Certain connections can be made between novels regarding characters, plots, and motifs. In Thomas Foster’s book he illustrates these similarities in chapter five entitled “Now, where have I seen her before?” This chapter describes how often times authors are inspired by other works and use existing story lines to create their books. Such a connection is found between The Scarlet Letter and The Age of Innocence. Both novels include female main characters that defy the norms of their society. Hester is trying to escape her previous life and her husband, but is shunned by the society for doing so. Throughout the book, Hawthorne uses Hester to reveal Puritan norms in New England such as double standards and principles. Hawthorne writes, “Throughout them all, giving up her individuality, she would become the general symbol at which the preacher and moralist might point, and in which they might vivify and embody the images of woman’s frailty and sinful passion,” (494). This passage describes how the community looked down upon Hester because she did not conform to their customs. Being an outcast, Hester is able to keep her “individuality” even when everyone is telling her to become someone else. Similarly in The Age of Innocence, Ellen has the same pursuit because she is also trying to escape an unhappy marriage. Once again, the entire society is condemning her for trying to get a divorce because it is not customary. Ellen is rejected for this, and eventually her family convinces her to stay married. This is seen in a conversation between Newland and Ellen; Newland begins, “Sincerely, then-what should you gain that would compensate for the possibility-the certainty-of a lot of beastly talk?” Ellen responds, “But my freedom-is that nothing?” In this dialogue, Wharton is stating that in order to fit in to New York society, one must give up their individuality and imitate the strict guidelines that govern their lifestyle. Ellen is trying to create a new life, but in order to do so she has to break free from these customs. Her family is not supportive of her desire because they fear the effect on their own status. Both authors use these characters to exhume society’s flaws. Ellen and Hester are used to illuminate the rigid expectations and customs with the hope that readers will be made aware of these defects and will be inspired to make a change.
Calendar of Posts in the Crowsnest
Crowsnest's Categories#Placemaking 21st Century Learning 21st Century Skills Alternative Assessment for Twain 2016 American Literary Studies American poets American Studies AP Mindset Art Becoming an American Literary Critic Biblical Allusions Biblical Allusions 2017 Bloom's Taxonomy Book Reviews Colonial Literature Connecticut River Valley History Digital Shakespeare Disposition of a Critical Thinker English I English III English III Honors English IV Feminism Flipped Classroom Grammar, Usage Homework Honors English III HOT Log 2/15/14 HOT Log Farmington 2014 HOT Log Florence 1/20/14 HOT Logs Dec. 2013 Humor Infographic Local History Modernism Old Center Cemetery Pleasure Reading Poetry Project Based Learning Reflective Assessment Religion Satire Shakespeare Shakespeare's Comedies Class Shakespeare in Love Slavery SOLO Summer Reading Tennis Tennis Instruction Tennis Season 2013 Tennis Season 2014 Tennis Season 2015 Twain 2017 Twain Infographic Twitter UGRR Annotated Bibliography Uncategorized Underground Railroad Writing
- Adventures of Huckleberry Finn America in Primetime American Experience american poets Anne Hutchinson Anne Sexton AP English AP Mindset archeology Biblical Allusion Biblical Allusions Billy Collins book review Civil Rights Colonial Literature Complicity David Ruggles Edutopia.org Elizabeth Gilbert English III English III Honors Extra Credit Farmington CT Feminist Grant Growth Mindset Harlem Renaissance Hawthorne Henry David Thoreau Holocaust Homework Honors English III HOT Log 2/15/14 Hot log Florence 1/20/14 Huckleberry Finn ideas imagery Jim Jing John Donne juxtaposition King Phillip's War Langston Hughes LangWitches.org Literature mark twain Melville Michael Wood Mississippi River modernism Painting PBS poem Poetry Poll Daddy Puritan realism Religion satire Scarlet Letter Shakespeare Shakespeare Comedies Shakespeare in Love She's The Man slavery Spring Poetry T.S. Eliot The Awakening The Great Gatsby The Scarlet Letter These Paper Bullets The Sun Also Rises underground railroad Whitman Will Smith