Hawthorne And Poe

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 11th grade October 2001

download word file, 8 pages 0.0

The dichotomy of "head vs. heart" is said to have been developed by 19th century American writers. Writers like Nathaniel Hawthorne, James Fenimore Cooper, and Edgar Allan Poe have displayed this dichotomy time and again in various works. Through different literary styles each author has expressed the sentiment that heart is the root of all human and natural goodness, and that the mind or the head is the inevitable destroyer of human kind's fundamental goodness and God's natural creations.

In Cooper's works this dichotomy is most clearly expressed. Looking to his novel "The Pioneers" one can see that his characters represent paralleling sides of the "head vs. heart" dichotomy. On one side there is Natty Bumpo, the "noble savage", who lives off the land and remains secluded from the ever-expanding New World of America. On the other we have the settlers. The settlers see the New World, not as a land to provide for all essential human needs, but as a land to be improved upon and built upon.

Natty is the heart, in this story. He is the new Adam and America is his Eden. Natty sees the land he lives in as all providing and protective. In the natural world he lives in he has found shelter and food. The world around him provides him with all the essential elements of human survival.

Comparable to the American Indian, Natty uses every part of what he takes from nature. The settlers, on the other hand, have no respect for the natural world around them. They are naive to the fact that the world they now live in is God's creation, and that the land around them will provide all they need.

At one point in the story one of the settlers talks to his daughter about the perilous...



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