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Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804-1864) “Writers, for better or worse, are gods of their own universe…” -- Neil LaBute, playwright (2004)

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Presentation on theme: "Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804-1864) “Writers, for better or worse, are gods of their own universe…” -- Neil LaBute, playwright (2004)"— Presentation transcript:

1 Nathaniel Hawthorne ( ) “Writers, for better or worse, are gods of their own universe…” -- Neil LaBute, playwright (2004)

2 Background 1804 – Born Nathaniel Hathorne in Salem, MA; added the “w” when he was first published 1804 – Born Nathaniel Hathorne in Salem, MA; added the “w” when he was first published Bowdoin College graduate, 1825 Bowdoin College graduate, 1825 Related to William Hathorne (Winthrop’s era) and John Hathorne (character in The Crucible). He did not want to be associated with these men, hence the changing of his name to “Hawthorne” Related to William Hathorne (Winthrop’s era) and John Hathorne (character in The Crucible). He did not want to be associated with these men, hence the changing of his name to “Hawthorne” Between the ages of ( ) he “withdrew” from the world. In his later life he referred to this time as his “dark years,” the period wherein he discovered his art. Between the ages of ( ) he “withdrew” from the world. In his later life he referred to this time as his “dark years,” the period wherein he discovered his art – married Sophia Peabody, a UtopianTranscendentalist. Of Sophia he wrote, “she is, in the strictest sense, my sole companion; and I need no other—there is no vacancy in my mind, any more than in my heart..." 1836 – married Sophia Peabody, a UtopianTranscendentalist. Of Sophia he wrote, “she is, in the strictest sense, my sole companion; and I need no other—there is no vacancy in my mind, any more than in my heart..."

3 Hawthorne’s Content The interior of the heart: the world of his Imagination; the place where sin and guilt reside; a world of darkness, of secrets The interior of the heart: the world of his Imagination; the place where sin and guilt reside; a world of darkness, of secrets T he drama of human suffering: i.e. being human = having to endure suffering T he drama of human suffering: i.e. being human = having to endure suffering In1850 Hawthorne wrote The Scarlet Letter in order to: In1850 Hawthorne wrote The Scarlet Letter in order to: Disclose the drama of human suffering Disclose the drama of human suffering Expose the world and fallen humanity as “sin-sick” Expose the world and fallen humanity as “sin-sick” Illuminate characters living in a dark world burdened with post-Edenic sin and guilt Illuminate characters living in a dark world burdened with post-Edenic sin and guilt

4 Hawthorne’s Style Stylistic techniques: Stylistic techniques: SYMBOLS (e.g. ray of sunshine) SYMBOLS (e.g. ray of sunshine) MOTIFS (e.g. light/dark imagery) MOTIFS (e.g. light/dark imagery) JUXTAPOSITION of images JUXTAPOSITION of images PARADOX PARADOX AMBIGUITY AMBIGUITY Where have you seen these techniques in the reading?

5 Questions: How specifically is The Scarlet Letter a Late Romantic text? Where, if at all, do you see connections to Poe’s critical theories? How specifically is The Scarlet Letter a Late Romantic text? Where, if at all, do you see connections to Poe’s critical theories? What is the view of Nature? What is the view of Nature? Where do you see examples of Mutability, Nebulosity/Mystery, Sentiment vs. Reason, etc.? Where do you see examples of Mutability, Nebulosity/Mystery, Sentiment vs. Reason, etc.?

6 Questions: What is Hawthorne’s tone? What is Hawthorne’s tone? What is Hawthorne’s attitude toward the Puritans? What diction (word choice) establishes this attitude? What is Hawthorne’s attitude toward the Puritans? What diction (word choice) establishes this attitude? (To follow momentarily: model presentation of chapter 1…) (To follow momentarily: model presentation of chapter 1…)

7 Beginning tomorrow… Graded in-class presentations, 3 or 4 chapters at a time. Will take place every day, concluding next Tuesday 11/22. Three or four student presenters will be chosen at the beginning of each period. They will be responsible for teaching that day’s 4 chapters. Specific presentation guidelines were posted on my website last Friday. All presentations must follow today’s chapter 1 model presentation. Chapters to be presented tomorrow: 2, 3, & 4.


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