In my personal reference, Romanticism is a kind of literature from the eighteenth century that put its focus on nature and imaginative ideals. The Romantic Movement was a reaction to the Age of Enlightenment and the Industrial Revolution. This movement consisted of many changes in society during the eighteenth century and it went against the ideals of urban environments that were popping up all around during this time by focussing on nature. The Romantic features that are seen in the book The Scarlet Letter are the ideals of individualism and truth, and not falling into society’s ways and judgements. This book was written by Nathaniel Hawthorne in the year 1850. This book was about Hester Prynne, a woman living in Boston, who commits a sin in her Puritan community. Hester is an adulterer, who sleeps with the town’s Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale. Hester admits to this adultery and has her child Pearl, but Dimmesdale hides in the shadows to live a life full of guilt and suffering. Little does he know, this suffering will be made worse and worse by Roger Chillingworth, the husband of Hester, who befriends him. Out of all of the characters in this book, Hester Prynne reflects the ideals of Romanticism the best.
The defining characteristics of Hester are her true beauty and radiance. “The young woman was tall, with a figure of perfect elegance on a large scale.” (46) This shows the reader that Hester is not only perfectly beautiful, but she carries herself very lady like and in an elegant manner. This is surprising that Hester carries herself with such grace as she is leaving the prison for her sin, when the people are expecting her to be shameful. “Those / who had before known her...were astonished, and even startled, to perceive / ...
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... This whole book reflects the ideals of Romanticism in the fact that the main idea of the book is truth, and whether or not the characters are cast in the light of truth or the shadows of lies. Romanticism is an American ideal strictly because it makes up all of the views and beliefs that Americans have and live by each and every day. The ideals of Romanticism focussing on individualism define who Americans are. The idea that Americans are free, independent, and they had to fight to get where we are today, stress this idea of individualism and Romanticism as a whole. Therefor, Americans should care about this book, and also about Romanticism, because the book itself represents Romanticism, which represents who the people of America are.
Hawthorne, Nathaniel. The Scarlet Letter. Clayton, DE: Prestwick House Literary Touchstone Classics, 2005. Print.
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