This paper will discuss the relevance of studying the works of Nathaniel Hawthorne in the twenty first century. The paper commences by providing a brief history on Nathaniel Hawthorne. Thereafter, it will provide a chronology of some of his primary works. It will also provide reasons as to why Nathaniel Hawthorne is still popular very many years after his death . In addition, the paper will discuss some of the major themes contained in his literary works. Also, the paper will look into the symbols and settings that Hawthorne used; taking note of the significance of the aspects in his writings.
Nathaniel Hawthorne was born in the state of Salem, on the 4thof July, 1984. Hawthorne’s parents were Manning Elizabeth Clarke and Nathaniel Hawthorne. One of the ancestors of Nathaniel Hawthorne was John Hawthorne who was the only judge that took part in the witch trials; in the town of Salem, and is famous for refusing to repent on his actions. As a result of his ancestral linage, Nathaniel Hawthorne decides to insert the letter ‘w’ before the letter‘t’ and after the letter ‘a’ in his name. He did this in pursuit of concealing his authentic identity. During his childhood, Nathaniel Hawthorne was much protected by his mother. As a result of this, the young man developed a personality of being a loner; as well as being shy. It while he was staying alone, due to the antisocial habits that he developed an interest in literature. As a young boy, Hawthorne read several books, and in that way, he began appreciating literature by reading other people’s work. It is documented that he would spend some of the early morning hours on the roof top of their home reading some works by William Shakespeare. It is important to take note of the fact that, during those times, William Shakespeare was amongst the most influential authors.
In the year eighteen twenty one, Nathaniel joined Bowdon College where he pursued an undergraduate program . Three years after graduating from college, Nathaniel Hawthorne published his first literary work which was a novel titled ‘Fanshawe’. It is imperative to note that on publishing his first novel, he chose not to reveal his identity. Thereafter, he was engaged in writing several short stories; that he later published in 1937under a collection known as ‘The Twice Told Tales’. He continued to develop his career, and in 1936, Hawthorne was appointed as an editor of the American Magazine for Useful and entertaining Knowledge.
In this perspective, the year 1850 marked the launch of his career; as a successful author. In that year, Hawthorne managed to write and publish ‘The Scarlet Letter’. A year later, he returned with another novel entitled ‘The House of Seven Gable’s. Due to his unending energy, Hawthorne decided to publish another book in the third consecutive year. In the year 1952, Hawthorne published his third novel that was titled the ‘Blithe dale Romance’. It was also during this time that he published three books consecutively; ‘A wonder Book, and ‘anglewood Tales’. In the year 1860, Nathaniel published another novel that was titled ‘The Marble Faun.’ Hawthorne, as a classical author, concentrated more on Romanticism. This is attributable to the fact that within the ten year period, starting from 1850 and ending in the 1860, Nathaniel wrote four novels based on pure romance. Other books not mentioned above include ‘A Wonder Book’ and ‘A Tanglewood Tales.’
Accordingly, Nathaniel Hawthorne is still popular up to date. This is mainly attributable to the mannerism of his unique style of writing. Hawthorne is renowned for utilizing irony in his works . In most instances, Hawthorne’s use of irony is transparent at times when Nathaniel wrote on sensitive issues. In the utilizing of this technique, Hawthorne was able to talk about sensitive aspects of the society in a tantalizing manner. This ensured that the audience could laugh, learn, and be entertained; in the same instance. In addition, his popularity was cemented, allowing him to earn a living while doing what he loved best.
Additionally, it is importance to note of the mannerism through which Hawthorne employed ambiguity in his writings. He wrote his novels using a language that was very ambiguous. Therefore, he never used to provide his audience with all the details pertaining to the setting of the story. He also never used to provide readers with all the details pertaining the events that taking place in the lives of some of the characters. As a result of this, Nathaniel was able to strike and captivate his audiences across the United States and Europe. This is because he was able to capture, in full, the attention of his readers. Also, the use of ambiguous words created an aura shrouded in suspense. The suspense was founded on the basis that the readers were tempted to fill out the remaining parts using their imagination. Additionally, instances of suspense enthralled the audience as their curiosity led them through the remaining pages. Usually, audiences are tempted to continue reading, in order to find out, whether their thoughts are complemented in the book. However, in some instances, Nathaniel is able to twist the story and steer it away from the expected ending. This ensures that readers get tempted to explore other works by Nathaniel.
