Isolation From Society Throughout Hawthorne’s Writings

1222 words - 5 pages

Through out the course of American Literature times change, and so does many peoples writing styles and themes. Many had recurring themes that continues through the decades that many other writers are known for. Isolation is a theme that very few authors are known for; being difficult and unusual for the times it was not something you read about often. Isolation meaning a state of separation between oneself and the world. Isolation can be something you choose to do, or are forced into doing by the people around you. Many characters being forced into isolation by the public creating the build for the novel. Several writers break out, and touch many hearts with the characters they create having to live through the isolation, of the times. Although many writers are known for isolation in their works the most well known of these is Nathaniel Hawthorne with the most prevalent works that use isolation being The Minister’s Black Veil, Rappaccini’s Daughter, and The Scarlet Letter.
Isolation with Hawthorne is not always something you choose to be. In The Minister’s Black Veil Hawthorne continues with his continuous use older times, and basises this story in 1836. As we all know this time period was very one with God. The story is set in first person point of view with Reverend Harper narrating the story. Reverend Harper being a well known, and very respected man of the church. Leading his people in the ways of the Lord. As times are rough in the 1800’s Reverend Harper decides to take a stand, and chooses to begin wearing a black veil. This is where the isolation will begin in the novel. Being different in the times was many times frowned upon, and was never truly accepted in the eyes of the congregation. Question after question the congregation truly never understood the real reason all they saw just a black veil over their reverend's face. Not knowing the reason they still continued to listen, but in their mind continued to judge him. As they judge it only was pushing the point of isolation upon their own reverend, a person whom they are supposed to look up to. For what most people do with most things they do not understand they tend to shun it. By shunning their reverend they are causing him into a form of isolation that will kill him. For pushing a man who always been accepted into the noble society the isolation affects him in ways the congregation could of never predicted. Even tho no one dares to ask him to remove the veil it does not change the fact people fear the unknown, and will continue to pull back from him. All of this pulls back to the point of isolation that Hawthorne continues to throw his character into. Reverend Harper fights for his life, but continues to keep his morals high refusing to explain why he continues to wear the veil. Only continuing to keep it on till the last day of his life, and afterlife. Isolation causes Reverend Harper into death keeping the veil on his facing still symbolizing secret sin. Secret sin that everyone...

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