easy and simple

Hawthorne and the Short Story


Among the Dark Romantics of the American Renaissance, Hawthorne’s ability to unveil the truth of the human heart in both his short stories and longer works points use to an undercurrent in the literary culture of his time, one than helps us define “American” today through psychoanalysis.

Participation: You should work solo.

Submission: Submit to the discussion board


1. Give your post an interesting title to clue your classmates about the contents of your post (5% of grade).

2. Choose one of Hawthorne’s short stories:

  • “Young Goodman Brown”
  • “The Birth-Mark”
  • “The Minister’s Black Veil”

3. Provide an image from Google that encapsulates and represents a truth/theme of the short story (10% of grade).

  • Make sure that your image is appropriate for all audiences.
  • Make sure to include the image address below the image so that your classmates can also view where you found the image.

4. In at least 250-300 words, answer the following talking points (50% of grade) in one paragraph:

  • Create a topic sentence which explains why you’ve chosen the Google image to represent the truth/theme of the short story.
  • Provide a quote from the short story (with an in-text citation) that exemplifies the truth/theme, then provide plenty of commentary as to how this theme prevails in your reading.
  • Consider what you already know about the Dark Romantics. Explain wow the short story that you’ve chosen help us to characterize Hawthorne as a Dark Romantic?
  • Connect the theme to the running theme of the course: What is an American? What does this short story add to your running definition of an American?

5. Provide a end-text citation (works cited entry) for the short story (5% of grade).

6. Ask a reflective question to your peers, one they can answer in their replies (10% of grade).

  • (The reflective questions that students create in this assignment may appear on the exam. This means that this discussion board could be used as a study guide.)

7. Reply to two of your peers (50 words each, 10% of grade each).

  • Each reply should be to a classmate that wrote about a short story that you did not. For example, if you write about “Young Goodman Brown,” then you will reply to one classmate that wrote about “The Minister’s Black Veil” and to another classmate that wrote about “The Birth-Mark.”
  • Answer their reflective question.
  • Additionally, what did you think of their post? Be sure to do more than say “good job.”

This discussion board should take approximately 30-60 minutes and will assist students in meeting the following objectives:

1. Students will exercise and expound upon pre-existing knowledge about the Dark Romantics and the American Renaissance in their study of Hawthorne and Melville’s short stories.

2. Students will analyze and unveil truths about representative literary works of Hawthorne and Melville.

3. Students will evaluate the importance of these authors’ works in our current definition of what it means to be an American.

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