Taylor Stoehr (essay date 1978)
SOURCE: “Art vs. Utopia: The Case of Nathaniel Hawthorne and Brook Farm,” in Antioch Review, Vol. 36, No. 1, Winter, 1978, pp. 89-102.
[In the following essay, Stoehr examines the impact of Nathaniel Hawthorne's life at the utopian colony, Brook Farm, on his novel The Blithedale Romance, and explores the tension between art and society in the novel.]
The United States has been a country of extraordinary faith and extraordinary cynicism. We are idealists who pride ourselves on our pragmatism. Our institutions fail miserably to do what we ask them to, and we shrug our shoulders. Young people are expected to go through a period of admirable moral fervor—and...
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