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Mesmerism and the Patterns Witnessed throughout Hawthornes works Nathaniel Hawthornes short stories and novels are laden with Mesmeristic Imagery He incorporates Mesmerism to add an element of the supernatural to his works Also Mesmerism depicts a power struggle between a man and a woman The man acts as Mesmerizer and knowingly takes advantage of the woman for deceitful purposes Mesmerism and its root animal magnetism are incorporated throughout Hawthornes short stories and novels Franz Anton Mesmer 1734-1815 an Austrian physicist was a pioneer in the practice of Hypnotism His theory began as animal magnetism Mesmer believed a mysterious fluid penetrates all bodies This fluid allows one person to have a powerful magnetic influence over another His sessions of seances in which he magnetized patients created an initial sensation but soon the medical profession considered him a fraud His theories of animal magnetism have been discarded but hypnotism has been accepted as a subject for scientific study as well as a means of treating certain disorders World Book 421 Mesmer was not the first to use magnets to heal wounds In all ages and all countries there have been people who have claimed to have such power But these healings were based on the spiritual power of the healers themselves Mesmer was the first to believe that this healing power was purely a question of matter and motion all spirituality was removed Podmore40 Animal magnetism began as a treatment for physical maladies Mesmer believed that the earth and celestial bodies rotating in the midst of universal fluid continually generated electricity This electricity was modified according to the nature of the receiver Mesmer believed the human body was the most perfect electric machine in the worldPodmore75 A well man fell ill when his channel to the universal fluid became obstructed The animal magnetist channeled his own universal fluid to the sick man to unobstruct his channel therefore healing him Mesmers study of animal magnetism
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