Questions and Answers for Nathaniel Hawthorne

Nathaniel Hawthorne

Compare and contrast the works of Hawthorne and Poe.

I would identify two principal differences between Hawthorne and Poe that would probably be seen by most readers. First, Poe tends to present situations and imagery more openly shocking, violent,...

Latest answer posted November 9, 2019 2:10 am UTC

3 educator answers

Nathaniel Hawthorne

In "Dr. Heidegger's Experiment," what was the moral of the story?

The moral of the story is to learn from one’s experiences so as not to repeat past mistakes. When Dr. Heidegger invites his friends, Mr. Medbourne, Colonel Killigrew, Mr. Gascoigne, and Widow...

Latest answer posted April 1, 2018 11:37 am UTC

2 educator answers

Nathaniel Hawthorne

In what ways was Nathaniel Hawthorne connected to the Salem Witch Trials?

Hawthorne wasn't just related to the judge of the Salem witch trials, but also to some of the trials' victims, such as John Proctor, and accusers such as Sarah Phelps. Much of Hawthorne's...

Latest answer posted April 17, 2019 11:51 am UTC

2 educator answers

Nathaniel Hawthorne

  "David Swan" is set: (A) in a big city, (B) on a farm, or (C) along a well-traveled road?

Nathaniel Hawthorne's short story "David Swan" is set along a well-travelled road, or "Answer C." While traveling by foot to Boston to go work at the counter of his uncle's grocery store, David...

Latest answer posted July 24, 2016 6:02 pm UTC

2 educator answers

Nathaniel Hawthorne

What happens in "The Celestial Railroad"? Please include a summary and detalis

The short story "The Celestial Railroad" by Nathaniel Hawthorne has similarities to the famous novel The Pilgrim's Progress by John Bunyan, and it even refers to Bunyan's tale in the text. Both...

Latest answer posted March 1, 2020 7:17 pm UTC

2 educator answers

Nathaniel Hawthorne

Compare Hawthorne's use of symbol in "The Ministers Black Veil" and "The Birthmark."

In "The Minister's Black Veil," Hawthorne creates a symbol of the black cloth that Mr. Hooper wears over his face. The subject of his first sermon upon donning the veil, as well as what he says to...

Latest answer posted February 16, 2018 11:23 pm UTC

1 educator answer

Nathaniel Hawthorne

What are the similarities between what Hawthorne and Emerson's discuss in their writings? (Mostly regarding Emerson's...

As contemporaries of each other, Emerson and Hawthorne share many similarities in their bodies of work. The central premise of Emerson's "Nature" is that unspoiled wilderness is the closest that...

Latest answer posted July 31, 2019 1:36 am UTC

2 educator answers

Nathaniel Hawthorne

What are the Gothic and the supernatural elements as represented in "The Haunted Mind" by Nathaniel Hawthorne?

Gothic themes can include horror, terror, the supernatural, spiritual, melancholy, and the imaginary. In "The Haunted Mind," the narrator contemplates a realm between sleep and being awake. He is...

Latest answer posted May 15, 2015 5:09 pm UTC

1 educator answer

Nathaniel Hawthorne

How did people of Nathaniel Hawthorne's time feel about guilt, sin, crime, and adultery? Did Hawthorne believe the...

People during Hawthorne's lifetime were still somewhat Puritanical, despite the fact that Puritanism itself was no longer popular. Most people felt that guilt and sin were things to hide and that...

Latest answer posted January 10, 2019 3:31 pm UTC

2 educator answers

Nathaniel Hawthorne

What are some similarities and difference between Nathaniel Hawthorne's book The Scarlet Letter and his short story...

Both of Hawthorne's works—the novel The Scarlet Letter and the short story "Young Goodman Brown—are set in the early American colonies in the seventeenth century, and both focus on characters in...

Latest answer posted December 30, 2017 6:09 pm UTC

3 educator answers

Nathaniel Hawthorne

In both The Scarlet Letter and in The House of the Seven Gables, Hawthorne creates characters who are conflicted on...

In both novels, Hawthorne develops Dark Romanticism in his suggestion that evil is a malevolent force from which there can be no easy escape. Transcendentalist thinkers like Emerson and Thoreau...

Latest answer posted February 15, 2014 6:46 pm UTC

1 educator answer

Nathaniel Hawthorne

What purpose does "The Custom House" seem to serve? I need references from the story to prove my point

I think Hawthorne does this to prove he has gone to great lengths to research for his writing before he put it in context. He hopes to validate and give credibility to the expertise he has in...

Latest answer posted April 5, 2010 10:07 am UTC

1 educator answer

Nathaniel Hawthorne

In "The Hollow of the Three Hills," what is Hawthorne's purpose, and how does he shape the plot, tone,...

