You are on page 1of 108

American Literature

Table of Contents
 Introduction
 Brief Outline of American Literature  Chapter I Colonial Period  Chapter II Revolutionary Period
Benjamin Franklin Philip Freneau

 Chapter III American Romanticism
Washington Irving
James Fenimore Cooper William Cullen Bryant Edgar Allan Poe Nathaniel Hawthorne

Introduction
1. What is literature? Writings that are valued as works of art, esp. fiction, drama and poetry. Forms (genres) of literature? Poetry, novel (fiction), drama, prose, essay, epic, elegy, short story, journalism, sermon, (auto) biography, travel accounts, novelette, etc.

2.

Original sin and total depravity (human beings are basically evil.Puritanism in America 1. thrift.Predestination . sobriety.Limited atonement (or the Salvation of a selected few) 3. piety. and to be ever ready for any misfortune and tragic failure. Doctrines: . simple tastes. tougher.) . 2. They are optimistic. Puritans are more practical. . They follow the ideas of the Swiss reformer John Calvin. Puritan values (creeds): Hard work.

to escape religious persecution * God’s chosen people * To seek a new Garden of Eden * To build “City of God on earth” .to reform the Church of England .Puritanism in America 4. Why did Puritans come to America? .to have an entirely new church .

. i.Puritanism can be compared with Chinese Confucianism. .Puritanism in America 5. the Biblical myth of the Garden of Eden. . Influence .e.American Puritanism was one of the most enduring shaping influences in American thought and American literature.American literature is based on a myth.

Democratic Period (17831802) 4. Romanticism (1820-1861) Washington Irving Edgar Allan Poe Nathaniel Howthorne William Whitman * Transcendentalism * (New England Renaissance) Ralph Waldo Emerson Fillip Thoreau 6.Brief Outline of American literature 1. Realism (1861-1914) Mark Twain Henry James 2. Revolutionary period (1775-1783) Benjamin Franklin Philip Freneau Naturalism: Stephen Crane Theodore Dreiser 3. The 1920s T.S. Colonial period (1607-1775) Anne Bradstreet Edward Taylor 5. Eliot William Faulkner Ernest Hemingway (Lost Generation) Imagism: Ezra Pound .

American Drama Eugene O’Neill . The Post-war Scene Saul Bellow Salinger Poetry: Confessional Poetry Black Mountain Poets San Francisco Renaissance The Beat Generation The New York Poets 8. The 1930s Steinbeck Harlem Renaissance (Black American literature) Hughes Wright Ellison 9.Brief Outline of American literature 7.

Chapter One Colonial Period (1607-1775) .

Michael Wigglesworth 3. Anne Bradstreet 2. Edward Taylor .Three major poets in colonial period: 1.

Anne Bradstreet’s Works “Some verses on the Burning of Our House” “The Spirit and the Flesh” The Tenth Muse Lately Sprung Up in America English colonists living in America 2. .1. * At the age of 18. Anne Bradstreet’s Life * She was born and educated in England. Anne Bradstreet (1612-1672) the first collection the first noted poetess in colonial period published by 1. * She had 8 children. she came to America in 1630 with her father and husband. * She became known as the “Tenth Muse” who appeared in America.

2. Michael Wigglesworth (1631-1705) the most popular poet in American Colonial Period Work: “The Day of Doom” (1662) 3. Edward Taylor (1642?-1729) the finest poet in colonial period Work: Preparatory Meditation .

2. Puritan poets In English style . They were servants of God.Features of Colonial Poets 1. They faithfully imitated and transplanted English literary traditions.

Chapter Two Revolutionary Period (1775-1783) “The Age of Reason” “American Enlightenment” .

These works agitated revolutionary people not only in America but also around the world. people believed in man’s own nature and the power of human reason. . With Franklin as its spokesman. the 18th century America experienced an age of reason.• In the 18th century. • Words had never been so useful and so important in human history. People wrote a lot of political writings. Numerous pamphlets and printings were published.

