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How does Hawthorne adapt or challenge the Eden story? Essay Sample

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How does Hawthorne adapt or challenge the Eden story? Essay Sample

Between Hawthorne’s previously and his later productions, there is no answers of literary continuity, by growth and grasp. Rappaccini’s Daugter, Peter Goldthwaitte’s Treasure, Young Goodman and the Artists of the Beautiful on the one side are the promise that is met in the Scarlet letter and the House of the Seven Gables. The short stories have a lyric standard, but the longer romances shows more than a mere amalgamation of lyrics. This paper focuses on how Hawthorne challenges the Eden story.

Drawing from the scarlet letter, it is clear that it has the appeal of unconsciousness whereby the author did not acknowledge while he worked that it is the most prolix among the tales, likewise it was alive with the magical vitality of genius. Nevertheless, it pool the material and the strength of an oak with the subtle arrangement of a rose that is not of malice aforethought, but inevitable. The scarlet letter goes to the deep root of the matter and derives some unconventional remarks and conceals the spirit from the literary eye (Hawthorne, 1996).

The punishment and the symbols of the scarlet letter gave the touch whereby Hawthorne disconnects ideas on the subject and united it in organic nature. Besides, it provided spiritual inspiration through suggestion of new aspects and characteristics of the truth: a form of charm-hazel to detect spiritual gold. Such figurative was emblemed and established in a matter of fact manner that steadily invested with supernatural elements. These were some of Hawthorne favorite devices throughout the stories. Through imagining and taking the book with the omission of the scarlet letter, it is not practical to the plot because the letter promotes the theme from the substance to the spiritual degree. It is the base and the nature of the entire argument and transmutes the prose into poetry.

The letter acts a an approach for the delivery of thoughts as well as to enable the gloomy image sequence of the moral scenery. Moreover, it casts the lurid glow along Hawthorne path and isolates her from human beings as well as the mystic talisman to disclose to her the hidden guilt in peoples heart. As a matter of fact, it is the Black Man’s mark and the first plaything of the infant Pearl (Hawthorne, 1996).

The Scarlet Letter had many themes, the biggest of which were the fact of sin vs. Knowledge and the very nature of evil. Hester and Dimmesdale’s adultery greatly mirrored the story of Adam and Eve. Although they did not commit adultery, Adam and Eve became entrapped in the desire for sin, and that ultimately lead to their banishment and suffering, just like the fall of Hester and Dimmesdale (Twain, 2009). Hester is punished by the society through the scarlet letter so as to stand as a warning to others tempted like her. Just like a legal punishment, Hester find no invitation to repentance in the law that crushes her and the only option that it offer her is a self execution, its objective is to protect the society than the recreation of the victim. Likewise, sins make Dimmesdale answerable for the calamity that make him to opt for weak fresh weak vengeance upon him. This shows the only punishment that man is justified in inflicting upon his counterparts is the punishment that is incidental to his being restrained from further indulgence in crime. Both Hester and Dimmesdale try to rationalize their sin every day, linking it to their daily lives, and gained sympathy, knowledge of others and learned to grow personally, traits that apparently do not fit with being “pure”. Thus, the scarlet letter is a self-revelation to anyone who takes it up.

Throughout the story, the scarlet letter dominates the entire figure and everything is entangled with its ministers, where God’s eye beheld it! The angels were for ever pointing at it!” The devil was aware of everything and fretted everything with the touch of his finger!” At last, this crazed Dimmesdale’s imagination, whereby its specter appears even in the midnight sky as if heaven itself had caught the contagion of his zealously hidden transgression. Thus, the letter rooted in every chapter and every sentence of the book that carry its name and it would likely have incommoded the mean novelist. The wand is proper, so far from helping the uninitiated, trips him and scorches his fingers. Between genius and other elements of the mind is a variation not of degree, but of nature (Hawthorne, 1996).

Any story can be examined under the two frameworks; as something colored and altered by the personal features of the author and as the logical of growth of a conclusion from a structure. Considering the novel of the Dickens or Thackeray nature, it would begin with Hester’s girlhood and bulk of the narrative would treat of the book of genesis and achievement of the crime. Nevertheless, none are hints wanting that this part of the theme hand been canvassed in the mind of Hawthorne. For example, the antique gentility of her home English is bald brow and reverend beared of her father and her mother’s expression of vigilant love whereby she grew glowing with youthful marriage. As a result, love takes place, but they did not see the bale fire of the scarlet letter blazing at the end of their path. Moreover, in the wild, the new world kindled Hawthorne spirits whereby most of the people suspected her impulsive tendencies and passionate about nature. Likewise, having been left by her husband, the first thing she came into contact was Prynne. The author does not explain more on that, which shows that he had written out what was already imagined before his imagination. Moreover, the few cases of pregnancy hints would have need expanded as circumstantial and laborious as most of the French of English novelist would like.

