Hawthorne & Beauty
In this essay I give up any faith in spell and grammar checkers. So many errors made it into the submission. I hope I caught them this time around. Rather than one book or collection of short stories we read a collection of stories by both Hawthorne and Poe, I decided to just write about the readings by Hawthorne, though I ultimately connected the stories to previously assigned readings in this class.
Works cited (recorded rather informally I must admit):
Each of Hawthorne's tales assigned this week is connected by beauty. Be it a gorgeous woman with countenance flawed by a birthmark, a lady both lovely and poisonous, the beauty of youth past, or simply the creation of living beauty itself. So often in literature beauty is utilized as a visual representation of inner nature. In Dracula, Mina and Lucy are considered lovely and good until the vampiric transition overwhelms Lucy's beauty. In Frankenstein the monster is beheld as beautiful in his innocent state of inanimation, it is not until the creature is brought to life that it truly becomes a monster with monstrous visage, desires and intent. Fairy tales are famous for the good and beautiful princess and the ugly witch, or other such pairings of good and evil. Traditionally we see beauty valued.
Hawthorne tosses this concept aside. We do still encounter beautiful characters, but their beauty does not reflect their whole being. In The Birthmark the 'malformed' laboratory assistant is the only one who remains able to truly see Georgiana's beauty, while her own handsome husband twists her mind into utter self-loathing. There is nothing beautiful about Aylmer's monomania and loathing of his wife's birthmark. Rappaccini's Daughter is perhaps the most traditional beauty, fair in body and in heart, if only her essence was not imbued with toxin. Beauty in Dr.Heidegger's Experiment only led to increasing violence, cruelty, and greed as their youth and beauty was restored. A of character who would strangle his companions over a woman is reminiscent of a petty and cruel fairy tale villain. Ultimately true beauty is only achieved briefly, and that in the final tale, The Artist of the Beautiful .
Hawthorne presents us with beauty as its own living force, living on the belief of the beholder. He shows us beauty as more than a face or figure, but as part of creation glimpsed and shared by those who treasure it most.
Works cited (recorded rather informally I must admit):
FEEDBACKHawthorne, Nathaniel. Mosses from an Old Manse and other stories. Retrieved from http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/512
Hawthorne, Nathaniel. Twice Told Tales. Retrieved from http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/13707
Carroll, Lewis. (1865) Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. Retrieved from http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/11
Grimm, J., Grimm, W., Crane, L., & Crane, W. (1882). Household stories. London: Macmillan & Co.
Shelley, Mary. Frankenstein, or, The Modern Prometheus. Retrieved from http://librivox.org/frankenstein-dramatic-reading-by-mary-shelley/
Stoker, Bram. Dracula. Retrieved from http://librivox.org/dracula-by-bram-stoker/
peer 1 → The form of the essay is good. Traditionally, I would prefer more paragraphs to ensure clear transition, but you've managed to be quite clear despite using only two paragraphs. Now that we've discussed the beauty its time to move on to discuss the ugly. :P Of course, there are a few unfortunate typos which you may have been able to avoid had you done a quick revision... but those aren't really a big deal. Your thesis should be stronger, "Each of Hawthorne's tales assigned this week is connected by beauty." is a valid thesis. It is simple and clear and generally OK. But you want more than OK don't you. (I know you do, I can see it in your eyes). Anyways, the problem with it, is that it seems somewhat childish, somewhat "school assignment" level. We know you've been assigned these readings, give us a strong active thesis even something like this, (disclaimer: this is just a suggestion, there are probably a million better ways to do this) "A gorgeous woman with countenance flawed by a birthmark, a lady both lovely and poisonous, the beauty of youth past, or simply the creation of living beauty itself, beauty connects all of Hawthornes tales." Also you should italize titles.peer 2 → Good sentence structure, spelling and grammar. I felt that the paragraphs could have been broken into more than two, but they work fine as they are. A couple of mistakes are seen which were "Beauty inDr. Heidegger's" and "A of character". But this did not detract from the grade.peer 3 → Althought the internal structure seems clear, sometimes is difficult to understand what is introduction, what is development and what is conclusion.peer 4 → There are some errors and words missing... which makes it difficult to decipher what you were saying in a couple of sentences.
OTHER COMMENTSpeer 1 → Beauty is an obvious theme, but your analysis does it justice. I especially like that you were able to incorporate the earlier readings into your essay as well without wasting word count. Nicely done!peer 2 → The exploration of beauty is a good one and how it is the driving force for all the tales. However some of the examples of connecting beauty to good fail: the converted vampires are more beautiful than in their human state (as was the case with Lucy). Frankenstein was beautiful on the inside. Beatrice was beautiful but inherently poisonous. The artificial butterfly was considered beautiful by all even if on the superficial level. The examples in the essay are very accurate. However we don't get a sense of what the author was trying to say or use beauty to convey.peer 3 → Your argument could be valid but I would need some more examples to give a conclusion about that. If I were you I would improve that.peer 4 → Your thesis and arguments are strong... I enjoyed how you contrasted with prior readings. It significantly strengthens your arguments.
peer 2 → One addition could have been Hawthorne's advice on how to deal with obsession with the beautiful. For Giovanni he said that prior to meeting Beatrice, had he not cut himself away from her, he would not have become as obsessed and have eventually ended up seeing her as common place. And in the final story, had Owen pursued Annie, married her and had her presence become commonplace, Owen could have finished his project more quickly.