Of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s insight into the Puritan’s simultaneous need for fulfillment and self-destruction, D. H. Lawrence wrote, “Nathaniel knew disagreeable things in his inner soul. He was careful to send them out in disguise.” By means of artfully crafted and compelling tales, Hawthorne explored the destinies and concerns of early American settlers and citizens. In several of the stories in this collection, characters who hold themselves apart from their fellow man fall prey to the corroding desires of lust for perfection. Then they unwittingly commit evils—against themselves and others—in the name of pride. Edgar Allan Poe noted of Hawthorne’s writing: “Every word tells, and there is not a word which does not tell.”
About the Author
Ross C. Murfin, professor of English at and former provost of Southern Methodist University, has also taught at the University of Virginia, Yale University, and the University of Miami, where he was Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. He is the author of such books as Swinburne, Hardy, Lawrence and the Burden of Belief and The Poetry of D. H. Lawrence: Texts and Contexts. He is coauthor, with Supryia Ray, of The Bedford Glossary of Critical and Literary Terms (second edition) and series editor of Bedford/St. Martin's popular Case Studies in Contemporary Criticism.
Date of Birth:July 4, 1804
Date of Death:May 19, 1864
Place of Birth:Salem, Massachusetts
Place of Death:Plymouth, New Hampshire
Education:Bowdoin College, Brunswick, Maine, 1824
What People are Saying About This
“He is an aesthetic solitary. His beautiful, light imagination is the wing that on the autumn evening just brushes the dusky window.”—Henry James
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
You cant leave
This is a difficult story to comprehend, after reading it several times(each time gain more understanding)it finally connected. Hawthorne wrote very imaginative and creative stories about how humans strive for moral and religious prefection, and the ensuing tragedy it brings alone in pursuit of that unattainable goal. This short story is within the same spirit but with an interesting twist thats sure to surprise it's reader.