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Considering the role of nature in anti-transcendental literature, what is the...

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thepaint3drose | Student, Grade 10 | eNotes Newbie

Posted August 23, 2009 at 4:43 AM via web

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Considering the role of nature in anti-transcendental literature, what is the significance of the meteor event?

Concerning Chapter 12 of The Scarlet Letter. I can't seem to figure it out.

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sesmith5 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Adjunct Educator

Posted September 7, 2009 at 10:53 AM (Answer #1)

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The meteor event is an example of cosmic irony--God or the gods interfere in the events of man in order to manipulate the outcome or send a message of some sort.  The meteor shower appears to be in the shape of an A thus reminding Dimmesdale of his sin of Adultery.  As transcendentalists denied the existence of God and acknowledged man's instinctive nature as good--this scene would be both an affirmation of the existence of a god and also the acknowledgement of the existence of sinful or immoral behavior--both of which Transcendentalists would deny.

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