Nathaniel Hawthorne — Nathaniel Hawthorne was an American novelist, dark romantic, and short story writer. He was born in in Salem, Massachusetts, to Nathaniel Hathorne and his ancestors include John Hathorne, the only judge involved in the Salem witch trials who never repented of his actions. Nathaniel later added a w to make his name Hawthorne in order to hide this relation and he entered Bowdoin College inwas elected to Phi Beta Kappa inand graduated in
Amid the hard conditions of his life at Concord Hawthorne had decided to place himself again under the aegis of his political friends to earn his living as a public officer. He had no confidence in his literary capacity as a means of livelihood.
He found himself, he says, unable to write more than a third of the time, and he composed slowly and with difficulty; he refers more than once to that hatred of the pen which belongs to a tired writer, and he was frequently indisposed to composition for long periods; and, in any event, he thought that what he wrote must appeal necessarily to so small an audience that, should he continue to devote himself exclusively to a literary career, he must do so as a professional hack-writer of children's books, translations, newspaper essays, and such miscellaneous drudgery.
His habits, formed in his years at Salem, included an element of large leisure, an indulgence of one's self in times and seasons of mental activity, a certain lethargy of life; and he had not shown any power of sustained production in the monotony of daily work for bread.
He felt a dread of such necessity. The election of Polk to the Presidency gave his friends the opening, and the campaign to secure an appointment was begun.
Bridge, then living in bachelor quarters at Portsmouth Navy Yard, conceived the rather daring idea of a sailor house-party with Hawthorne as its centre, for the purpose of making him acquainted with the political group in whose hands influence lay; and, if it be remembered that the Hawthornes had not spent an evening out for years, and still continued their seclusive life, the proposition may well seem a bold stroke.
The party, however, gathered in the summer of ; Franklin Pierce and his wife, Senator Atherton and his wife, of New Hampshire, and Senator Fairfield of Maine, to mention the notables, were the principal guests, and there were several others, making a greater company than Hawthorne had been thrown with since he lodged at Brook Farm.
It was an informal naval picnic, apparently, of two or three weeks, and Bridge thought that its main object of popularizing Hawthorne with the Senators was attained.
The point of attack was the Salem Post Office, but this proved impracticable, and attention was turned to the Custom House, where either the surveyorship or the naval office might be got. Meanwhile Bancroft offered him a clerkship in the Charlestown Navy Yard, which he declined.
He was sufficiently sure of success to make him remove from Concord to Salem to reside, and early in October he was established again in the old chamber of his youth, having decided to share his mother's house for the present. He spent his time in writing the introductory sketch of the Old Manse, and in seeing the "Mosses" through the press.
The appointment lagged, owing to local complications in the party, but an arrangement was finally made which was agreeable to all concerned, so that Hawthorne took office without enmity from disappointed candidates who would have benefited if he had not appeared upon the scene backed by what must have been locally regarded as outside interference.
He received notice of his nomination as surveyor on March 23,and it was described "as decidedly popular with the party," as well as with men of letters and the community; he soon took charge of the office, those who had made way for him were appointed inspectors under him, and he entered on the enjoyment of a salary of twelve hundred dollars.
It was indeed a singular chance of life that had transformed the recluse romancer of the silent Herbert Street house, where for all the years of early manhood he had lived unnoticed and almost unknown, into the high business official of the Custom House, the lofty neighbor of that humble dwelling, on whose wide granite steps, columned portico, and emblematic eagle, with the flag over all, he must have looked so often with never a thought that there was to be his distinguished place in the world of men; and yet Hawthorne, on coming into this office, seems to have been pleased with a sense of making a part of Salem as his ancestors had done in the old days.
He did not love Salem, but genuine truth gives body to those passages of autobiography in which he claims his parentage and kinship and seems writing the obituary of his race there, in connection with his memories of the Custom House.
He knew himself a story-teller whom these ancestors would little approve, for all his mask as the surveyor, but in his official place he felt himself a Salemite with some peculiar thoroughness; and, familiar as the passage is, no other words can take the place of his own expression of this sense of rootedness in the soil, which is so close to the secret of his genius: Indeed, so far as its physical aspect is concerned, with its flat, unvaried surface, covered chiefly with wooden houses, few or none of which pretend to architectural beauty,—its irregularity, which is neither picturesque nor quaint, but only tame,—its long and lazy street lounging wearisomely through the whole extent of the peninsula, with Gallows Hill and New Guinea at one end, and a view of the almshouse at the other,—such being the features of my native town, it would be quite as reasonable to form a sentimental attachment to a disarranged checkerboard.
And yet, though invariably happiest elsewhere, there is within me a feeling for old Salem, which, in lack of a better phrase, I must be content to call affection.
The sentiment is probably assignable to the deep and aged roots which my family has struck into the soil. It is now nearly two centuries and a quarter since the original Briton, the earliest emigrant of my name, made his appearance in the wild and forest-bordered settlement, which has since become a city.
And here his descendants have been born and died, and have mingled their earthly substance with the soil, until no small portion of it must necessarily be akin to the mortal frame wherewith, for a little while, I walk the streets.
In part, therefore, the attachment which I speak of is the mere sensuous sympathy of dust for dust. Few of my countrymen can know what it is; nor, as frequent transplantation is perhaps better for the stock, need they consider it desirable to know.
The figure of that first ancestor, invested by family tradition with a dim and dusky grandeur, was present to my boyish imagination, as far back as I can remember.“The Custom House” and The Scarlet Letter The introductory chapter to The Scarlet Letter is called “The Custom House”.
Nathaniel Hawthorne tells of his time as a . Hester Prynne is the protagonist of Nathaniel Hawthorne's novel The Scarlet initiativeblog.com is portrayed as a woman condemned by her Puritan neighbors. The character has been called "among the first and most important female protagonists in American literature".
quotes from The Scarlet Letter: ‘We dream in our waking moments, and walk in our sleep.’ ― Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter. that Arthur Dimmesdale put forth his hand, chill as death, and touched the chill hand of Hester Prynne.
The grasp, cold as it was, took away what was the dreariest in the interview. They now felt.
Everything you ever wanted to know about Hester Prynne in The Scarlet Letter, written by masters of this stuff just for you. The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne. Home / Literature / The Scarlet Letter / Character Quotes / Hester manages to support herself and her little daughter, Pearl.
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Studio Grafiikka. $ The Scarlet Letter. Dan Sproul. $ View Similar Art. Hawthornes Birthplace.
|The House of Hawthorne by Erika Robuck||In an extended introduction, Hawthorne describes his employment in the Salem Custom House, and how he purportedly found an old document and a piece of cloth embroidered with the letter "A" in a pile of old papers. This fictitious document being the germ of the story that Hawthorne writes, as follows.|
Granger. $ View Similar Art. Hawthorne House. Granger. $ View Similar Art.
Nathaniel Hawthorne. A summary of The Custom-House: Introductory in Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter. Learn exactly what happened in this chapter, scene, or section of The Scarlet Letter and what it means. Perfect for acing essays, tests, and quizzes, as well as for writing lesson plans.