The Blithedale Romance

by Nathaniel Hawthorne

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What is the summary of Chapter 15 in The Blithedale Romance?

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On a summer’s day, Coverdale and Hollingsworth were repairing a stone fence and enjoying some moments of conversation. Coverdale begins rhapsodizing about the future of Blithedale. He sees a time when the future residents will glorify the "founders," with memorials and tales of wonder.

Hollingsworth dismisses such fancies and reveals that he is not satisfied with the direction that Blithedale is taking. He would have the foundation of the philosophy be of a stricter form, a "rigid and unconquerable idea," as Coverdale calls it, in which the people would be rigidly controlled to rid them of evil.

Coverdale is horrified at the idea, especially when he discovers that Hollingsworth has plans to buy the land on which Blithedale is built and turn the community to one of his own liking. Coverdale strongly urges Hollingsworth to at least discuss it with the community as a whole and give them the opportunity to decide instead of doing it so secretively. Hollingsworth, however, does not trust the judgment of the residents and so will proceed single-handedly, if need be. He pressures Coverdale to join him, saying that on this basis alone can their friendship continue. After some internal struggle about what future course he himself could take to dissuade Hollingsworth from this plan, he absolutely refuses, even at the cost of friendship. Hollingsworth calmly goes back to building the stone wall, as an invisible wall arises between the two men.

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