Nathaniel Hawthorne's purpose is to show how wrong and unnatural it is for a woman to leave her family. He achieves this purpose by showing a woman in unnatural, evil circumstances grieving until...

Latest answer posted August 29, 2019 3:13 pm UTC

2 educator answers

Nathaniel Hawthorne

How does Hawthorne's focus on the 'dark side' of humanity fit into a 'Romantic' view of the world?

As the Enotes study guide on Romanticism points out, the literary movement (which in America is more commonly referred to as American Transcendentalism) stressed the importance of personal...

Latest answer posted July 24, 2012 2:17 pm UTC

1 educator answer

Nathaniel Hawthorne

What are the elements of dark romanticism in Nathaniel Hawthorne's short story The Haunted Mind , mentioning the...

The narrator wakes up but then sinks into the covers and has a chill, not from cold, but from the idea of a frozen world outside. He retreats to the warmth of the bed. But this confinement makes...

Latest answer posted May 21, 2015 6:10 pm UTC

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Nathaniel Hawthorne

Name two figures of speach used in "David Swan" and give an example of each one.  

In this story, I can see many figures of speech. Here are two of them. First, there is hyperbole. This is a figure of speech where a speaker exaggerates some quality or characteristic of some...

Latest answer posted March 2, 2010 10:38 pm UTC

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Nathaniel Hawthorne

In Nathaniel Hawthorne's The May-Pole of Merry Mount, how does the quotation, "They went heavenward, supporting each...

In Hawthorne's allegorical story, New England is composed of two groups of settlers, the residents of Mary Mount and the Puritans. In this new land, "[J]ollity and gloom were contending for an...

Latest answer posted May 13, 2015 5:42 am UTC

1 educator answer

Nathaniel Hawthorne

How can the reader contrast tone and character depictions between the writings of Nathaniel Hawthorne and Washington...

Whereas Washington Irving's folk tales are characterized by a wry humor with touches of mystery and sentimentality, Nathaniel Hawthorne's narratives possess a darkly meditative and uncertain tone,...

Latest answer posted June 27, 2012 7:47 pm UTC

1 educator answer

Nathaniel Hawthorne

Why does Pearl not tell Dimmesdale the real identity of Chillingworth?

In The Scarlet Letter, it is Hester who keeps this secret; her daughter, Pearl, learns the information much later. The man who goes by the name of Roger Chillingworth is actually Hester Prynne’s...

Latest answer posted January 31, 2019 5:14 am UTC

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Nathaniel Hawthorne

Nathaniel Hawthorne Romanticism

Nathaniel Hawthorne is actually considered by critics at large to be a "Dark Romantic" rather than a Romantic, though of course it is recognised that this fits into the wider definition of...

Latest answer posted November 15, 2010 9:10 am UTC

1 educator answer

Nathaniel Hawthorne

Note the use of symbol in either “Young Goodman Brown” or “The Minister’s Black Veil.” Examine one central symbol in...

Nathaniel Hawthorne's "Young Goodman Brown" is full of symbols; in fact, it is a great example of an allegory, a literary work that operates on both literal and symbolic levels. You could choose...

Latest answer posted June 17, 2019 8:43 pm UTC

1 educator answer

Nathaniel Hawthorne

What are some archetypes used in Nathaniel Hawthorne's short story "The Hollow of the Three Hills"?

The principle archetypes, representing the three principal characters, are the Old Crone, the loving Mother, and the wronged though once valiant Warrior and father. Archetype theory holds that...

Latest answer posted June 28, 2012 11:45 pm UTC

1 educator answer

Nathaniel Hawthorne

What does Pearl represent in The Scarlet Letter, specifically and generally?

The scarlet letter “A” which Hester is forced to wear upon her breast is only a sign or accusation that she committed adultery, but the little girl is undeniable circumstantial evidence, living...

Latest answer posted August 23, 2013 9:38 pm UTC

1 educator answer

Nathaniel Hawthorne

What are three literary components of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s writing (such as figurative language, subject matter,...

Since an inquiry about critical research of Hawthorne was also made, the student may wish to explore articles/ essays in such reference works as Critical Literary Criticisms. These volumes of...

Latest answer posted January 31, 2014 2:56 pm UTC

2 educator answers

Nathaniel Hawthorne

What is a good outline/strategy and a non-internet source for a literary research paper on The Scarlet Letter and The...

If you have access to a college or relatively large public library, you can find in the Reference section a series of volumes that contain excellent literary essays that analyze myriad works; these...

