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Volume 2 Issue 7

December 2015

Irony and Satire in Nathaniel Hawthorne
Ms. S. Indira, 
Department of English, 
Kunthavai Naachiyaar Government Arts College for Women, 
Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu, India
Hawthorne was a child of American Renaissance. He has been called as a writer of romances than of novels. Hawthorne’s views have been expressed to stress the powerful philosophical thoughts of Transcendentalism and reform. He has used imagery and language in his writings which confirm his kinship with the transcendentalism. He was a product of New England society and imbibed its idealism, but he was attached to the philanthropists and the reformers whom he knew so closely at Brook Farm. There is a powerful satire in The Blithedale Romance. Hawthorne with his interrogating mind and ardent sense of rationalism has perceived the incongruity, and the absurdity in characters, and situations which he has satirized. Most of his short stories and novels have an element of satire. Hawthorne as an observer of life could penetrate and probe the ambiguity and inconsistency. He has been treated as an ironist. Hawthorne’s short stories, “Endicott and the Red cross” and “old Esther Dudley” contain irony. Hawthorne had a powerful critical temper and questioning mind and with his searching study and deep analysis, he could reveal the divergence between theory and practice of existing utopia. He vehemently satirized the sham, hypocrisy, and duplicity in religion and politics and the life of women. His profound insight enabled him to perceive the irony and incongruity in situations and events. He has used irony even in language. The ironist is a philosopher and the detached observer who is acquainted with both the sides of a problem. Hawthorne as an ironist has succeeded in lending poignancy to situations.
Hawthorne; Idealism; Skepticism; Transcendentalism.
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Progressive Publishers is a novice publishing enterprise located at Tranquebar, Tamilnadu, India. It primarily publishes university text-books for efficient English language learning and an online scholarly journal entitled Literary Quest. Its primary goal is to promote progressive, secular, socialist and egalitarian thoughts among academicians, researchers and students of English literature. Liberty, Equality, Fraternity and Social Justice are the ideals upon which the whole enterprise rests.