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Nathaniel Hawthorne A Balanced Approach to Transcendentalism

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Nathaniel Hawthorne A Balanced Approach to Transcendentalism Introduction to The Scarlet Letter AP English Language and Composition – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Nathaniel Hawthorne A Balanced Approach to Transcendentalism


1
Nathaniel HawthorneA Balanced Approach to
Transcendentalism
  • Introduction to The Scarlet Letter
  • AP English Language and Composition

2
The Life of Hawthorne
  • Hawthorne was born on July 4th, 1804 in Salem,
    Mass.
  • Father Nathaniel Hathorne, Sr. was a sea
    captain.
  • Mother Elizabeth Clarke Manning was a descendent
    of blacksmiths

3
The Life of Hawthorne
  • Hawthorne attended Bowdoin College
  • After his graduation he turned to writing.
  • He wrote several successful short stories which
    were collected in Twice-Told Tales (1837).

4
The Life of Hawthorne
  • Hawthorne returned to Salem where he met Sophia
    Peabody.
  • After a five year engagement, they were married
    in 1842.

5
The Life of Hawthorne
  • Unable to support his new family by writing, in
    1846 Hawthorne accepted a political appointment
    to the Salem Custom House as Surveyor of the Port
    .

6
The Life of Hawthorne
  • This bureaucratic position stunted Hawthornes
    creativity.
  • A change in administration, however, led to his
    termination in 1849.
  • Hawthornes mother died at the same time.

7
The Life of Hawthorne
  • Suffering these losses, Hawthorne left Salem,
    which he called "that abominable city," saying
    that he now had no reason to remain.
  • He would never again return.

8
The Life of Hawthorne
  • Some critics have suggested that the loss of both
    his position and mother provided the creative
    impetus to write The Scarlet Letter (1850).

9
The Life of Hawthorne
  • Hawthornes connection to Salem haunted him.
  • His great-grandfather John Hathorne was the
    chief-interrogator of the Salem Witches.

10
The Life of Hawthorne
  • The story that Hawthorne added the "w" to his
    name to distance himself from his Hathorne
    ancestors has no clear evidence to support it.

11
The Life of Hawthorne
  • In 1830, however, he published "The Hollow of
    the Three Hills," under the name of Nathaniel
    Hathorne.
  • After this date his name appears as Nathaniel
    Hawthorne.

12
The Life of Hawthorne
  • Other Published works
  • Twice-Told Tales, The House of the Seven Gables,
    The Mable Faun, Our Old Home, and childrens
    books A Wonder Book, and Tanglewood Tales.

13
The Life of Hawthorne
  • Nathaniel Hawthorne died on May 18, 1864 in
    Plymouth, New Hampshire.
  • He is credited with writing the first truly
    American novel The Scarlet Letter.

14
Influences upon Hawthornes Work
  • Marriage
  • Sophia desired to paint, write, and pursue a
    profession
  • She was limited by social constraints and
    motherhood

15
Influences upon Hawthornes Work
  • Female characters are often portrayed as
    sympathetic
  • Idea of Female Purity
  • Influence of Puritan heritage

16
Influences upon Hawthornes Work
  • Puritan New England
  • Many works are set in New England
  • Puritan belief in an active evil (Devil)
  • Salem communities are often viewed as
    hypocritical Salem Witch Trials

17
Literary Themes
  • Alienation a character is isolated due to
    self-cause or societal-cause
  • Guilt vs. Innocence a characters sense of
    guilt caused by Puritanical values/heritage

18
Literary Themes
  • Individual vs. Society
  • Self-reliance vs. Accommodation
  • Hypocrisy vs. Integrity
  • Fate vs. Free Will
  • Unconventional Gender Roles
  • Impossibility of Human Perfection

19
Imagery
  • Hawthorne makes use of the following patterns of
    images
  • Light vs. Dark
  • Natural vs. Unnatural
  • Sunshine vs. Firelight or Moonlight and
    Reflections

20
Romantic/Gothic Motifs
  • Fantasies
  • Dreams
  • Reveries
  • Open-ended endings and unanswered questions the
    open-ended possibilities of the idealistic
    Romantic

21
Hawthornes Views of Transcendentalism
  • Hawthorne did not conform to the Romantic focus
    on the emotions and abandonment of reason.
  • Hawthorne strove to create a balance between
    head and heart.

22
Hawthornes Views of Transcendentalism
  • Hawthorne believed that human fulfillment was
    achieved through a balance between mind, reason,
    heart, spirit, will, and imagination.

23
Hawthornes Views of Transcendentalism
  • Hawthornes balanced approach placed him in
    opposition to other Transcendentalists Emerson,
    Thoreau, and Longfellow.

24
Clash with Transcendentalism
  • Hawthorne saw potential problems with Emersons
    idea of self-reliance.
  • Self-reliance can lead to excessive pride.
  • Hawthorne believed in determinism, or natural
    order.

25
Clash with Transcendentalism
  • Transcendentalists were overwhelmingly
    abolitionists Hawthorne wasnt entirely sure of
    his position.
  • He questioned the motives and principles of the
    Northern authorities.

26
Clash with Transcendentalism
  • This point of contention was publicized in a
    series of articles by Hawthorne published in the
    journal The Atlantic, which was founded by
    Emerson and Longfellow.

27
Clash with Transcendentalism
  • The editorial staff of The Atlantic deleted large
    portions of Hawthornes articles which contained
    ideas that disagreed with the abolitionist
    beliefs of the founders of the journal.

28
Clash with Transcendentalism
  • Hawthorne also added sketches throughout his
    edited published articles, written from the
    perspective of a dimwitted editor to show the
    hypocritical nature of his transcendentalist
    editors.

29
Clash with Transcendentalism
  • Hawthornes Response
  • "What a terrible thing it is to try to let off a
    little bit of truth into this miserable humbug of
    a world!"

30
European Romance vs. The American Novel
  • Hawthorne struggled against the European model of
    the Romance.
  • Through The Scarlet Letter, Hawthorne developed
    the first truly American Novel.

31
The European Romance
  • The European Romance romanticized a rich past and
    historic culture.
  • It involved archetypal adventures.
  • It was escapist a means of escaping the here and
    now.

32
The European Romance
  • Classical Romance Characteristics
  • Lovers who remain true to each other, while the
    woman's chastity is preserved
  • An intricate plot, including stories within
    stories
  • Exciting and unexpected chance events

33
The European Romance
  • Classical Romance Characteristics
  • Travel to faraway settings
  • Hidden and mistaken identity
  • Written in an elaborate and elegant style

34
European Romance vs. The American Novel
  • America, however, had no rich culture or ancient
    history to draw from.
  • It was primarily concerned with the here and now,
    and how to perfect it.

35
European Romance vs. The American Novel
  • While maintaining the elements of the European
    Romance, Hawthorne shifted the American Novels
    focus to the present.

36
The American Novel
  • Where the Romance incorporated the Gothic
    elements of crime, religion, ghosts, etc. as the
    focus of the story, Hawthorne used these elements
    as a means to support his story.
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