Freshman Seminar Essay
Throughout his four stories, Hawthorne supports his idea that the artist or artist-figure is separate from society. Hawthorne depicts artists as gifted people who are alienated from society because of their obsession with perfection as it is represented by a beautiful object. Though all try to achieve perfection by bringing beauty into reality through some form of creation, all experience alienation from society. The alienation comes from various sources--some of the men alienate themselves and others are shunned by society. Regardless of the source of this alienation, all the men still dedicate themselves to the pursuit of beauty, which is a dream none of them can achieve.
Zrinsky, Christine, "Beauty and the Artist (1983)" (1983). The Valpo Core Reader. 559.