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"The Life And Times Of Nathaniel Hawthorne"

2744 words - 11 pages

Henry W. Longfellow once said, Hawthorne "was a mysterious man". Longfellow knew Nathaniel Hawthorne in person not as a historian. Nathaniel Hawthorne can be understood if one looks into his past and researches one of his works. Nathaniel Hawthorne's mystery comes from his in depth look into human perception, which shines through his imagery in "Young Goodman Brown".Nathaniel Hawthorne was born into a Puritan family in July of 1804. His father Nathaniel Hathorne was a sea captain. His mother, Elizabeth Manning Hathorne, was the daughter of Richard Manning a blacksmith who left the industry to pursue work in the stagecoach line. Four years after Hawthorne's birth his father died of yellow fever. Hawthorne's father never saw his youngest daughter, Maria Louise. Nathaniel Hawthorne had an older sister, Elizabeth, who was two years his senior.Hawthorne spent his early years at his grandparent's house in Salem. He did not go "to school until he was seven" (Hoeltje 27). His sister noticed that he could read at an early age, one of his favorites was Spencer's Fairie Queen. Hawthorne's uncle, Robert Manning, sent him to a private school. In school, Hawthorne sustained a foot injury, which left him to use crutches for many years. This injury created an escape for Hawthorne, he used it to seclude himself from the world. Hawthorne started writing his first journal, in 1816, which his Uncle Richard gave to him. In 1818, "his mother removed the family from Salem" to Raymond, Maine (Hoeltje 29). In Raymond, Hawthorne's imagination grew from the wilderness and solidarity.Hawthorne's uncle sent him to Bowdoin College in 1821. Bowdoin was a college that expected its students to follow their strict rules. Hawthorne disagreed with the school's penal code, "he fought back against this system" (Normand 25). Hawthorne rebelled and became a member of the Pot-8-O'Club. This club was not philanthropy but rather one that embellished the use of alcohol. Hawthorne graduated in 1825, he was eighteenth in his class. After leaving Bowdoin, "he returned to Salem and devoted himself to his literary apprenticeship" (Wagenknecht 5). At this time, Hawthorne changed his name to detach himself from his Puritan ancestors.Hawthorne published Fanshawe for one-hundred dollars, he became so ashamed of the book that he had it burned. He began to write for a number of periodicals, anonymously. "Hawthorne joined the ranks of America's greatest writer" (Reynolds 3). Along with writing, Hawthorne did work for his Uncle Samuel Manning, which included horse-trading. In 1830, Hawthorne went to Niagara and Detroit. Hawthorne sent letters to his sisters, which reflected "the life of his imagination" (Hoeltje 100).His imagination led him to write The Story Teller(1834), he submitted it to The New England Magazine. The magazine published Hawthorne's stories such as "Young Goodman Brown" (1835). The short story has many qualities of a literary genius. "Young Goodman Brown" is one of his works that is...

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