Latest answer posted January 23, 2014 1:18 am UTC

2 educator answers

Nathaniel Hawthorne

In his short story "The Maypole of Merry Mount," does Hawthorne describe real animals or men dressed as animals? Did...

If we look at the third paragraph of Nathaniel Hawthorne's "The Maypole of Merry Mount," we can see very clearly that he is not describing real animals dancing around the Maypole but rather men...

Latest answer posted October 4, 2014 7:17 am UTC

1 educator answer

Nathaniel Hawthorne

Compare Nathaniel Hawthorne's short story "The Haunted Mind" to that of Edgar Allan Poe's "The Black Cat" according...

One element linking themes in Romanticism and Gothic literature is the power of the imagination. In more benevolent works, the imagination is praised for its ability to link the thinker/writer with...

Latest answer posted April 22, 2015 7:31 pm UTC

1 educator answer

Nathaniel Hawthorne

What evidence in the story suggests that Brown's journey into the forest represents a journey into his own heart? In...

Nathaniel Hawthorne's story "Young Goodman Brown" has several overtly supernatural elements. Its dreamlike and supernatural elements are the first clues that we should interpret the story...

Latest answer posted November 19, 2017 10:02 pm UTC

1 educator answer

Nathaniel Hawthorne

How do Nathaniel Hawthorne's stories compare to his life?

Hawthorne tended to write historically and about topics as a result of his work experiences. Like most writers he performed many side jobs to make ends meet and his writings left a greater mark...

Latest answer posted September 28, 2010 8:33 am UTC

1 educator answer

Nathaniel Hawthorne

In “Young Goodman Brown” by Nathaniel Hawthorne, what do the woods symbolize? How do they function in the story, and...

Hawthorne's "Young Goodman Brown" is a short story about a man living in a Puritan community which he believes to be inhabited by virtuous people. This is symbolized particularly by his wife,...

Latest answer posted May 16, 2018 7:58 am UTC

1 educator answer

Nathaniel Hawthorne

Review the conversations between Drowne and in Copley in "Drowne's Wooden Image" and explain: How does this reveal...

In his story “Drowne's Wooden Image,” Nathaniel Hawthorne includes a prominent artist of his day, John Singleton Copley (1738–1815). The Boston-based Copley offers a critical evaluation of the...

Latest answer posted April 6, 2020 6:39 am UTC

1 educator answer

Nathaniel Hawthorne

How can Hawthorne’s stories be seen as a response to the political freedom asserted by the American Revolution? How...

Evert Augustus Duyckinck made this statement about Hawthorne: Of the American writers destined to live, he is the most original, the one least indebted to foreign models, or literary precedents of...

Latest answer posted October 6, 2009 10:03 am UTC

2 educator answers

Nathaniel Hawthorne

What message do you think Hawthorne is trying to send to his readers in the story The Devil in the Manuscript, and...

In The Devil in the Manuscript, Hawthorne conveys the message that an author’s words will endure rejection and criticism by others in society and by the author himself to live on with inexorable...

Latest answer posted April 5, 2020 4:57 pm UTC

1 educator answer

Nathaniel Hawthorne

What are the effects of secret sin in Hawthorne's "Rappaccini's Daughter," "The Birthmark," and "The Minister's Black...

The effects of the secret sin motif in "The Minister's Black Veil," "The Birthmark," and "Rappaccini's Daughter" are all disastrous, with the bearers of these secret sins becoming ostracized and...

Latest answer posted July 9, 2020 11:54 am UTC

1 educator answer

Nathaniel Hawthorne

In Hawthorne's "The Birthmark", what is the central tension defining Aylmer?

The central conflict in this story is Aylmer's fight against all that is natural. He is a failed scientist who is constantly attempting to "improve" and "fix" all that...

Latest answer posted November 7, 2008 4:43 am UTC

1 educator answer

Nathaniel Hawthorne

Why is Nathaniel Hawthorne important to American literature?

Nathaniel Hawthorne is one of the most significant American writers of the Romantic period. His dark outlook on humanity, revealed both in his short stories and 1850 novel The Scarlet Letter, run...

Latest answer posted September 10, 2019 12:15 am UTC

1 educator answer

Nathaniel Hawthorne

In the short story "The Birthmark," what does the text reveal about America then and now?

In "The Birthmark," the scientist, Aylmer, fixates on his wife's one imperfection--a hand-shaped birthmark that mars her otherwise beautiful face. When Georgiana, the wife, turns pale, the mark...

Latest answer posted April 17, 2017 11:45 pm UTC

1 educator answer

Nathaniel Hawthorne

What did young Goodman Brown experience in the forest?