In retrospective, Nathaniel Hawthorne employed paradox in the writing of his literary works. The use of paradox was necessitated by the fact that Hawthorne intertwined normal and strange things. In this case, paradox was utilized in the framing of unordinary things. The use of paradox was of great significance especially when writing novels that contained stories that were associated with religion. During his childhood, Hawthorne was exposed to a lot gothic materials, as well as the puritan cycle in America. During the writing and publication of some of his literary works, he managed to inculcate the supernatural events in his works . Hawthorne had deep rooted belief on the occurrence of supernatural powers. Thus, at some juncture, instances of supernatural beings were reflected in his works.
In the development of literary works, Hawthorne based most of his works on the psychology of human beings. The basis of human is seen reflected by the fact that his jobs tend to laden with ‘live’ emotions. The emotions are reflected by fast paced action in his work. Some emotions blended in the works include those of love which is then intertwined with shreds of romanticism. Categorically, Nathaniel is able to utilize other emotions like anger and detest. In various instances, his works were dotted with themes leaning towards romanticism, as well as his unending hatred for transcendentalism.
In addition, Hawthorne is prided as having incepted the act of alienating characters . To some extent, this can be attributed to his upbringing. In most instances in his life, Nathaniel spent his time alone and shun away by his peers. Also, Nathaniel’s mother tended to keep him protected from the world. Instead of building him to be strong, the overprotective mother ended up restructuring Nathan’s life to that of a loner. These instances of solitude made him feel more comfortable alone; as opposed to being with other people. As such, Hawthorne employed alienation as a way of conveying across his message. The use of alienation is widely employed by the current generation of writers to forecast the extent to which the society has shunned the disadvantaged in the society. In addition, the use of alienation has been employed to reconcile the society with individuals who are considered as being antisocial. The applicability of this aspect has far reaching consequences in an era where everyone is for themselves.
Also, the aspect of solitude can be tasked with Hawthorne. The various reflections of solitude are an epitome of many people’s lives. In an era marred with technological advancement, humanity has managed to endear themselves to technology and separate themselves from fellow human beings. Additionally, the instances of alienation in his works have captured the lives of fellow writers. This serves to show us the impact that the personal life of a writer can have on his works . Hawthorne was struggling as a writer as he was trying to establish ways and means through which he could overcome his character of shyness and being a loner. As a result of this, he was more inclined towards the development of characters that were making considerable effort in overcoming the isolation than they were experiencing. The shows the extent to which an author’s life can have on his or her works. As such, Hawthorne was the first writer to conclusively mix his life with that of his characters.
With respect to his works, Hawthorne is able to adequately address the issue of pride. As such, Hawthorne was able to cover the various forms of pride that ranged from physical pride, spiritual pride, and intellectual pride. He managed to cover these themes through the development of characters that portrayed all the aforementioned forms of pride. For the purposes of the advancement of spiritual pride, Nathaniel developed characters such as Robin, Goodman Brown, Ethan Brand and Rappaccini. Robin is a character that he developed in order to address the theme of pride while concentrating on physical pride . Ethan Brand and Goodman Brown were also developed for the purposes of covering pride, but their form of pride was spiritual pride. The author also developed a character by the name of Rappaccini, and the character was employed to address intellectual pride. Hawthorne detested pride as well as proud people. This is attributable to the fact that he associate pride with evil. As a way of addressing this social issue, he inculcated themes of pride in the development of his literary works.
Thus, Nathaniel Hawthorne will remain relevant in the study of classical literature because of his unique approach to writing as well as the manner through which he developed his characters and his stories . Additionally, his freedom of expressing views and feelings paved way for writers writing without fear or prejudice. By studying the life and works of Nathaniel, many upcoming writers can be able to learn various techniques of writing. They are also able to learn more about how they can develop and advance their careers as professional writers. However, the major lesson from Hawthorne is that revolving around the lessons that the society can learn from his writings.
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