Dominic M. Palmeroni , The College at Brockport Follow. Since the earliest recorded settlements, there has been the desire to build a functioning world where everyone is happy and there is eternal peace and harmony. By the nineteenth century, many people had tried to create the perfect society and all failed in their attempts. As with many modes of life utopia and its' darker sibling dystopia were woven into the fabric of literature.
The Blithedale Romance, by nineteenth century American novelist Nathaniel Hawthorne, is a very thought-provoking novel. The story is narrated by one of the main characters, a poet named Miles Coverdale, who visits Blithedale Farm, near Boston, where he meets the exotic, wealthy, and queenly Zenobia; the philanthropic, but self-engrossed, inhuman, and fierce, social reformer Hollingsworth; and the gentle, delicate girl Priscilla. As events transpire, Coverdale broods on Fourier, Carlyle, and Emerson, while both of the women fall in love with the fiery reformer Hollingsworth. Many people shared the sentiments and philosophies represented and exemplified by the various characters Hawthorne incorporates into the novel, and longed to abandon the dull, unfulfilling life they saw around them for a utopia on earth. Zenobia of course represents and personifies the prevailing character of the wealthy set in America at this time, Hollingsworth represents the idealistic segment of society, many of whom were generous and philanthropic, but also self-centered and impractical. And Coverdale provides insights into the general characteristics common to many artists, their weaknesses and strengths, and the influence for good or ill that they can have on others.
It is the third major "romance", as he called the form. Its setting is a utopian farming commune based on Brook Farm , of which Hawthorne was a founding member and where he lived in The novel dramatizes the conflict between the commune's ideals and the members' private desires and romantic rivalries.
One of the recurring themes in "The Blithedale Romance" is that of secrets. When Mr. Moodie first approaches Coverdale for a favor, he hesitates in asking, but his mention of Zenobia indicates a connection upon which he does not elaborate.