Blithedale Romance by Nathaniel Hawthorne Essay

Pages: 4 (1449 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 1  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Literature

¶ … Blithedale Romance by Nathaniel Hawthorne. Specifically, it will examine Miles Coverdale as the narrator, paying special attention to the tension between what really happened and what Miles Coverdale says happened. Hawthorne calls his book a "romance," but it is more than a romance between two people. It is a romanticized view of communal life and social experimentation, too. Hawthorne wrote this book after his own stay at Brook Farm, an unsuccessful communal living arrangement in Roxbury, Massachusetts. Hawthorne wanted to know if this type of living arrangement was possible, and if people could make it work. It did not work, and the question is, why? The answer is because of people like Hollingsworth and Zenobia, who exaggerated their own views, other's views, and brought so much of their past to the farm that they really did not support experimentation and personal growth. They were selfish and only interested in themselves, rather than the good of the whole group.Buy full Download Microsoft Word File paper
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Essay on Blithedale Romance by Nathaniel Hawthorne. Specifically, it Assignment

The first-person narrator of "The Blithedale Romance" is Miles Coverdale, a poet and romantic who goes to live in Blithedale, a communal farm where the group all live and work together for the good of everyone. These societal experiments were popular at the time Hawthorne wrote the novel in 1852. In fact, Hawthorne himself lived on one before he wrote the book, and many critics believe this book is a result of his experiences on the farm, which ultimately failed. Hawthorne's experience on the farm must have colored his view of the world, and of communal society, because this book takes a dim view of the communal arrangement and the people who populate the farm. Coverdale says early in the book, "Our bond, it seems to me, was not affirmative, but negative. We had individually found one thing or another to quarrel with in our past life, and were pretty well agreed as to the inexpediency of lumbering along with the old system any further" (Hawthorne 76). Thus, Hawthorne shows a group who is not attempting to create a new, fuller life, but is instead running away from an old unsatisfying life. If a person is running away from something, they will probably not succeed it leaving it behind, and as the book progresses, it seems this is the case with the residents of Blithedale. They are trying to begin a new life with too much baggage from their old lives, and this baggage eventually drags the entire group down. The group seems on the outside as if it is interested in the betterment of the group, but once Coverdale gets inside, he discovers that just the opposite is really the case. Hawthorne may have discovered the same thing, and it made him sad enough to write this book about his own experiences.

Coverdale often exaggerates the negative qualities of the people he lives with, and he seems to have a knack for picking out these qualities and dwelling on them. Hawthorne uses Coverdale as a disguise to show his own dissatisfaction with the negativity of the people who lived at Brook Farm. Many people believe that Coverdale is really Hawthorne himself, and Coverdale's weaknesses are how Hawthorne saw his own weaknesses. One of those weaknesses must surely be that he exaggerated both good and bad at Blithedale, and had a negative opinion of the endeavor from the start. Hawthorne seems to be poking fun at himself by making Coverdale a shiftless poet who really has little interest in anything, and survives primarily alone. He can criticize those people at Blithedale, but in the end, he lives alone, and has little contact with anyone, negative or not. It seems like a lonely existence, and it seems to have begun, at least in part at Blithedale. Coverdale may never have recovered from his experience at Blithedale, and it seems Hawthorne may not have recovered from his experience at Brook Farm, which is why he chose to write this book, and warn others about his experiences and the pitfalls of communal living. The pitfalls of course are the personalities and itineraries of whoever else is sharing the space. One person cannot foresee the difficulties of another, and that can get in the way of living in a group environment.

In addition, Coverdale meddles in the affairs of others, which is not the type of action that… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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How to Cite "Blithedale Romance by Nathaniel Hawthorne" Essay in a Bibliography:

APA Style

Blithedale Romance by Nathaniel Hawthorne.  (2004, December 13).  Retrieved May 29, 2020, from

MLA Format

"Blithedale Romance by Nathaniel Hawthorne."  13 December 2004.  Web.  29 May 2020. <>.

Chicago Style

"Blithedale Romance by Nathaniel Hawthorne."  December 13, 2004.  Accessed May 29, 2020.