Hawthorne

Hawthorne

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"A 'place in the mind', wherever or whatever it may be, can only ever be fictitious. In the act of its creation, the 'place' is formed by a process that necessitates an imaginative leap; it does not actually exist, and therefore its constituent elements have to be imagined, made up by the creator. For a place - in this case, America - to exist in the realms of the mind, it must be a place that exists outside of a corporeal, material reality. Fiction becomes the perfect arena to present this place, because its very nature allows imagined, idealised and remembered places to exist, a venue where the intangibility of these places can achieve a tangible realisation. Between the pages of a book, the place in the mind can become real, if only for a while; the America that exists between the pages of its nation's fiction is often an America of the mind, but an America that for a fleeting moment achieves a kind of actuality."

Nathaniel Hawthorne's "Blithedale Romance", is the first person narration of a man bent upon joining a world that has no need of him by imposing an arbitrary order upon his reality. Blithedale, is a novel of polarities. Just as Coverdale imposes order on reality, Zenobia, the feminine voice of creation, understands reality as a fragmented thing that cannot have order forced upon it. We see in the novel oppositions in communities, in social order, and in place. But, Hawthorne also gives us a richly crafted story about what it is that defines community and the common spirit or communal soul. The romance, of this book, is not just that of man and woman, but of the romantic ideals of society and of order. Coverdale, who is the namesake of the primary translator of the King James bible, is a man bent upon making the world be what he wants it to be. Hawthorne's, The Blithedale Romance, provides the reader with a set of beliefs, ideals, and aspirations, that become ideologies that actually mask reality thus pitting the utopian hopes of Blithedale against actual human behaviors - which makes for a difficult conflict at best

Hawthorne was born in Salem, Massachusetts, into an old Puritan family. Hawthorne's own 17th-century ancestors, as he frankly admitted, had been among the real-life Puritan zealots. "Young Goodman Brown" is a story of initiation. Evil is the nature of mankind.

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"Rappaccini's Daughter" is filled with symbols and symbolic allusions of both Hawthorne's time and his ancestral past. It serves to point up the significant contrast between Dante's Beatrice and Rappaccini's daughter Beatrice. Hawthorne repeatedly and with gentle irony characterizes Robin as "a shrewd youth." The religious polemic is the standard form of Hawthorne's writing. "My Kinsman, Major Molineux" blends yet another theme of initiation into the sobering responsibilities of adulthood with the historical movement of the American colonists in defiance of royal authority.

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