• Enlightenment thinkers and writers were devoted to the ideals of justice. they were ambitious. scientific inquiry instead of unquestioning religious dogma. and self-reliant. . inquisitive. and equality as the natural rights of man. liberty. practical. and representative government in place of monarchy. politically astute. • The colonists who would form a new nation were firm believers in the power of reason.• The 18th-century American Enlightenment was a movement marked by an emphasis on rationality rather than tradition. optimistic.

Leading writers and their works • Thomas Jefferson(1743-1826): The Declaration of Independence (1776) • Thomas Paine(1737-1809): Common Sense (1776) • Benjamin Franklin: Autobiography • Philip Freneau: “The Wild Honey Suckle” .

1. Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790) .

He had very little education. Works • The Autobiography • Poor Richard’s Almanack 《自传》 《格言历书》 2. Life Benjamin Franklin came from a Calvinist background. a printer. . In 1727 he founded the Junto club. He set himself up as an independent printer and publisher.1. he ran away to Philadelphia to make his own fortune. he was apprenticed to his elder half-brother. He learned in school only for two years. At 16. but he was a voracious reader. At 17. he began to publish essays under the pseudonym “Silence Do good” . At 12. He was born into a poor candle-maker’s family.

the Franklin stove.S. The Treaty of Peace with England. effective street lighting. He founded an academy which led to the University of Pennsylvania.Franklin’s Contributions to Society He helped found the Pennsylvania Hospital. The Constitution .” Franklin’s Contributions to the U. He was the only American to sign the four documents that created the United States: The Declaration of Independence. Franklin’s Contributions to Science He was also remembered for volunteer fire departments. And for his lightning-rod. bifocal glasses and efficient heating devices. The Treaty of Alliance with France. he was called “the new Prometheus who had stolen fire from heaven. And he helped found the American Philosophical Society.

Evaluation  The Autobiography is a record of self-examination and self-improvement.  The Autobiography is in the pattern of Puritan simplicity. the fulfillment of the American dream. in fact. the book celebrates. Franklin’s 13 virtues)  Through telling a success story of self-reliance. directness.3. . and concision.  Benjamin Franklin was a spokesman for the new order of the 18th century enlightenment  The Autobiography is a how-to-do-it book. (for example. a book on the art of self-improvement.

2. Philip Freneau (1752-1832)  “Poet of the American Revolution”  “Father of American Poetry”  “Pioneer of the New Romanticism”  “A gifted and versatile lyric poet” .

1786) • “The British Prison Ship” (1781) • “To the Memory of the Brave Americans” (1781) • “The Wild Honey Suckle” (1786) • “The Indian Burying Ground” (1788) • “The Dying Indian: Tomo Chequi” 《纪念美国勇士》 (1772) 《夜之屋》 《英国囚船》 《奄奄一息的印第安人: 托姆·察吉》 《印第安人墓地》 《野金银花》 .《美洲光辉的兴起》 1. Works • “The Rising Glory of America” • “The House of Night” (1779.

Brackenridge) a poem entitled “The Rising The wild honeysuckle Glory of America”. he supported Jefferson. ( It pronounced the virtues of a new nation progressing towards its freedom. • After being released. • After war. he published “The British Prison Ship” in 1781. Life • He was born in New York. • While still an undergraduate. he published “To the Memory of the Brave Americans”./And science irretrievable must die”) • In 1771 he decided do a postgraduate study in theology. he lived in poverty. • At 16. he wrote in collaboration with one of his friends (H. H. . and contributed greatly to American government. But two years later he gave it up. And at last he died in a blizzard. • Later he attended the War of Independence. • In the same year. America would be a land blessed with “sweet liberty!/Without whose aid the nobles genius fails. • But after 50 years old. he entered the College of New Jersey (now Princeton University). and he was captured by British army in 1780.2.

