Analysis Of Three Of Hawthorne's Works: Solitude And Isolation

Solitude and isolation are immense, powerful, and overcoming feelings.
They possess the ability to destroy a person's life by overwhelming it with
gloom and darkness. Isolate is defined: to place or keep by itself, separate
from others (Webster 381). Solitude is "the state of being alone" (Webster 655).
Nathaniel Hawthorne uses these themes of solitude and isolation for the
characters in several of his works. "Hawthorne is interested only in those
beings, of exceptional temperament or destiny, who are alone in the world..."
(Discovering Authors). Hester Prynne, Arthur Dimmesdale, Goodman Brown, and
Beatrice Rappaccini are all persons "whom some crime or misunderstood virtue, ...

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isolation are depicted in
Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter, "Young Goodman Brown, "and
"Rappaccini's Daughter."
At the age of four, Nathaniel Hawthorne's father died, devastating his
mother and destroying his family forever. He later recalls how his mother and
sisters would "take their meals in their rooms, and my mother has eaten alone
ever since my father's death" (Martin 10). Naturally, Hawthorne's mother's
isolated life contributed to his personal solitude and to his stories of
solitude. Although he never reached the point she did, his life too became one
of separation and loneliness. When he was nine, a severe foot injury reduced
his physical activity for almost two years and excluded him from many activities
with other children. Soon after the recovery, his family moved to an isolated
area in Raymond, Maine. It is here that he picked up his first "accursed habits
of solitude" (Martin 3). On his relationship with his mother, Hawthorne said:

I loved my ...

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At this point, his life of loneliness left him; he
felt invigorated and alive for the first time. In one of his many letters to
her, he wrote "And sometimes (for I had no wife then to keep my heart warm) it
seemed as if I were already in the grave, with only life enough to be chilled
and benumbed (Martin 15). Hawthorne realized how isolated his life had become
from the world. Sophia helped to pull him out of this solitary period.
The adulteress act of Hester Prynne and Arthur Dimmesdale, in The
Scarlet Letter, forces the two to live in isolation for the rest of their lives.
"Hester and Dimmesdale sin and are isolated by that sin" (Ringe 90). Hester
Prynne, "alone and ...

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Analysis Of Three Of Hawthorne's Works: Solitude And Isolation. (2004, July 21). Retrieved March 26, 2019, from
"Analysis Of Three Of Hawthorne's Works: Solitude And Isolation.", 21 Jul. 2004. Web. 26 Mar. 2019. <>
"Analysis Of Three Of Hawthorne's Works: Solitude And Isolation." July 21, 2004. Accessed March 26, 2019.
"Analysis Of Three Of Hawthorne's Works: Solitude And Isolation." July 21, 2004. Accessed March 26, 2019.
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Added: 7/21/2004 08:46:18 PM
Category: English
Type: Free Paper
Words: 1995
Pages: 8

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