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Example research essay topic: Louisa May Alcott Nathaniel Hawthorne - 1,452 words

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... s House. After leaving the Customs House, Hawthorne published the novel The Scarlet Letter. In the introduction to the novel, Hawthorne dedicated two paragraphs to express his contempt of the town of Salem. Although this angered many Salemites, the book became very popular, even with many Salemites. According to John Clendenning, The novel is controlled by a single idea the suffering that results from sin (114).

In the book, Hawthorne reveals that in Puritan New England, a sinner was not necessarily physically isolated, but socially isolated. This isolation led to the suffering of Hester Prynne. This romance can be easily felt by its audience as well as understood. We sympathize with Hester Prynne although she has committed a crime. Such was the power of Hawthorne's work. Finally, Hawthorne had had enough of Salem.

He packed his bags and moved to Lenox, Massachusetts. The citizens of Salem that had not resented him after The Scarlet Letters publishing despised him now. He hated the town so much that when he left he stated, I am now a citizen of somewhere else (Manley 136). In Lenox, Hawthorne published another novel called The House of the Seven Gables. Hawthorne had trouble writing this novel because, unlike The Scarlet Letter, it had to be written in different tones (Miller 109). E.

P. Whipple greatly admired the novel. He thought the former part of the book was much better than the latter, however. He felt that the latter parts of the book did not have the same force and precision of the earlier parts (Crowley 147).

Hawthorne also used this novel to express his hatred of Salem, especially that of Senator Charles W. Upham, who had played a large part in his removal for the Customs House. He modeled the villain of the novel after the character of Upham. He was true to his word when he threatened to spike Upham with his pen (Wood 14). In the publishing of the novel, Hawthorne encountered another problem. The Pyncheon family in the novel had an entirely fictional basis, yet after the publishing an actual Salemites family of Pyncheons turned up demanding Hawthorne change the name in the book.

Hawthorne wrote his publisher Fields: I wonder when, if ever, and how soon, I shall get a just estimate of how many jackasses there are in this ridiculous world (Wood 104). In 1850, while Hawthorne was on a picnic, he met a man named Herman Melville. Both had read each others writings and done favorable reviews on them. In the course of the meeting, a thunderstorm came up forcing them to take shelter. During this time, they became better acquainted. As they became good friends, Melville would frequently ride to Hawthorne's to visit him or they would take walks and discuss each others works.

In 1851, Melville published Moby Dick and dedicated it to Hawthorne because of his love for the sea. Once again Hawthorne decided it was time to move on. He packed up again and moved back to Concorde. He purchased the deed to a house he called The Wayside, which was the former home of Louisa May Alcott. In March of 1853, Pierce appointed Hawthorne as Consul to Liverpool, England. At first Hawthorne was dismayed at the prospect of such a long sea voyage to England.

But he would not be downhearted for long; his son sad that slightly later in the voyage he became at ease with the sea. During the voyage his health seemed to improve along with his disposition. When they reached London, they found their hotel boring and drab, however, the children found delight in a fish tank in the basement which contained turtles. Later they moved to a hotel often frequented by sea captains whom Hawthorne frequently conversed with. There he met a man named Henry Bright who wrote of Hawthorne a parody of Song of Hiawatha called Song of Consul Hawthorne. Later he would meet Elizabeth Barrette Browning and her husband Robert with whom he would become good friends.

While in England, Hawthorne made several visits to his favorite English authors homes such as Shakespeare, Byron, and Wordsworth. He was especially inspired by Byron's home where he fell in love with the Greek-influenced gardens. He also visited the home of Sir Walter Scott in Scotland. Later Hawthorne would publish The English Book, an account of his literary pilgrimage. Later he would also publish Our Old Home, a tale of his consulship to Liverpool. The family then decided to visit other European countries.

