April 7, 2013
Hawthorne’s Style of Writing
Nathaniel Hawthorne’s style of writing was often seen as dark romanticism. Hawthorne wrote short stories and romance novels in which he transmitted modern topics of psychology and human nature through his clever use of imagery, symbolism and allegories. Hawthorne was born on July 4, 1804, in Salem, Massachusetts, the second of three children born to Nathaniel and Elizabeth Hathorne. In 1808, his father, a ship's captain, died of yellow fever in the distant port of Surinam. After the death of his father, Nathaniel moved with his mother and two sisters, Elizabeth and Maria Louisa, from their home on Union Street to the house next door belonging to the Mannings, his mother's family. In the Manning household, Hawthorne's keen intelligence was noted and nurtured; in fact, his maternal relatives hoped that he would eventually attend college. At the age of sixteen, Hawthorne showed an urge for journalism when he wrote and printed the Spectator—an intra-family newsletter he wrote with his sister that functioned as a kind of correspondence between the Mannings in Salem and an uncle who was overseeing the family lands in Raymond, Maine (Nathaniel Hawthorne American Writer).
In 1821, Hawthorne entered Bowdoin College in Maine, and he proved to be a competent, but not always industrious, scholar. While there, he became friends with Franklin Pierce, who would later become the fourteenth president of the United States. Another classmate of Hawthorne's was Henry Wadsworth Longfellow; soon to be one of America's most acclaimed poets. As his time at Bowdoin drew to a close, Hawthorne wrote a letter to his mother expressing his lack of enthusiasm for the professions of law and medicine. He proposed that he should become a writer, asking his mother to imagine the pride she would experience at seeing his name in print and at hearing his works generally praised. After graduating from Bowdoin in 1825, Hawthorne returned to the Manning residence and lived a life of relative isolation that lasted for some eleven years. During this period he wrote Fanshawe, a novel that took as its subject matter his days at Bowdoin, and published it at his own expense in 1828. However, fearing that the novel was inadequate, he stopped its publication and burned all the copies of it that he could find. "Young Goodman Brown" was written circa 1836 and "The Minister's Black Veil" was published in 1837 in the collection Twice Told Tales. It was also during this time that Hawthorne studied New England history and discovered that one of his Puritan ancestors had ordered the whipping of a Quaker woman, and another had served as a judge in the Salem witch trials of 1692. Many critics believe that the guilt Hawthorne felt over his family history prompted him to explore the evil of man and original sin in works such as "Young Goodman Brown" and "The Minister's Black Veil”.(Nathaniel Hawthorne American Writer). Nathaniel Hawthorne was born at Salem, Massachusetts, in 1804, and came of a seafaring family. Owing to the death of his father, much of his boyhood was passed with an uncle among the woods and lakes of Maine, a circumstance that, no doubt, intensified his love of nature and of solitude. After graduating from Bowdoin College, where his classmates included Longfellow and Franklin Pierce, he settled in 1825 in Salem. Here he remained for twelve years, reading, writing and burning his manuscripts, and becoming, in his own familiar phrase, “the obscurest man of letters in America.” In 1837 he published the first series of “Twice-Told Tales.” Through the influence of Bancroft he received an appointment in the Boston Custom House in 1837. In 1841 Hawthorne became a member of the Brook Farm community, an experience which furnished material for his “Blithedale Romance,” published eleven years later. In 1843 he married Miss Peabody, and now began...