Caroline Ramirez Navarro
Professor Yuemin He
November 10, 2014
Different Views and Topics over Time in American Literature
From the beginnings into the 19th century, the topics and views have changed in American literature. William Bradford who wrote in the 1600’s mentioned his religion and his belief in god in most of his journal Of Plymouth Plantation; Benjamin Franklin speaks of his achievements and failures in his Autobiography of his Life during the 1700’s; and into the romanticism with Nathaniel Hawthrone that writes about Love and religion in his short stories: “The Birth-Mark”, “Rappaccini’s Daughter”, and the Scarlet Letter. Not only do the topics of these author ...view middle of the document...
Franklin writes in order to give fatherly advice, such as staying away from alcohol. He describes the dangers in drinking when he speaks about his friend Collin. Franklin mentions how Collin was bright but due to Collin’s drinking he didn’t get far; “At New York I found my Friend Collins, who had arriv’d there some Time before me……. He left me then, promising to remit me the first Money he should receive in order to discharge the Debt. But I never heard him after.”(501-502). He then talks about when he would work in the Printing-House and how his companions would drink beer in order to become “strong” but he says that he did not drink yet he was the strongest one there (510). “I thought it a detestable Custom” (510). Unlike Bradford, Franklin uses “I” a lot, he talks about himself and not as his community. Franklin wrote for his son but knew many others would read it, so he avoided some subjects and wrote very little on some. He barely mentions how he and his wife got back together just that “Our mutual Affection was revived” (525). The whole story of how he and his wife got together and overcame the difficulties (which he is very vague), is done within one paragraph, “A friendly Correspondence as Neighbors and old Acquaintances, had continued between me and Mrs. Read’s Family who all had Regard for me from the time of my first Lodging in their House…….. None of the Inconveniencies happened that we had apprehended, she prov’d a good and faithful Helpmate, assisted me much by attending the Shop, we throve together, and have ever mutually endeavor’d to make each other happy.” (525).
Nathaniel Hawthorne, on the other hand, writes fiction. His audience is for anyone, he did not specify his audience like Franklin and Bradford. His main focus was to get his ideas, and thoughts out. In his work he would discusses his views on religion and science and ambition. He uses his fiction works to convey his beliefs and concerns. In the short story “The Birth-Mark”, he discusses how the husband, Aylmer, tries to remove the birthmark of his wife’s face. Aylmer would do anything in order to reach “perfection” that he led his wife, Georgiana, to believe that her birth mark was a curse and in the end she was willing to die in order for her face to be clear of the mark (427). Aylmer’s desire to make his wife, Georgiana, “perfect” led to Georgiana’s death in the end. This story could have multiple interpretations such that too much ambition to get perfection could have a big downfall or that a person is God’s work and that their appearance shouldn’t be tampered with. Hawthorne writes fiction stories in order to help express his views and let the reader have multiple interpretations of the meaning behind the story.
Bradford, Franklin, and Nathaniel Hawthorne all mention religion in their writings. Bradford uses God for many of his explanations, when something happened he would say that it was God’s will. On the trip over to the new world Bradford mentions how it...