"To a Caty-Did" (1815). In deism. In his writings. etc. Aspects of Freneau • Poet of American Independence: Freneau provides incentive and inspiration to the revolution by writing such poems as "The Rising Glory of America" and "Pictures of Columbus. • Freneau as Father of American Poetry: His major themes are death. "The Indian Burying Ground" (1787). • Some of his themes and images anticipated the works of such 19th century American Romantic writers as Cooper. "On a Honey Bee" (1809). "On the Universality and Other Attributes of the God of Nature. transition. religion becomes an attitude of intellectual belief." • Journalist: Freneau was editor and contributor of The Freeman's Journal (Philadelphia) from 1781-1784. All of these themes become important in 19th century writing. . "The Dying Indian: Tomo Chequi" (1784). "The Millennium" (1797). Freneau shows interest and sympathy for the humble and the oppressed." and "On the Religion of Nature" (the last three written in 1815). His famous poems are "The Wild Honey-Suckle" (1786). 4. • Freneau's Religion: Freneau is described as a deist ." "On the Uniformity and Perfection of Nature. Poe and Melville. not a matter of emotional of spiritual ecstasy. he advocated the essence of what is known as Jeffersonian democracy .a believer in nature and humanity but not a pantheist. equality for the masses. Emerson. nature.decentralization of government.3. Evaluation • He was the most significant poet of 18th century America. and the human in nature.

. • In the poem the poet expresses his keen awareness of the liveliness and transience of nature celebrating the beauty of the frail forest flower.Poem Appreciation • The Wild Honeysuckle • The following poem was published in his Poems (1786) and was virtually unread in the time when he was living. • The poem is said to anticipate the nineteenth-century romantic use of simple nature imagery. • It is considered one of the author’s finest nature poems. thus showing his deep love for nature. • The poem was written in six-line iambic tetrameter stanzas rhymed on ababcc pattern.

Fair flower, that dost so comely grow, Hid in this silent, dull retreat, Untouch’d thy honey’d blossoms blow, Unseen thy little branches greet: No roving foot shall crush thee here, No busy hand provoke a tear. By Nature’s self in white array’d, She bade thee shun the vulgar eye, And planted here the guardian shade, And sent soft waters murmuring by; Thus quietly thy summer goes, Thy days declining to repose.

Smit with those charms, that must decay, I grieve to see your future doom, They died----nor were those flowers more gay, The flowers that did in Eden bloom; Unpitying frosts, and Autumn’s power Shall leave no vestige of this flower. From morning suns and evening dews At first thy little being came: If nothing once, you nothing lose, For when you die you are the same; The space between, is but an hour, The frail duration of a flower.

The Indian Burying Ground
• The poem was published in the poet’s Miscellaneous Works in 1788. • Like “The Wild Honey Suckle”, it anticipated romantic primitivism and the celebration of the “noble savage”. • The poem portrays sympathetically the spirit of the nomadic Indian hunters, who were traditionally buried in a sitting position and with images of the objects they knew in life. • It is believed to be the earliest to romanticize the Indian as a child of nature. • The poem was written in ten iambic tetrameter quatrains with the rhyme scheme of “abab”.

And shares again the joyous feast. . for a journey dressed. Not so the ancients of these lands— The Indian. Bespeak the nature of the soul. Activity. that knows no rest. when from life released.In spite of all the learned have said. Again is seated with his friends. And venison. Points out the soul’s eternal sleep. and painted bowl. that we give the dead. The posture. I still my old opinion keep. His imaged birds.

No fraud upon the dead commit— Observe the swelling turf.His bow. for action ready bent. And not the old ideas gone. Thou. with a head of stone. Here still a lofty rock remains. And arrows. that shalt come this way. On which the curious eye may trace. (Now wasted. stranger. half. . and say They do not lie. by wearing rains) The fancies of a ruder race. Can only mean that life is spent. but here they sit.

a shade! . Beneath whose far—projecting shade (And which the shepherd still admires) The children of the forest played! There oft a restless Indian queen (Pale Shebah.Here still an aged elm aspires. The hunter and the deer. By midnight moons. with her braided hair) And many a barbarous form is seen To chide the man that lingers there. In habit for the chase arrayed. o’er moistening dews. The hunter still the deer pursues.

