The Meaning of Historicism
Nathaniel Hawthorne’s “The Scarlet Letter” is an amazing piece of literature that allows us to study how historicism may be used to grasp the importance of moral teachings that can be taken from a specific work of any particular literary age. Alongside historicism, this outstanding piece of literature provides a valuable platform for the investigation of symbolic addresses used in it, particularly in relation to the historical context of this opus. The combination of symbolism and historicism can be used to unveil the most enticing concepts and handle the most complex challenges in human life, and this principle is extensively developed in “The Scarlet Letter.”
This love work addresses a number of significant issues that occur within the community to which it refers. When discussing historicism as just a successful critical method for studying works of literature of this type, it should be noted that it corresponds to the major ideas of this novel in an incredible way, assisting in understanding a series of important details that the author used to expose the moral dilemma of his book’s main heroine.
Read more about:Narrative Technique of “The Scarlet Letter” by Nathaniel Hawthorne
In general, such important themes as legalism, guilt, moral depravity, and sin discussed in the novel can be discussed through the lens of historicism, and even the title of the novel featuring the word “scarlet” or extremely red highlights the concepts of sinful practises described in the novel, as well as the need to repent, which were so timely for the society during in the historic period when the author wrote his novel.
Addressing a series of essential lessons that may be learned from “The Scarlet Letter” can be extremely valuable in terms of its connection to the historical context of this significant literary work. Historicism can be viewed as an effective method for determining the worth of this literature and delving deeply into the author’s views. Critical Approaches states.
Concept of Historicism
Historicism can approach a text from a variety of perspectives, but all of them are concerned with the time period in which the book is produced and/or read. Because history is constantly written and rewritten, no “history” can be truly objective or comprehensive; however, studying the historical context of work, especially in contrast to that in which it is read, can highlight our biases and hopefully enable us to better understand the text (and the culture, context, and ourselves).
Thus, it appears that the novel provides a series of deep ideas that may be easily evaluated utilising historicism, allowing us to discover all of the treasures of thinking and morals that are combined into this one-of-a-kind work of writing. When evaluating the text from the standpoint of historicism, the first thing to mention is the time period in which the work was produced. The novel was written in 1850, during a period when moral values in western society underwent significant changes, trying to establish a ground for discussions in this area, and Hawthorne can be credited for his findings in this area, which were praised not only by his contemporaries, but also by subsequent generations of critics and readers.
Discussing this novel from a historical standpoint allows one to see the complexity of the moral dilemmas addressed in it, particularly in relation to the time when it was written and the prevalent way of thinking at the time.
“The Scarlet Letter” assists in understanding vital moral truths such as the need to forgive individuals who repent and give them a second opportunity. In this vein, the main heroine’s experience and the reactions to her acts from the novel’s other characters appear to be quite emblematic. Scarlet hue is to be considered when discussing the symbolism of this story in relation to historicism.
Scarlet is a common connection to sin and shame that has been used since the time of the Hebrew Scriptures. There, this colour was used to represent the wicked nature of the entire human race, and given that this literary piece is about living in the Puritan society, which was known for its piety and dedication to the Holy Scriptures, it is no surprise that the writer resorts to the usage of this symbol.
Furthermore, the scarlet “A” emblem, which means “adulterer,” was linked to the picture of the Bible’s adulterer “Babylon the Great,” who wore scarlet attire and was a source of all sorts of wicked adulterous behaviors.
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