Hawthorne has received many critics who contemplate that he restrained from considering the issues of morality or prosperity. This look as a little strained, but as a novelist, he treated that as a side of the subject that seemed to him the more authoritative and interesting. However, a writer who works with deep understanding and truthful functions can never be guilty of avoiding decency. Indecency is a creation of indecent, but not created by God or nature, thus, who ever take that indecency is essential in giving a story of an illicit passion has studied nature and good art to poor purpose. It is clear that the condition chosen by Hawthorne has a more framework and depth than the one that he passed. It is with the subjective implication of a sinner’s act that human understanding starts.

Considering Hawthorne stories, the use of incidents in fiction is twofold, meaning that to establish characters so as to keep the reader’s attention is superfluous. In this case, the personages of this story are not technically established, but gradually made transparent as they stand till are identified by the reader. The true creation of the book is Pearl whereby every touch of her picture is considered as a touch of genius. Moreover, her very conception is an inspiration. Through this, Pearl affords a unique chance for throwing light upon the inner nature of the sin itself. In availing himself of it, Hawthorne touches the earth, which maybe he would not have ventured on had he not protected himself against impiety and exaggeration through making his analysis accord with the meaning of a child’s personality. As we know, Pearl is the scarlet letter made alive, and the potential of being loved and endowed with manifold authority of retribution for transgression (Sanders, 2009). Pearl is worthy to have need left on Eden and be the plaything of the angels because she is anterior to moral law.

However, her nature is an extraordinary success, enabling us to realize the intrinsic ugliness of sin. She is like a pretty but poisonous flower, jubilating in its poison, and acquiring it as the basic element of life. Pearl symbolizes Hester’s wrong doing. She is a constant and permanent punishment for Hester’s sin. Hawthorne allowed this to occur in the story to keep Pearl strictly to her place and role in the story and show the partial indifference between the author and the characters.

This story is often deciphered as giving the rationale to unique sin. Thus debasement and disgrace are the fundamental topics. Adam and Eve have trespassed and have moved far from God. Eve with an outflow of despondency and distress with an open mouth looks to the sky with depression, attempting to cover herself while Adam conceals his face in his grasp and thus uncovered himself much more. The portrayal of Adam and Eve is just about appalling. The slenderness of the portrait itself bends it and appears to extend the characters. The shear distress communicated in Eve’s face as she finds is unsettling and depicts an effective feeling of disgrace and agony. Adam and Eve are stamped with two passings. The principal a profound demise, they have trespassed and have divided themselves from God. What’s more the second demise is a mortal life (Sanders, 2009).

However, God may see it necessary to incarnate individuals in evil, whereby their soul shall not suffer corruption, possibly because such evil may draw off harmless that would have damaged both the soul and the body. Besides, it is clear that a man has suffered injury has nothing to say as to his personal character ad only the novelist should represent him as amiable rather than the reverse, which might otherwise dislike him and led to regard to leniently the crime for which he is the victim. However, Dimmesdale and Prynne are not well presented as to invite such misplaced tenderness on the part of the reader.


Hawthorne did not support Christian ethics still his writings showed adaptation of the Garden of east and several other biblical stories of the relationship between Adam and Eve etc. The characters in “The Birthmark” and “The Minister’s Black Veil” reveal Hawthorne’s attempt to convey the nature of humanity. Although he has achieved his goal, Aylmer’s desire for human perfection results in the death of the love of his life. Reverend Hooper tries to prove the point that everyone sins which in doing so makes him lonely. Through both of these character examples, Hawthorne relates how flaws can shape the human persona and impact the lives of others (Twain, 2009).


  • Hawthorne, N. (1996). The scarlet letter. Champaign, Ill.: Project Gutenberg.
  • Hawthorne, N. (1996). The house of the seven gables. Charlottesville, Va.: University of Virginia Library.
  • Sanders, T. (2009). Approaching Eden (1st Ed.). Lanham, Md.: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
    Twain, M. (2009). Diaries of Adam and Eve (1st Ed.). Richmond: OneWorld Classics.

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