And long shall timorous fancy see The painted chief. And Reason’s self shall bow the knee To shadows and delusions here. and pointed spear. .

Chapter Three American Romanticism (1820-1860) .

as contrasted with classicism.General Introduction “ Romanticism The term . The most profound and comprehensive idea of romanticism is the vision of a greater personal freedom for the individual. .Romanticism. which is commonly associated with reason and restriction. is associated with imagination and boundlessness.

struggling to free itself from feudal and monarchical restrictions. .  the Reformation.  the individualism of the Renaissance. which emphasized the deity’s benevolence.  the scientific deism. which was based on the belief in an immediate relationship between man and God.Its origins may be traced to :  the economic rise of the middle class.

. who contended that minds are formed by environmental conditions. and others. institutions also having made him wicked. thus seeming to be indicate that all men are created equal and may be improved by environmental changes. the psychology of Locke.  the optimistic humanitarianism of Shaftsbury. Hartley.  the writings of Rousseau who contended that man is natural good.

Romantic Attitudes  1."  2. . use of the "willing suspension of disbelief. geniality.  3. Stress on emotion rather than reason. Appeals to imagination. optimism. Subjectivity: in form and meaning.

1. . Time Range  From the end of the 18th century through the outbreak of the Civil War.

. Ideals:  Ideals: Democracy and political equality became the ideals of the new nation.2.

3. Social Background  Economic boom: optimism and hope among people Industrialism Immigration Westward expansion .

English and European Romanticists Emerson and Whitman Imitative Independent .4. Features  American Romanticism was both imitative and independent.

.  Independent major family. problems of American life.5. Themes:  Imitative home. etc. children and idealized love. nature. like the westward expansion and democracy and equality. etc.

1. Washington Irving (1783--1859)  “Father of American Imaginative literature”  “Father of the American short story” .

1) Works a) A History of New York from the Beginning of the World to the End of the Dutch Dynasty by Diedrich Knickerbocker 《纽约外史》 .

b) The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon. Gent  “Rip Van Winkle”  “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” 《瑞 普·凡·温克 尔》 《见 闻札 记》 《睡谷的 传说》 .

c) Bracebridge Hall 1822 d) Oliver Goldsmith 1840 e) Life of George Washington 1855-1859 《哥尔德 斯密斯》 《华盛顿传》 《布雷斯 布里奇庄 园》 .

. he studied law. essays and plays. From a very early age.2)Life  Irving was born into a wealthy New York merchant family. Later. he began to read widely and write juvenile poems.

 His . and when it failed. written under the name of Diedrich Knickerbocker.  In 1815.first book A History of New York. had to write to support himself. he went to England to take care of his family business there. was a great success and won him wide popularity.

Knickerbocker Rip Van Winkle . With the publication of The Sketch Book. he won a measure of international recognition.

he was secretary of the U. .In 1826. he was sent to Spain. where he gathered material for his writing.S Legation in London. as an American diplomatic attaché. From 1829 to 1832.

View of Sunnyside . Then when he was fifty. except for a period of four years (1842--1846). when he was Minister to Spain. living a life of leisure and comfort. There he spent the rest of his life. his famous home. he returned to America and bought “Sunnyside”.

.3)Evaluation  Washington Irving was the first American writer of imaginative literature to gain international fame.  The Sketch Book also marked the beginning of American Romanticism.  The short story as a genre in American literature began with Irving’s The Sketch Book.

James Fenimore Cooper (1789-1851)  novelist .2.

.       Leatherstocking Tales The Pioneers 1823 …………………… 4 The Last of the Mohicans 1826 ……..1) Works..2 The Prairie 1827 ………………………5 The Pathfinder 1840 …………………3 The Deerslayer 1841 …………….....1 .

   Precaution 1820 The Spy 1821 The Pilot 1823 .

 He was sent to Yale at 14. but was expelled in his junior year because of improper behavior. Cooper was one of the new American authors who did not have to worry about money.2) Life  Born into a rich land-holding family of New Jersey. .

he inherited his father’s vast fortune and settled down to a life of comfort and even luxury. proved to be an immense success. He went and spent five years at sea. . while still in his early twenties. a novel about the American Revolution. then. The Spy.  His second book.