Hawthorne's story of Young Goodman Brown was a story of morality and hypocrisy. This short story is a perfect example of the seventeenth-century Puritan society. Hawthorne wrote the story as a...

Latest answer posted May 28, 2011 12:02 pm UTC

1 educator answer

Nathaniel Hawthorne

How does Nathaniel Hawthorne agree with William Wordsworth about the direct consequences of the Industrial Revolution...

The Industrial Revolution introduced new manufacturing ideas and processes to the United States, Europe, and England between the years 1760 and 1840. Mechanized factory systems became the means of...

Latest answer posted August 9, 2019 5:54 pm UTC

1 educator answer

Nathaniel Hawthorne

Why does Hawthorne seem to like symbolism so much in both THE SCARLET LETTER and "The Birthmark"?

Although Hawthorne is often considered a novelist, he thought of himself as a writer of “romances.” “Romances,” in Hawthorne’s sense, are less “realistic” than novels. “Romances” are more...

Latest answer posted June 27, 2011 4:44 am UTC

1 educator answer

Nathaniel Hawthorne

What are all the themese in "Rappaccinis Daughter"?

One major theme of this story is the idea that human beings are a mixture of good and evil and that we cannot exist without one or the other. We are, by our natures, both. Beatrice, for example,...

Latest answer posted December 3, 2017 2:25 pm UTC

1 educator answer

Nathaniel Hawthorne

How does Hawthorne regard his solitude? How does he feel it has affected his life and writing?

One of the most influential Hawthorne biographers is Terrence Martin, who wrote Hawthorne in 1965. Other notable biographies include Nathaniel by Harold Bloom, and Nathaniel Hawthorne in His Times...

Latest answer posted February 12, 2020 1:58 pm UTC

1 educator answer

Nathaniel Hawthorne

How does the historical context of Salem Village and Hawth‘s own family inform the reading of the story?

Not unlike the Reverend Dimmesdale, Nathaniel Hawthorne was plagued by a shadow of guilt which darkened his life. Hawthorne's guilt found its source in his Puritanical ancestors, such as Judge...

Latest answer posted January 4, 2018 10:19 pm UTC

1 educator answer

Nathaniel Hawthorne

Choose a symbol used by Hawthorne in "Young Goodman Brown."  Describe the symbol's meaning, in the context of the...

Another significant symbol in "Young Goodman Brown" is the staff that the old traveler carries made in ...the likeness of a great black snake, so curiously wrought that it might almost be seen to...

Latest answer posted March 3, 2014 7:30 pm UTC

2 educator answers

Nathaniel Hawthorne

How does Nathaniel Hawthorne's frequent focus on the past relate to the emergence of new American literature?

After Hawthorne graduated from college he spent a long period in seclusion working on his writing. He had decided to become a freelance writer. He was to be one of the first such independent,...

Latest answer posted November 15, 2012 2:58 am UTC

1 educator answer

Nathaniel Hawthorne

What is it that haunted Hawthorne?  In other words, explain why he became so dark and despondent

Several factors are believed to have contributed to the dark tone found in many of Hawthorne's writings. First, Hawthorne grew up in a very strictly religious environment in New England, something...

Latest answer posted November 30, 2012 1:51 pm UTC

1 educator answer

Nathaniel Hawthorne

What is the effect on everyone when he wears his black veil

When the minister, Parson Hooper, appears at the meeting house wearing a black veil over his face, his parishioners experience a number of effects. Firstly, Goodman Gray wonders if it really is...

Latest answer posted November 7, 2017 10:28 am UTC

1 educator answer

Nathaniel Hawthorne

Explain how "fantasy" meets "reality" in the outcome of The Devil in the Manuscript by Nathaniel Hawthorne.

One thing worth being aware of is the degree to which fiction and reality are woven together across the entirety of this particular story. After all, if you've read or listened to professional...

Latest answer posted April 5, 2020 6:55 am UTC

1 educator answer

Nathaniel Hawthorne

Hawthorne mentions in several areas the issue of “man’s law” versus more natural order.  Is this an indictment of...

The background to Hawthorne's understanding of natural law is both classical and Christian. In the fifth century, philosophers and sophists distinguished between "physis" or "nature/natural law"...

Latest answer posted October 27, 2011 3:58 am UTC

1 educator answer

Nathaniel Hawthorne

How can I identify and discuss specific techniques or concerns typical of Romanticism exemplified in Hawthorne's...

Nathaniel Hawthorne was what is termed an anti-Romantic, or a dark Romantic. Dark Romanticism is a reaction to Transcendentalism, a belief that seems too optimistic to such writers as Hawthorne,...

Latest answer posted September 15, 2009 1:08 pm UTC

1 educator answer

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