Example research essay topic: An Analysis On Hawthorne – 825 words

Although many readers may say Hawthorne’s writing
is difficult to understand, the descriptions of
the characters and settings are vividly depicted
through the use of allegory, and his many
instances of symbolism throughout his stories.
“Young Goodman Brown” is an excellent example how
allegory is shown through the writing of Nathanial
Hawthorne. The story’s beginning shows Goodman
Brown as he bids farewell to his young wife,
Faith, before running an errand into the forest.
From that beginning of the story, you know his
errand had an immoral purpose, which is shown in
the following quote, “With this excellent resolve
for the future, Goodman Brown felt himself
justified in making more haste on his present evil
purpose.” The allegorical aspect of this story
reveals that Brown represents the average person
and the sins that he commits in every day life.
His faith is built on the people and his
surroundings. Brown is not a bad person, but like
the majority of mankind, he has a curiosity for
evil. He is tempted by the man who guides him
through the dark forest just as our society is
tempted by immoral things such as crime and money.
The dark man states that Goodman Brown is late.
Brown then replies “Faith kept me,” meaning that
his wife Faith physically made him late and also
the faith he has in God restrained him from
venturing into the woods. Notice the character’s
names, Goodman, and Faith. Goodman being just
that, a good man.

Faith, his wife, represents the
Christian faith. Hawthorne illustrates the forest
which Goodman Brown and his mysterious companion
are traveling in as “dreary” and “darkened by
gloomy trees”. These descriptions show an evil
aura to the setting. The fact that the man
traveling with Brown knows the dark forest very
well also gives the man an evil aura. The man, who
shows characteristics of the devil, had a staff
with him that “bore the likeness of a great black
snake”. The staff, which looked like a snake,
could be a reference to the snake in the story of
Adam and Eve, which man first sins.

“Hawthorne
seems to feel a necessity to see everywhere a
reenactment of the Fall from Eden” (Donohue 164)
“Young Goodman Brown” depicts today’s culture
because it represents how everyone is tempted by
an “evil” of some sort at one time or another. Our
culture is also one that yearns for perfection
amongst our evil tendencies. Hawthorne’s “The
Birthmark,” shows a direct connection between the
nineteenth century cultural views and the current
views that are shared in the society in which we
live today. Allegorically, “The Birthmark”
represents our culture and our quest for
perfection. Aylmer, has just married Georgianna.
He thinks she is perfect in every way except for a
small birthmark on her face. The mark is an
impurity, which begins to drive Aylmer crazy.

The
sight of it makes the beauty of Georgianna
diminish, and he cannot notice anything but the
small birthmark. Aylmer represents culture in that
he strives for perfection, even in an imperfect
world. Nature is impure and Georgianna can be seen
as a part nature with her birthmark being an
impurity. Though nature is beautiful with its
flaws, it shouldn’t be altered in order to reach
perfection. As an author, Hawthorne is known to
use a great deal of symbolism to portray his
ideas. The Scarlet Letter shows many uses of
symbolism, almost too many.

“In the Scarlet
Letter, there is a great deal of symbolism, there
is, I think, too much. It is overdone at times.”
(Henry James Jr. 52) Every character symbolizes an
object or an emotion that is brought up in the
novel. Hester Prynne must bear the letter A upon
her breast to show she has broken the law.
Although the word adultery is not even mentioned
in the book, we are aware that she has committed
adultery. The letter A has many meanings, but the
basic representation is sin. The letter is a
constant reminder that Hester committed a crime.
Pearl is the product of Hester and Dimmsdale’s sin
and she ultimately represents the union of their
love.

“and little Pearl, herself a symbol, and the
connecting link between the two.” Every time
Hester looks at Pearl, she is reminded of her
burning sin, which she cannot extinguish. The
forest appears in many scenes, most of which
Hester are in. The forest provides a hiding place
for Hester and Pearl, a place where they don’t
have to deal with the scrutiny of the public. The
forest is the place where Dimmsdale and Hester
confess to each other their love and their desire
to leave Boston together. Therefore, the forest
symbolizes a hiding place. In conclusion, you can
see how Hawthorne’s use of allegory, and symbolism
have intensified these pieces of literature.

By
looking at these literary devices, we are able to
look deeper into the characters and analyze their
true thoughts and feelings. Bibliography:.

Research essay sample on An Analysis On Hawthorne