. wrote more than thirty novels. He was a prolific writer.

 The Last of the Mohicans.1821.  Lionel Lincoln. 1824.  The Red Rover.  The Prairie.1824.  The Red Rover. 1823.  The Wept of Wish-Ton-Wish.1830 .1827.  The Pioneers.1829.  The Water Witch.  The Pilot.1820.  The Spy. 1827. 1828. 1826.  The Red Rover.1827. Fiction  Precaution.

1838. Le Mouchoir.1842. an Autobiographical Romance. The Pathfinder. The Two Admirals.1840. Mercedes of Castile. The Wing-and-Wing.1833.            The Bravo. 1840. The Headsman. 1841. Home as Found.1831.1843.1838. The Deerslayer.1835. Homeward Bound.1832. .1842. The Heidenmauer. The Monikins.

1844.1847.1850.            Ned Myers.1849. The Redskins.1845. The Crater. 1843.1846. The Chain Bearer. Miles Wallingford: A Sequel to Afloat and Ashore. Jack Tier. Wyandotte.1845. Afloat and Ashore.1848. Oak Openings. . The Sea Lions. Satanstoe.1844. 1849. 1843. The Ways of the Hour.

1839.1837.1836.  Sketches of Switzerland.Non-Fiction :  Notions of the Americans: Picked Up by a Travelling Bachelor. .  Gleanings in Europe.1838. 1828.  The American Democrat.  The History of the Navy of the United States of America.

the old Indian chief and his faithful comrade. Lawrence and Lake Ontario country.   The Prairie 1827 90 1804 Set in the new frontier where the Leatherstocking dies. The Deerslayer 1841   23 1740-45 Early adventures with the hostile Hurons on Lake Otsego. as the eastern forest frontier begins to disappear and Chingachgook dies. Title Publication Date Natty Bumppo's Age Set in Year  The Pioneers 1823 70 1793 Natty Bumppo first appears as a seasoned scout in advancing years. NY. .  The Pathfinder 1840 40 1757 Continuing the same border warfare in the St. with the dying Chingachgook.   The Last of the Mohicans  1826 40 1757 An adventure of the French and Indian Wars in the Lake George county.

Contributions of Cooper  The creation of the famous Leatherstocking saga has cemented his position as our first great national novelist and his influence pervades American literature. Among his achievements: . Cooper produced twenty-nine other long works of fiction and fifteen books .enough to fill forty-eight volumes in the new definitive edition of his Works. In his thirtytwo years (1820-1851) of authorship.

5. The first successful American historical romance in       the vein of Sir Walter Scott (The Spy. The first and only five-volume epic romance to carry its mythic hero . 1838). 6. The first attempt at a fully researched historical novel (Lionel Lincoln. The first American international novel of manners (Homeward Bound and Home as Found.Natty Bumppo . The Chainbearer. The first full-scale History of the Navy of the United States of America (1839). The first trilogy in American fiction (Satanstoe. . 1821). 3. 4.Cooper Creates many “first” in the field of American novels  1. The first sea novel (The Pilot. 1845.from youth to old age. 2. 1824). 1846). 1825). 7. and The Redskins. 1845.

 The Pioneers was probably the first true romance of the frontier in American literature.3)Evaluation  Leatherstocking Tales is a series of five novels about the frontier of American settlers. .

where there is freedom not tainted and fettered by any forms of human institutions. To him and to Cooper. the wildness is good. perfect. pure. . living a virtuous and free life in God’s world. Natty Bumppo represents the ideal American.

. honesty and generosity. Natty Bumppo is a veritable embodiment of human virtues like innocence. simplicity. a man born with an immaculate sense of good and evil and right and wrong.

. is not authentic. His preface to the Leatherstocking series indicates that he wrote with increasing consciousness to create a mythic figure. his characterization wooden and lacking in probability. and his language. His plots are sometimes quite incredible. His style is dreadful. his use of dialect. Cooper is a mythic writer. Cooper is good at inventing plots.  Cooper has been known as a powerful yet clumsy writer.

