Through its forces of constraint, a society seeks to preserve itself, but through its forces of mobility a society moves to modify itself.
Out of the conflicting discourses and countervailing forces of exchange within a culture, its direction and destiny emerges.
The New Historicist understands literature to be rooted in its cultural and authorial connections.
In fact, the study of literary text is only one element of the New Historicist's exploration of the Like the Marxist critic, the New Historicist explores the place of literature in an on-going contest for power within society but does not define this contest narrowly in terms of an economic class struggle.
Rather, within a culture a chorus of disparate voices vie for attention and influence.
Literature provides one venue in which this web of conflicting find expression.
The social nature of language and its many forms means that the effect on history by literature may be measured by the power of symbols, narratives, etc., or history and literature may share certain narratives or symbols or figures of speech.
Notes on Historicism from web sources: historicism: the view that concepts, beliefs, truths and even standards of truth can be understood only in relation to the whole moral, intellectual, religious and aesthetic cultures of the historical periods in which they arise or flourish. An approach to literature that emphasizes the interaction between the historic context of the work and a modern readers understanding and interpretation of the work.
Instead of offering my own A-word as a key to understanding Nathaniel Hawthorne's masterpiece, I would like to focus on the notion of symbol itself, and on the way the author organizes this search for a meaning.
The narrator frequently uses this word throughout the romance, and its various occurrences enable us to shape a definition that corresponds to his personal use of symbols.