The visited France for a short time, but Hawthorne hated it and left for Italy immediately. For Una's 13 th birthday, the family decided to take her along The Appian Way in Rome where they visited ancient statues and tombs. Hawthorne had been experiencing mild depression, but as he ventured through The Way, his spirits lifted. He became fascinated with the statues, but was especially partial to the statue of a marble faun. Later he would write a book, The Marble Faun, based upon it. The book was much different from any of his other works.

Said Nina By, Its point of view is more unorthodox and its anguish more extreme, than in any of the other romances (Bloom 99). Finally, Hawthorne decided to return to his home to Connecticut. On the voyage home, Hawthorne met Harriet Beecher Stowe. He found her dull and boring because she was constantly rambling about the evils of slavery as portrayed in her monumental book, Uncle Toms Cabin.

Hawthorne arrived in America at a time of dismay and confusion in the nations history. John Brown, a native of Massachusetts, had been convicted of treason and hung. His old friend in the senate, Charles Sumner, had been beaten with a cane because of his views. Soon the nation entered into the Civil War. At this time, many northerners turned away from Hawthorne because of his relationship with Pierce, a staunch copperhead. But Sophia used her skills as a painter to paint artwork, which was auctioned off with the proceeds going to support the Union troops.

Soon people realized Hawthorne was not a copperhead himself. In 1864, while riding in a carriage in foul weather, Hawthorne's publisher placed his coat around the sick Hawthorne. Hawthorne was grateful, but soon after, his publisher died of pneumonia because of it. Hawthorne never forgave himself for this, and his condition continued to worsen.

He was sucked into a state of depression. Although his life had been a huge success, he could not shake feelings of fatigue, disappointment, and failure. Sophia hoped that seeing Franklin Pierce again would revive him. By the time he had reached Hawthorne's house, his condition had worsened further.

During the night, Franklin periodically checked on his friend. He continued this vigil until when between 3 and 4 in the morning, he found his dearest friend and most avid supporter had passed on. Sophia and her daughters adorned the Concorde church with flowers for the funeral. In attendance were Ralph Emerson, Louisa May Alcott, Percival Lowell, John Whittier, and Henry Longfellow. The old preacher James Freeman, who had not seen Hawthorne since he married him and Sophia, performed the ceremony.

Longfellow wrote an elegy which was read at the funeral. Hawthorne would always be remembered by his large circle of companions as a great author, but more importantly, as a loyal friend. Although Hawthorne became a huge success story as a writer, he often complained that his boring life provided no material for him to write about. However, Hawthorne endured many internal conflicts, which were depicted in his novels (Crews World Book CD-ROM). These internal conflicts which Hawthorne portrayed on paper made people think about how cruel life really can be. With his own unique Romantic-Realist style, Hawthorne captivated readers, and will continue to do so for years to come.

Bibliography: Bibliography Bloom, Harold, ed. Modern Critical Views: Nathaniel Hawthorne. New York: Chelsea House Publishers, 1980. Clendenning, John. Hawthorne, Nathaniel.

World Book Encyclopedia. 1998. Cohen, B. Bernard. The Recognition of Nathaniel Hawthorne. Ann arbor, Michigan: Michigan University Press, 1969. Crews, Fredrick.

Hawthorne, Nathaniel. Grolier Multimedia Encyclopedia. 1993. CD-ROM Crowley, J. Donald. Hawthorne: The Critical Heritage. New York: Barnes & Noble, Inc. , 1970.

Eldritch Press. Nathaniel Hawthorne. (Online) Available web Febuary 18, 1999. Hoeltje, Hubert H. Inward Sky: The mind and Heart of Nathaniel Hawthorne. Durham, North Carolina: Duke University Press, 1962. Manley, See.

Nathaniel Hawthorne: Captain of the Imagination. New York: The Vanguard Press, Inc. , 1968. Miller, Edwin. Salem Is My Dwelling Place: A Life of Nathaniel Hawthorne.

Iowa City, Iowa: University of Iowa Press, 1991. Wood, James. The Unpardonable Sin: The Life of Nathaniel Hawthorne. New York: Random House, Inc. , 1970.


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