. Anyhow. Cooper did help to introduce the “western tradition” into American literature.

3. William Cullen Bryant (1794-1878)  the first American lyric poet of distinction .

1) Works a) Poems 1821 1842 《诗选》 b) The Fountain 《泉》 .

《白蹄鹿》 c) The White-Footed Deer 1844 d) A Forest Hymn 1860 《似水流年》 e) The Flood of Years 1878 《森林赋 》 .

《致水鸟》 f) “To a Waterfowl” 1815 g) “Thanatopsis” 1817 h) “The Yellow Violet” 1814 《死亡随想》 《黄色堇香花》 .

 He started to write poems when he was 14 years old.  He was born into a doctor‟s family in Massachusetts. and editor.2)Life  Bryant was a poet. .

he turned to journalism. he became an editor for Evening Post and wrote a lot of political criticism. In 1827. But it is his poetry which made him popular among people.  In 1825. . Bryant quitted his study in university and then became a lawyer.

.  His best works are his lyric poems about nature and so his style is quite similar to that of Wordsworth.v  He was influenced by Graveyard School in England and wrote “Thanatopsis”.

Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849) father of modern short story  father of detective story  father of psychoanalytic criticism  .4.

Found in a Bottle” 现的手稿》 C) “The Murders in the Rue Morgue” 《毛格街杀人案 》 《奇异怪 诞故事集 》 .1) Works a) Tales of the Grotesque and the Arabesque 《瓶子里发 b) “MS.

《厄舍古屋的 倒塌》 d) “The Fall of the House of Usher” e) “The Masque of the Red Death” f) “The Cask of Amontillado” 《一桶酒的 故事》 《红色死亡的 化妆舞会》 .

《乌鸦》 g) h) i) j) The Raven Israfel Annabel Lee To Helen 《伊斯拉菲尔》 《致海伦 》 《安娜贝尔• 李》 .

《诗歌原理》 k) The Poetic Principle l) The Philosophy of Composition 《创作 哲学》 .

2) Life • Famous American Poet. . short-story writer and critic.

.3) Evaluation • Poe remained the most controversial and most misunderstood literary figure in the history of American literature.

And Whitman was the only famous literary figure present at the Poe Memorial Ceremony in 1875.• Emerson dismissed him in three words “the jingle man” ,Mark Twain declared his prose to be unreadable. .

and his tales are “complete works of art”. his poetry is exquisitely refined. • Bernard Shaw said: “Poe was „the greatest journalistic critic of his time. .• Ironically. it was in Europe that Poe enjoyed respect and welcome.

” . Charles Baudelaire said that “Edgar Poe.• Poe‟s reputation was first made in France. who isn‟t much in America. must become a great man in France.

in America as well as in the world. and a critic of acumen and insight. . The majority of critics today. a poet of the first rank. unique importance of Poe as a great writer of fiction. His influence in worldwide in modern literature. have recognized the real. Poe‟s particular power has ensured his position among the greatest writers of the world. His works are read the world over.• Today.

Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804-1864) .

Collections of short stories Works 《故事 重述》 a) b) c) Twice-Told Tales 1837 Mosses from an Old Manse 1843 The Scarlet Letter 1850 《古宅青苔》 《红字 》 .

d) The House of the Seven Gables 1851 The Blithedale Romance The Marble Faun 1860 《七个尖角阁的房子》 e) 1852 《福谷传奇》 d) 《大理石雕像》 .

Rappacini’s Daughter” 《教长的 黑面纱》 《好小伙 儿布朗》 h) g) 《拉普齐 尼博士的 女儿》 .g) “Young Goodman Brown” “The Minister’s Black Veil” “Dr.

 Some of his ancestors were men of prominence in the Puritan theocracy of seventeenth-century New England.Life Hawthorne was born in Salem Massachusetts. notorious for his part in the persecution of the Quakers. and another was a judge at the Salem Witchcraft Trial in 1692. One of them was a colonial magistrate.  .

