Hawthorne 's Perception Of Christianity Essay

Hawthorne 's Perception Of Christianity Essay

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Throughout history authors of literature have offered a unique perspective on the values of their contemporary societies through their works. These perspectives can range from harsh critiques of wasteful aspects of society to perspectives that find positive meaning in the structures put forth in that society. In the case of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s perception of Christianity in the United States, Hawthorne is able to find that Christianity offers both morally outstanding qualities and qualities that should be warned against. Within several of his short stories, Hawthorne talks about Christianity, especially those of Puritanism, as having the ability to be morally wrong with its ability to be hypocritical in its teaching and its inability to find respectability in nature and human entertainment. On the other hand, in many of his writings Hawthorne defends to a great extent the fortitude of Christianity’s ability to stand up to corrupt authority, its aptitude to provide strong moral conscience and its uniqueness in providing a way to deal with the struggles of human existence in a productive and venerable approach. He also discussed at length sciences’ inability to provide a morally just society and thus this perspective furthered the view that Christianity had something to offer Americans. When looking at the complete writings of Hawthorne during the 19th century it is often hard to determine his position clearly on American Christianity. However, this paper will set out to prove that Hawthorne both venerated certain aspects of Christianity and loathed other aspects of its character. All in all, this paper will discuss at length different aspects of Hawthorne’s short stories to prove that Hawthorne both accepted some parts of American...


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...community and open his eyes to the evils of the world. The devil discusses the hierocracy of the community by stating, “Ye deemed them holier than yourselves, and shrank from your own sin, contrasting it with their lives of righteousness, and prayerful aspirations heavenward. Yet, here are they all, in my worshipping assembly!”(“Young Goodman Brown”). This showcases the disdain Hawthorne had for the Puritan community that he felt set up a standard that was hypocritical in its nature. The Puritan community according to Hawthorne called for a community that was religious and without any fault. However, to Hawthorne this was unrealistic because he believed humans were flawed from their beginnings and destined to morally fail at some point in their lives. Hawthorne revealss this universal belief about the evil of mankind in the lines, “Evil is the nature of mankind. Evil

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