Hawthorne became obsessed with allegory, as it appealed to his analytical side. Allegory naturally questions absolute reality. A distinction is apparent between ideas and thoughts. Hawthorne failed to handle allegory as the masters did; his failure came from the sense that the morals were not the forefront of the story. "The Birthmark" contains a wonderful moral, yet it is more obscurely brought out than it is fantastically symbolized. "Instead of realizing vividly and presenting concretely the elements of his allegory, he contented himself with their plausibility as symbols" (Brownell 73). The symbolic and allegorical patterns of Hawthorne’s work reach two quite different conclusions. The symbolism is inconclusive and has the luxuriance of meaning, while the allegory imposes strict morals and simplified characters. Hawthorne always stated his purpose was to open an intercourse with the world, and out of this purpose rose, not allegory, but symbolism.


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