Among his classmates were many of the important literary and political figures of the day: writer Horatio Bridge. allowing him time to bloom as an author. but maternal relatives recognized his literary talent and financed his education at Bowdoin College. and future President Franklin Pierce. Dutch Guinea.  When Nathaniel was four. future Senator Jonathan Ciley. . These prominent friends supplied Hawthorne with government employment in the lean times. his father died on a voyage in Surinam. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

his first pseudonymously published short stories imitated Sir Walter Scott. was an important force in New England intellectual circles. discounting it as the work of inexperienced youth. From 1836 to 1844 the Boston-centered Transcendentalist movement. as did his 1828 selfpublished Fanshawe. . led by Ralph Waldo Emerson.  Like James Fenimore Cooper. Hawthorne later formally withdrew most of this early work. Hawthorne was extremely concerned with conventionality.

Hawthorne's fiancée Sophia Peabody drew him into "the newness. contrasting puritan morality with passion and individualism. . and rejected formalism in favor of individual responsibility. The Scarlet Letter would convey these ideals." and in 1841 Hawthorne invested $1500 in the Brook Farm Utopian Community. His later works show some Transcendentalist influence. As America's first true psychological novel.  The Transcendentalists believed that human existence transcended the sensory realm. including a belief in individual choice and consequence. leaving disillusioned within a year. and an emphasis on symbolism.

 The Scarlet Letter represents the height of Hawthorne's literary genius. . dense with terse descriptions. It remains relevant for its philosophical and psychological depth. and continues to be read as a classic tale on a universal theme.

According to H. Hawthorne rounds off the puritan cycle in American writing . Waggoner. Hawthorne is relevant in theme and attitude. H. and paradox. . ambiguity. Hawthorne's attitudes use irony.belief in the existence of an active evil (the devil) and in a sense of determinism (the concept of predestination).Reasons for Hawthorne's Current Popularity   One of the most modern of writers.

Hawthorne's writings look ahead to Henry James.  In themes and style. and Robert Penn Warren . Hawthorne's use of psychological analysis (pre-Freudian) is of interest today. William Faulkner.

later work at the Custom House.Influences on Hawthorne Salem .early childhood. who presided over the Salem witchcraft trials.one of his forefathers was Judge Hathorne.  .  Belief in determinism.  Belief in the existence of the devil. 1692.  Puritan family background .

 .involves the attempts of an alienated character to get rid of his isolated condition. also guilt vs.  Problem of Guilt -a character's sense of guilt forced by the puritanical heritage or by society.Major Themes in Hawthorne's Fiction Alienation . or a combination of both.a character is in a state of isolation because of self-cause.  Initiation . innocence. or societal cause.

Pride - Hawthorne treats pride as evil. He illustrates the following aspects of pride in various characters: physical pride (Robin), spiritual pride (Goodman Brown, Ethan Brand), and intellectual pride (Rappaccini).  Puritan New England - used as a background and setting in many tales.  Italian background - especially in The Marble Faun.  Allegory - Hawthorne's writing is allegorical, didactic and moralistic.

Other themes include individual vs. society, self-fulfillment vs. accommodation or frustration, hypocrisy vs. integrity, love vs. hate, exploitation vs. hurting, and fate vs. free will.

Hawthorne as a Literary Artist First professional writer - college educated, familiar with the great European writers, and influenced by puritan writers like Cotton Mather.  Hawthorne displayed a love for allegory and symbol. He dealt with tensions involving: light versus dark; warmth versus cold; faith versus doubt; heart versus mind; internal versus external worlds.

thus. His writing is representative of 19th century. its primitiveness. also in his use of the exotic. and as a source of inspiration. and the antiquarian. the gothic. and. in the mainstream due to his use of nature. .

Features of his works      setting themes Idea Feature technique Puritan New England Evil & sin “black vision” toward human beings Ambiguity symbolism .

The Scarlet Letter     Hester Chillingworth Dimmesdale Pearl Sin evil Adultery Ability Angel .