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EL266 American Lit

"Skillful men, of the medical and chirurgical proffession, were of rare occurence in the colony. They seldom, it would appear, partook of the religious zeal that brought other emigrants accross the Atlantic. In their researches into the human frame, it may be that the higher and more subtile faculties of such men were materialized, and that they lost the spiritual view of existence amid the intricacies of that wonderous mechanism, which seemed to involve art enough to comprise all of life within itself." (109) Hawthorne. The Scarlet Letter

I like subtle, clever barbs a whole lot, and this particular one caught my attention. Losing the spiritual view is such a subtle, seemingly polite way to say, "haven't anymore need for religion." It works really well because the word "lost" has a negative conotation, despite the actual intent of the passage. While Hawthorne is essentially saying that few skilled doctors are religious fanatics, because their understanding of the body leaves little need for religious explaination, it comes accross initially sounding as though the doctors are the ones lacking something.

Honestly, at this stage in the novel, I think I'm more entertained by Hawthorne's narration than by anything actually happening in the story.  

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