Representative Works from Transcendentalism

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The Blithedale Romance

Hawthorne's novel The Blithedale Romance, published in 1852, came on the heels of the transcendentalist movement. A key American author, Hawthorne was on the periphery of Transcendentalism, but his work was informed by transcendentalist ideals, and he is often grouped with transcendentalist writers. The Blithedale Romance is key to the transcendentalist movement in that it depicts—loosely perhaps—the story of Brook Farm, an experimental socialist community populated by various transcendentalist thinkers and writers. Hawthorne lived only briefly at Brook Farm, but he came away disillusioned. The Blithedale Romance fictionalizes his experiences there, embodied in characters such as intellectual feminist Xenobia (thought to represent Fuller), philanthropist Hollingsworth, and Miles Coverdale (the narrator). Coverdale explains:

It was our purpose . . . to give up whatever we had
heretofore attained, for the sake of showing mankind
the example of a life governed by other than the false
and cruel principles...


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This section contains 1,525 words
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Buy the Transcendentalism Study Guide
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Literary Movements for Students
Transcendentalism from Literary Movements for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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