The residents of the Blithedale farm wish to make it into a modern Arcadia, free from the pollution of society. But they form such a varied, self-interested group, that their efforts are in vain. The misogynistic Hollingsworth wants to turn it into a sanctuary for reformed criminals; the exotic feminist Zenobia is helplessly attracted to Hollingsworth; and the narrator is an unreliable dandy with voyeuristic tendencies. Henry James called The Blithedale Romance the lightest and liveliest of Hawthorne's non-comedic novels.

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