Imagery is used in stories to refer to the ways writers compose mental images in writing. Imagery meets all of the readers senses such as hearing, touch, taste, smell, and even movement. As the audience, most of our response to a literary work depends on the way in which we interpret and identify with the works imagery. Imagery engages the readers imagination, thereby aiding in identification with the experience through description or metaphorically through comparisons. Nathaniel Hawthorne uses nature imagery within his literary works to tell his story.
Hawthorne gives his readers mental pictures of nature throughout his works. In the story, The May Pole of Merry Mount, Hawthorne gives a mental picture of the may pole and relates it to a figment of nature … from its top streamed a silken banner, colored like a rainbow. Down nearly to the ground… (Hawthorne). The way in which Hawthorne correlates the ribbons of the may-pole to a rainbow gives his audience a realistic image of nature to help visualize the scene.
In the short story titled The Birthmark, Hawthorne defines the beauty of nature as being absolutely perfect … u came so nearly perfect from the hand of Nature, that this slightest possible defect-which we hesitate to term a defect or a beauty, shocks me as being the visible mark of earthly imperfection ( Hawthorne). Throughout Hawthornes stories, the evidence of nature imagery takes effect to touch all the senses. Hawthorne was a writer in the Romantic Era, and was then consequently influenced by nature. The imagery that he uses to view nature and to compare nature to different aspects of his stories helps the audience to obtain a mental image. Throughout his stories, nature imagery is always intertwined to help view a certain aspect.