HAWTHORNE THE MAYPOLE OF MERRY MOUNT PDF

T IME : Summer, There is food and drink aplenty; jollity reigns. Caught in the spirit of the moment, the revelers do not sense an alien presence in the forest nearby. Then a band of Pilgrim foot soldiers bursts onto the scene. The dancing stops. The maypole comes down.

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Many went on voyages to conquer empires, or participate in trade. Their livelihoods were disturbed by the growth of Puritanism, and so they came across the sea to settle at Merry Mount. The settlers of Merry Mount particularly venerated the Maypole, which they decorated with flowers in the summer and leaves in the autumn.

Not far away, however, lived a settlement of Puritans, who were quick to strike down savages and were solemn in their processions. If a man in their group danced, he would be punished on the whipping post. One midsummer eve, the inhabitants of Merry Mount hold a festival to celebrate the joining of two youths, the Lord and Lady of the May. She tells her new husband that she believes that their jovial friends are only visions, and that their happiness is not real.

Edgar, the May Lord, understands her. Edith contemplates death even in this most joyous occasion. At that moment, the Puritans attack the gathering. The Puritan leader, Endicott, cuts down the Maypole. He begins to sentence the captive Merry Mount settlers to whippings and other punishments. He orders the dancing bear shot because he senses witchcraft.

He decides that the two have hope for reform, and throws a wreath over their heads. At the end of the story, Hawthorne notes that the account is based in some historical truth. Merry Mount did exist at one point in history, and was led by a man named Thomas Morton who was persecuted by the Puritans.

The story, therefore, exemplifies the tension between the Puritans, who stand for establishment, solemnity, and order, and the Merrymakers, who tend toward free thinking.

The specific story of the couple, however, may be more symbolic than historical. The relationship between the Edith and Edgar demonstrates the power of true love in the face of two extremes - the pleasure-seeking Merrymakers and the grim Puritans. While Hawthorne refrains from siding with either the Puritans or the Merrymakers, the tone of the story does indicate that the Merrymakers are, in a way, devoid of true emotion.

Even if they understand that their mirth is not real happiness, they still choose it over Thought and Wisdom. They do not understand what Edgar and Edith come to realize — that real happiness relies on contrast between the trials and sorrow in life and the compassion that people may feel for one another.

The chilling reminder of death that causes Edith pause in her marital joy - which foreshadows the ensuing raid by the Puritans - enhances her bond with Edgar. They share a feeling of melancholy though it is forbidden by their pagan brethren.

But this feeling, like the adversity that arises from Endicott's arrival, deepens their love rather than tear it apart. On the other hand, the Puritans seem to be harsh and extreme in their dealings with a hedonistic but physically harmless group of individuals.

Their ruthless cutting down of the maypole, the shooting of the dancing bear and the trimming of Edgar's hair are broad examples of the rigidness Hawthorne proscribes to their religion. However, Hawthorne paints their leader, Endicott, with a dash of human kindness. Softened by the love of the couple, Endicott spares them and welcomes them into his fold. The Puritans can be seen as severe, but can also be moved by compassion. An alternate reading, however, could be that Endicott is not softened at all — but rather only accepts the couple after sensing in them a willingness and potential to convert.

Therefore, his response to their love is neither compassion nor acceptance, but rather a practical action that serves to demonstrate his rigid desire to purify young minds and eradicate the unclean. Sights from a Steeple. What was your initial reaction to this story? My initial reaction to the story in its entirety was to be slightly shocked.

I was surprised by the story and found it rather unbelievable. How does this short story relate to Dark Romanticism? The elements relating to dark romanticism in Young Goodman Brown are the atmosphere dark, gloomy forest , and Goodman's fall in the face of temptation loss of faith. Young Goodman Brown and Other Hawthorne Short Stories study guide contains a biography of Nathaniel Hawthorne, literature essays, a complete e-text, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full summary and analysis of Hawthorne's short stories.

Hawthorne's Short Stories essays are academic essays for citation. These papers were written primarily by students and provide critical analysis of Hawthorne's Short Stories. Remember me. Forgot your password? Buy Study Guide. A watchman watches from a steeple what's going on in the world. This would be Victorian era. The overall mood in the story is dark and gloomy. Please list your questions separately.

Study Guide for Young Goodman Brown and Other Hawthorne Short Stories Young Goodman Brown and Other Hawthorne Short Stories study guide contains a biography of Nathaniel Hawthorne, literature essays, a complete e-text, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full summary and analysis of Hawthorne's short stories.

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The Maypole of Merry Mount

Many went on voyages to conquer empires, or participate in trade. Their livelihoods were disturbed by the growth of Puritanism, and so they came across the sea to settle at Merry Mount. The settlers of Merry Mount particularly venerated the Maypole, which they decorated with flowers in the summer and leaves in the autumn. Not far away, however, lived a settlement of Puritans, who were quick to strike down savages and were solemn in their processions. If a man in their group danced, he would be punished on the whipping post. One midsummer eve, the inhabitants of Merry Mount hold a festival to celebrate the joining of two youths, the Lord and Lady of the May.

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The May-Pole of Merry Mount

It was later included in Twice-Told Tales , a collection of Hawthorne's short stories, in The people of Merry Mount, whom Hawthorne calls the "crew of Comus ", celebrate the marriage of a youth and a maiden Edgar and Edith. They dance around a may-pole and are described as resembling forest creatures. Their festivities are interrupted by the arrival of John Endicott and his Puritan followers. Endicott cuts down the may-pole and orders that the people of Merry Mount be whipped. Stricken by the newlyweds, he spares them but orders they put on more conservative clothing.

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