Nature In Narration: An Ecological Re-Reading Of The Human-Environmental Inter-Relationship In The Scarlet Letter

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Kashif Ahmad , Mohammad Muazzam Sharif , Hoor Shamail Khattak , Shaukat Ali , Sobia Sharif


This article explores the relationship between Hawthorne’s characters and the non human natural environment, from an ecological perspective, in order to explore the author’s employmentand understanding of the natural world, in The Scarlet Letter. Based on Edward O. Wilson’s theory of Biophilia, the study is an attempt to investigate a classical text from an eco-conscious perspective, rather than the ego-conscious perspectives, through which it has previously been analyzed and viewed. By understanding the novelist’s employment of the natural world, this researcher believes, one could assess Hawthorne’s own idea of nature, his understanding of the pioneers’ relationship with the  vast American wilderness, and most importantly, his view of an ideal human-environmental interrelationship. The results of the study indicate that not only do  Hawthorne’s characters perceive and respond differently towards their environment; the response of the external environment is also selective, rather than collective, towards different characters. The biophilic characters, in the novel, on account of their affinity with their environment, enjoy a symbiotic relationship and, therefore, tend to survive and last longer than the bio-phobic characters, which, on account of their bio-phobic  tendencies, manifest signs of death and decay. 

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