What Would Hawthorne Say? Theme Essay (1000+ words): This essay relates literary themes to current issues. Great literature still works to make a statement long after the author is dead. Nathaniel Hawthorne may be writing about more than his ancestors (the Puritans) or his contemporaries (expansionist 19th century Americans). He may be writing about universal themes that affect us!
Expand your journal prompt and apply Hawthornes response to issue (theme) in his world to issues in your contemporary world. Answer the question, What would Hawthorne say? about Syrian refugees or a climate change. Remember that you have multiple themes to choose from. Check the list the class generated. Use the newspaper or online news article you brought to class. Cite the primary text, as well as the popular source. Remember to give detailed analysis of both the short story and the contemporary issue. Dr. Who uses a tardis.
Examples of essay topics developed from themes:
1)Theme: Hawthorne suggests that despair (absence of hope) can poison peoples lives.
Paper Topic: Lack of hope is part of the foundation for current problems like drug use and/or gangs.
2)Theme: Hawthorne presents the forest/wilderness/foreign country as a place where evil waits for good people.
Paper Topic: Because people are afraid of foreign places and the foreign people who live there, society creates stereotypes that can damage our ability to appreciate otherness.
Guidelines and Hints:
The article that you find to use for this paper may come from any news source but be ready to identify writer/text/audience (the rhetorical triangle) for the popular text, as well as for Hawthornes short story. Cite biography if you use any sources external to the short story.
Briefly summarize both the news article and the short story, but do not retell the story. Write for an audience who is familiar with both Hawthorne and Young Goodman Brown.
The paper must consist of at least 1000 words in the body and it must include a Works Cited page listing the story you have chosen to discuss, as well as the popular article.
Use appropriate language to identify the different elements of the story.
Use MLA format for both direct quotations and paraphrased citations.
Create a title that identifies theme or issue and the real-world occurrence you wish to discuss.
Develop and use attributive tags that identify and move between the author of the short story and other voices.