Wednesday, October 29, 2008

A Little To Strict?

Hawthorne uses a simple thing such as the black veil and reveals a pretty reliable message with a lot of symbolism. The Puritans were very strict in the way they did everything back during colonization. The way they dressed, spoke, acted etc. was all kept under very strict discipline. I think that this is the only situation that Hawthorne could write this story under because of the unique social behavior of the Puritans. The fact that such a simple thing as wearing a black veil could cause so much gossip and reaction in general is phenomenal. In today's society, it would be an item of conversation for a little while but then eventually it would be forgotten and go unnoticed. This is because we don't act the same way the Puritans do. Hawthorne reveals the society of Puritans through this because he is saying that they are so worried about keeping this strict discipline that they are all hiding things. Everybody sins, and if you live in a society that frowns harshly upon sinning; then of course your going to hide your sins. The black veil represented a wall of some sort that hid Mr. Hooper away from society. The kids screamed and ran away, the men avoided him, and his lover abandoned him. This was all because of the energy or "cloud" that it brought where ever Mr. Hooper went. At the end when Mr. Hooper is about to die, he says "I look around me, and, lo! on every visage a Black Veil!" The people surrounding him on his death bed are all dying for Mr. Hooper to lift the veil and reveal what he's been hiding. When this is suddenly stopped and Mr. Hooper refuses to do so he expresses his anger that such diminishing treatment could come out of wearing such a simple piece of cloth. He then says that everyone around him wears a veil because they all hide something just like him. Hawthorne is expressing that the Puritans are amazing in the fact that they are so disciplined, but they are all forced to hide things but are shocked when one person actually does it. Mr. Hooper was the actual representation of everybody else and the fact that he was treated poorly was ridiculous. Everybody in that society was wearing the same veil, it just could not be seen. The Puritans were very unique, and Hawthorne expresses that but they were so caught up in their strict way of life that all of them had to be hiding something and this in itself was breaking their own discipline.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Misunderstanding In Order to Produce a Thought That Can In Turn be Misunderstood.

"To be great is to be misunderstood." ("Self Reliance" by Ralph Waldo Emmerson.)

The average person at school does their homework and study's the night before the test in order to squeeze by and come out with some kind of high C or B, occasionally an A. This is accomplished through countless hours of daydreaming and just getting by until the bell rings. Using this method, the notes are then read over and partially memorized in order to remember them just long enough to get through the test. This attitude of today, which I am not ashamed to be guilty of, is very harmful to our society. The people that we read about and are tested on are the exact opposite of us. These people came up with these ideas while doing the same things that we SHOULD be doing. If we retained the same attitude, we would be using their ideas so that we could publish our own. Instead we read the material, have it clarified in class, and then memorize it for a short period of time. If we were really learning, our essays and short answers would require some type of clarification for the teacher not just puking out what the writer has already said. When we first attempt the reading we do not understand exactly what the person is trying to say and we might not ever know what the writer is truly saying... so why are we wasting time on memorizing it? Not only us as students but even Mr. Connell (no offense) could be absolutely, ridiculously, incorrect. The only way greatness can be achieved is if you produce a thought that no one has yet thunk (how awesome is that). This is greatness because if some one has not thought of it yet, then they could misunderstand it. But if everyone tries and think about it then we have a million different misunderstandings of my thought. Each of these misunderstandings could lead to cool new thoughts, and its like a chain reaction but in a very good way.