Amanda's Reviews > The Blithedale Romance

The Blithedale Romance by Nathaniel Hawthorne
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Feb 27, 2009

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Read in January, 2009

** spoiler alert ** I think that I probably prefer Hawthorne's short stories (Young Goodman Brown especially). He uses many of the same symbols and imagery techniques in this novel that do, indeed, add interest. This novel is such a commentary on human nature - especially on hypocrisy.
It seems to me that the Utopian goal and communal society originally sought after by the characters might have succeeded if there were actual fidelity to the founding principle. In other words, this experimental society sought to create an equal brotherhood/sisterhood founded on human love and void of the follies innately within human nature. As far as the four main characters (Coverdale, Hollingsworth, Zenobia, and Priscilla) were concerned, the failure to put aside such human characteristics as pride, selfishness, and greed caused the failure of the experiment. It seemed as though Hawthorne was pointing out that because love was not actually given freely, the negative aspects of human nature were amplified. These individuals may have been able to physically escape the turmoil and filth of the polluted world brought on by the Industrial Revolution, but they were unable to escape their various personal inner pollutions.
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