Nathaniel described himself as the “obscurest man of

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Last updated: July 14, 2019

NathanielHawthorne was a famous novelist who once described himself as the “obscurestman of letters in America”.  This obscurestman turned himself into one of the utmost fiction writers in AmericanLiterature.  His works are very well knownstill today.

  Hawthorne used a variety ofelements when writing his stories, such as irony, symbolism, and ambiguity situationswhich kept the stories a mystery.  His storieswere allegories that took ambition towards sin and corruption.  Hawthorne is an American Literature legend whorelied on his puritan history combined with his own creativity to create mythicalnovels.AlthoughHawthorne did not believe “that a literary vocation was serious or productivework”, he was still determined to become a writer. (Meyer, 2014, p.301) After hegraduated from Bowdoin college, Hawthorne returned to Salem to live with hismother.  For the next twelve years,Hawthorne “read New England history as well as writers such as John Milton, WilliamShakespeare and John Bunion” (Meyer,2014, p301).  While living a withdrawn life he devoted histime trying to develop his own style of writing that would express his creativeenergies.

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 Because Hawthorne set suchhigh standards for himself many of his early writings were destroyed and neverpublished. DuringHawthorne’s career, he had to take on additional employment because writing createda financial hardship.  Some of theemployment was working for the Custom House which was a politically appointed job. He also worked in a utopian communityperforming manual labor jobs.  Hawthornewas at the peak of his career in the early 1850’s when he wrote the majority ofhis writings.  Some of Hawthorne’s famouswritings consist of The Scarlett Letter,Twice-Told Tales, and The BlithedaleRomance.  “His first novel, Fanshawe, was published anonymously in1928 and was not attributed to the author until after his death” (Meyer, 2014,p.301).

 Hawthornebecame one of the greatest American Literature writers.  His writings all followed a similar pattern,which veered toward a dark and gloomy plot and delved into personal innerconflicts of his characters.  Thecharacters are “often consumed by their own passions, whether those passionsare motivated by an obsession with goodness or evil” (Meyer, 2014, p.302).  His writings are hard to understand becausethey do not point to a single simple moral.  Instead they have many complex issues and unstablemeanings.  They rarely end on a happynote.          Hawthorne was considered a major Americanwriter because his stories can be read on many different levels and have beenread for many generations.

 His storieshave amused and challenged readers by keeping them entertained through complex andmysterious storylines.  He drew hisreaders in because they could experience some of the same twisted issues of thecharacters.  Even though Hawthorne’s storiesare based around sin and corruption, readers today still enjoy his work. 

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