restored to her proper axis" [Praisesong for the Widow 254]. Avey reestablishes her ties with her heritage, and eventually rediscovers her own self somewhere.

The author portrays her ancestral heritage brilliantly through the character of Great Aunt Cuney. The dream that Avey remembers, which inaugurates the chain of events in the book, is that of a younger Avey with her Aunt Cuney, with whom she ...Show more

Summary

The influence of heritage and culture in Nathaniel Hawthorne's and Paule Marshall's work is a dominant and common feature that relates to both authors. Hawthorne's work however depicts the dogmatic Puritan views, whereas Marshall's work is a representation of her West Indian culture…
Author : gerry64
Heritage and Culture essay example
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