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Michał Choiński

on 25 April 2018

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Transcript of L5 UJ

American Literature
dr Michał Choiński
2013/2014 spring semester

Last class revision...
E. A. Poe's
philosophy of composition
Nathaniel Hawthorne's style:
Dark Romanticism
(sin, redemption, evil)

Edgar Allan Poe
The Scarlet Letter
H. wants to explore and invesigate the reality (his own ambivalent
Puritan past
Thus, one can see a number of tensions in the novel:
the demands of the
(the village) and an
// communal obligations and self-relience
symbolic territories
of the village and the forest.


Common responsibility Self-reliance
Moral restrictions Moral freedom
Relience on others Sexual freedom
Common agreement Individuality
Social Conventions
Shamefulness Shamelessness
Security Dangers
The known Mystery

Critical Study Questions:
What is the letter?
What does it stand for (literally and symbolically)?
What is the letter for Hester?
How would you comment on the relationships between characters?
Are there any other important symbols in the novel?

Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804-1864)
Next Class:
Edgar Allan Poe:
- "The Raven"
- "The Fall of the House of Usher"
- "Anabel Lee"
Wild Honey Suckle
From morning suns and evening dews
At first thy little being came;
If nothing once, you nothing lose,
For when you die you are the same;
The space between is but an hour,
The frail duration of flower.

Plot: unnamed narrator arrives to
Roderick Usher
’s house, an old friend of his, to witness a horror,
atmosphere: death, burial, storm and sense of unexplained anxiety;

of the house and the bridge

FAIR flower, that dost so comely grow,
Hid in this silent, dull retreat,
Untouched thy honied blossoms blow,
Unseen thy little branches greet:
No roving foot shall crush thee here,
No busy hand provoke a tear

American writer, novelist, critic;
The forerunner of romanticism;
The founder of American fantasy, detective and horror fiction;

Historical romance
with psychological themes bordering on


Hester Prynne,
Arthur Dimmesdale,
Roger Chillingsworth,
Pearl Prynne

The Fall of the House of Usher
Family of long
Puritan legacy
John Hawthorne was a judge at Salem witch trials;
Grew up without his father – he accepted the sense of solitude;
Won literary fame by
short stories
Befriended famous American Transcendentalists

Full transcript