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Nathaniel Hawthorne

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Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804-1864) Born in Salem, MA (lived in Salem and Concord) Changed the spelling of his name from Hathorne to Hawthorne in his early 20s ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Nathaniel Hawthorne


1
(No Transcript)
2
Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804-1864)
3
  • Born in Salem, MA (lived in Salem and Concord)
  • Changed the spelling of his name from Hathorne to
    Hawthorne in his early 20s (witch trial guilt)

4
  • His wife, Sophia, was a Transcendentalist.
  • He lived for a year at Brook Farm as part of the
    experimental Transcendentalist Utopian society,
    but left because he grew to strongly reject their
    tenants (objected to the claim that man is
    inherently good)
  • Was a recluse
  • Worked at the Boston and then Salem Custom
    Houses. Politically appointed positions.
  • Published The Scarlet Letter in 1850

5
Where H. stored his pen
6
  • Influences on Hawthorne
  • Salem - early childhood, later work at the Custom
    House.
  • 2. Puritan family background
  • 3. Belief in the existence of the devil.
  • 4. Belief in determinism.

7
Reasons for Hawthorne's Current Popularity 1.
His writing is representative of 19th century due
to his use of nature, its primitiveness, and as a
source of inspiration also in his use of the
exotic, the gothic, and the antiquarian. 2.
Hawthorne displayed a love for allegory and
symbol. He dealt with tensions involving light
versus dark warmth versus cold faith versus
doubt heart versus mind internal versus
external worlds. 3. Hawthorne rounds off the
puritan cycle in American writing - belief in the
existence of an active evil (the devil) and in a
sense of determinism (the concept of
predestination). 4. Hawthorne's use of
psychological analysis (pre-Freudian) is of
interest today.
8
Major Themes in Hawthorne's Fiction Alienation -
a character is in a state of isolation because of
self-cause, a societal cause, or a combination of
both. Problem of Guilt -a character's sense of
guilt forced by the puritanical heritage or by
society also guilt vs. innocence. Pride -
Hawthorne treats pride as evil. He illustrates
the following aspects of pride in various
characters physical pride, spiritual pride, and
intellectual pride. Other themes include-
individual vs. society, self-fulfillment vs.
accommodation or frustration, hypocrisy vs.
integrity
9
Poe on Hawthorne Poe wrote important, though
largely unflattering reviews of some of
Hawthornes work, mostly due to Poe's own
contempt of allegory and moral tales. However,
even Poe admitted, "The style of Hawthorne is
purity itself. His tone is singularly
effective--wild, plaintive, thoughtful, and in
full accordance with his themes." He concluded
that, "we look upon him as one of the few men of
indisputable genius to whom our country has as
yet given birth."
10
The Ministers Black Veil
  • allegory (AL-eh-GOR-ee) a narrative that serves
    as an extended metaphor. Allegories are written
    in the form of fables, parables, poems, stories,
    and almost any other style or genre. The main
    purpose of an allegory is to tell a story that
    has characters, a setting, as well as other types
    of symbols, that have both literal and figurative
    meanings. The difference between an allegory and
    a symbol is that an allegory is a complete
    narrative that conveys abstract ideas to get a
    point across, while a symbol is a representation
    of an idea or concept that can have a different
    meaning throughout a literary work (A Handbook to
    Literature).
  • One well-known example of an allegory is Dantes
    The Divine Comedy. In Inferno, Dante is on a
    pilgrimage to try to understand his own life, but
    his character also represents every man who is in
    search of his purpose in the world (Merriam
    Webster Encyclopedia of Literature). Although
    Virgil literally guides Dante on his journey
    through the mystical inferno, he can also be seen
    as the reason and human wisdom that Dante has
    been looking for in his life.
  • How can this story be an allegory?

11
The Ministers Black Veil
  • allegory (AL-eh-GOR-ee) a narrative that serves
    as an extended metaphor. Allegories are written
    in the form of fables, parables, poems, stories,
    and almost any other style or genre. The main
    purpose of an allegory is to tell a story that
    has characters, a setting, as well as other types
    of symbols, that have both literal and figurative
    meanings. The difference between an allegory and
    a symbol is that an allegory is a complete
    narrative that conveys abstract ideas to get a
    point across, while a symbol is a representation
    of an idea or concept that can have a different
    meaning throughout a literary work (A Handbook to
    Literature).
  • One well-known example of an allegory is Dantes
    The Divine Comedy. In Inferno, Dante is on a
    pilgrimage to try to understand his own life, but
    his character also represents every man who is in
    search of his purpose in the world (Merriam
    Webster Encyclopedia of Literature). Although
    Virgil literally guides Dante on his journey
    through the mystical inferno, he can also be seen
    as the reason and human wisdom that Dante has
    been looking for in his life.
  • How can this story be an allegory?

12
  • Gilbert Highet, in The Classical Tradition Greek
    and Roman Influences on Western Literature lists
    the main elements of Classical Romance
  • separated lovers who remain true to each other,
    while the woman's chastity is preserved
  • 2. an intricate plot, including stories within
    stories
  • 3. exciting and unexpected chance events
  • 4. travel to faraway settings
  • 5. hidden and mistaken identity and
  • 6. written in an elaborate and elegant style.
  • Classical Romance, Highet noted, is "escape"
    literature Inversely, American Romance brings
    the reader closer to truth, not further from it.
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