Custom house essay hawthorne

Furthermore, Hawthorne, in his story, "Endicott and the Red Cross," published nine years before he took his Custom House position, described the incident Custom house essay hawthorne a woman who, like Custom house essay hawthorne Prynne, was forced to wear a letter A on her breast.

While working at the customhouse, surrounded by uninspiring men, the narrator finds himself unable to write. This technique, typical of the narrative conventions of his time, serves as a way of giving his story an air of historic truth.

But this philosophy was eventually swallowed up by the commercialism and financial interests of the s.

His fellow workers mostly hold lifetime appointments secured by family connections. They are elderly and given to telling the same stories repeatedly. The narrator is not just a stand-in for Hawthorne; he is carefully constructed to enhance the book aesthetically and philosophically.

This ambivalence in his thoughts about his ancestors and his hometown is paralleled by his struggle with the need to exercise his artistic talent and the reality of supporting a family. He finds the establishment to be a run-down place, situated on a rotting wharf in a half-finished building.

Hawthorne explains that, in a certain light and time and place, objects ". In his case, it is his relative youth and vitality that separates him from the career customs officers.

Critical Commentary on The Custom House by Nathaniel Hawthorne - Essay Example

First, he feels that his Puritan ancestors would find it frivolous, and indeed he is not able to write until he has been relieved of any real career responsibilities.

The narrator has already mentioned his unease about attempting to make a career out of writing. The clashing of the past and present is further explored in the character of the old General. What kind of a business in life,—what mode of glorifying God, or being serviceable to mankind in his day and generation,—may that be?

He then reads the manuscript. Although this narrator seems to have much in common with Nathaniel Hawthorne himself—Hawthorne also worked as a customs officer, lost his job due to political changes, and had Puritan ancestors whose legacy he considered both a blessing and a curse—it is important not to conflate the two storytellers.

It is the work of one Jonathan Pue, who was a customs surveyor a hundred years earlier. Hawthorne wrote to his sister Elizabeth in"No man can be a Poet and a Bookkeeper at the same time. He is "the soul and spirit of New England hardihood.

Second, he knows that his audience will be small, mostly because he is relating events that happened some two hundred years ago. Hawthorne has ambivalent feelings about their role in his life. Moreover, Hawthorne sets him up to parallel Hester Prynne in significant ways.

The narrator points out the connection between Hester and himself when he notes that he will someday be reduced to a name on a custom stamp, much as she has been reduced to a pile of old papers and a scrap of cloth.

However, we know of no serious, scholarly work that suggests Hawthorne was ever actually in possession of the letter or the manuscript.

The narrator spends his days at the customhouse trying to amuse himself because few ships come to Salem anymore.

The Scarlet Letter

Their blood remains in his veins, but their intolerance and lack of humanity becomes the subject of his novel. Analysis The preface sets the atmosphere of the story and connects the present with the past.

The narrator finds writing therapeutic. The scarlet letter touches his soul he actually feels heat radiate from itand while "the reader may smile," Hawthorne feels a tugging that haunts him like his ancestors.

The narrator finds them to be generally incompetent and innocuously corrupt. In his autobiographical sketch, Hawthorne describes his ancestors as "dim and dusky," "grave, bearded, sable-cloaked, and steel crowned," "bitter persecutors" whose "better deeds" will be diminished by their bad ones.

His time spent in the company of the other customhouse men has taught the narrator that it will be difficult to write in such a way as to make his story accessible to all types of people—particularly to those no longer young at heart.

His job at the Custom House stifles his creativity and imagination. A further connection to the past is his discussion of his ancestors.

Like Hester, the narrator spends his days surrounded by people from whom he feels alienated. It will not be factually precise, but he believes that it will be faithful to the spirit and general outline of the original.get a professional business plan Hawthorne The Custom House Essay resume for recent phd graduate dissertation israel assemblies of god.

The Custom House is largely an autobiographical sketch describing Hawthorne's life as an administrator of the Salem Custom House. It was written to enlarge the tale of The Scarlet Letter, since Hawthorne deemed the story too short to print by itself.

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