A TRULY HAWTHORNE NATION
A TRULY HAWTHORNE NATION Many people have had an effect on this country. The reason for this lies in our country's youth. The United States formed at a time when technological advancements allowed many more people to leave a legacy in its dawning. These advancements led to a creation of literary history. I find it hard to say one person had a larger effect on anything than anyone else, but some people do seem to stand out more than others. In helping to form, or even by just translating how others helped to form this country, authors were able to compile a great deal of literature. This literature has left us a way to learn about our history and many of the important people in it. One of these important people, whom also happened to be an author, was Nathaniel Hawthorne. He wrote about his own experiences, including his observations of other people's experiences. His life led him to the right places at the right times. Today anybody can pick up his works and take from them the knowledge of what it was like to live during his times. Anyone who reads his work inherits just a little bit of his style into their own writing. There is so much of his own work, on top of so much work pertaining to him, in this world that it is hard for him not to have made an impact on it. He has served as a translator, taking in the influences of his time and especially the people of his time, to in turn influence the future. Nathaniel Hathorne was born July 4, 1804, in Salem, Massachusetts(Carey ed. 6). Here alone is where he gained much of his influence, both through his family's history, as well as in his own time. Much of his persona can be understood by knowing some facts of his life. His father died, while at sea, of yellow fever in 1808(Carey ed. 6). Due to a leg injury in 1813 Nathaniel was unable to attend school and was thus home taught by Joseph Worcester for a short time(online:Dates 1800 to 1900- a timeline from Nathaniel Hawthorne: 4/1/99). In 1819 he attended Samuel Archer's School, in preparation for college(Martin 11). In 1820 he was tutored by Benjamin Oliver(11). He began his studies at Bowdoin in 1821, where he was privileged enough to work along side Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Franklin Pierce, and other great minds(Carey ed. 6). In 1830 he added a "w" to his last name, changing it to Hawthorne(online: Dates: 4/1/99). In 1838 a good friend of his, Jonathan Cilley, died in a duel in Washington D.C.(online: Dates: 4/1/99). Nathaniel married Sophia Peabody in July of 1842. He served as consul to Liverpool from 1853 to 1857, a job he received from President Franklin Pierce, most likely as a gift for having written his biography. Nathaniel his wife Sophia and their many children lived a happy adventure filled life. I find it really simple to see where Nathaniel Hawthorne gained his influences, whether it be his family history or the unique paths he chose to take in his extraordinary life. His family had a deep history in quaint Salem Village, where they were involved in the infamous Salem Witch Trials. His embarrassment of this history is the reason many people speculate he changed the spelling of his name. During the early 1830's Nathaniel spent time with the Shakers of Cantebury, New Hampshire(Online: Dates: 4/1/99). In 1840 he began a job in the Boston Custom House. He lived at Brook Farm, a utopian community in West Roxbury, for part of 1841(online: Dates: 4/1/99). From 1853 to 1857, Nathaniel served as consul to Liverpool. I find it easy to say he did not live the average life, he always strove to learn as much as possible about anything he could. Luckily for him, but even more so for us, Nathaniel Hawthorne was given many opportunities to share his wealth of information with the world. In 1836 he was given the privilege of editing and mostly writing the American Magazine of Useful and Entertaining Knowledge(Carey ed. 7). In 1837 Nathaniel edited Peter Parley's Universal History (Martin 11). In 1845 he edited Journal of an African Cruiser, for Horatio Bridge (online: Dates: 4/1/99). In 1847 Hawthorne reviewed Longfellow's Evangeline. In September of 1852 he published The Life of Franklin Pierce, which was used as the campaign biography, when Pierce became the fourteenth president. These were some of his breaks that lead him deeper and more involved into this country's literary history. The place where we can most enjoy Nathaniel Hawthorne's work is in his books. After spending a portion of his life at Bowdoin, he anonymously published Fanshawe, his first attempt at sharing the personal views of his life with the public. Fanshawe was basically a description of the goings on in his college life. He later went on to remove as many copies of this book from the world as possible. We can only speculate as to why he did not want it in circulation, though we continue to print it today. Soon after marrying Sophia, he lived at the Old Manse in Concord, where he was introduced to Ralph Waldo Emerson, the owner of the Manse, Henry David Thorough, a good friend and frequent visitor of Emerson's, Amos Bronson Alcott, a nearby neighbor, Margaret Fuller, and many other radicals of the Transcendentalism movement(Carey ed.:6). Soon after moving out of the Old Manse, in 1846, Nathaniel published Mosses from an Old Manse(online: Dates: 4/1/99). This book is very important, because it is written by Nathaniel Hawthorne, and in it he has left a trace of how other great authors influenced him. In 1850 he published The Scarlet Letter, a story somewhat based on his ancestors' participation in the shortcomings of the early Puritans(online: Dates: 4/1/99). After he had been consul to Liverpool, Nathaniel along with his family traveled Europe, and took great notes of the experiences they had. After going back to Salem he used the compilation of notes as the basis of The Marble Faun, which he published in 1860 (online: Dates: 4/1/99). As you can see from the pattern which I am creating, Nathaniel Hawthorne took in his influences and put his interpretations down in his work. Not only did Nathaniel Hawthorne help to write our history, he helped to spread it in other fashions too. In 1848 he became a manager in a Lyceum, where he was able to use his influence to invite Emerson, Thoreau, Agassiz, Horace Mann, and countless others to lecture(online: Dates: 4/1/99). Through his many relationships, such as his infamous friendship with Franklin Pierce, Hawthorne had the tools to get people informed. As anyone can plainly see, by helping to record history, Nathaniel Hawthorne has become an integral part of it. His influences span far beyond that of my own comprehension. He had an impact on people in his own time, just as he has had on people ever since. In 1849 Hawthorne met Herman Melville at a picnic. The kinship formed between these two artists was shown when Melville dedicated his book Moby Dick to Hawthorne in 1851(Sorel: 73). On March 21, 1994 Vice President Al Gore gave this speech to the International Telecommunications Union: "I have come here 8,000 kilometers from my home to ask you to help create a Global Information Infrastructure. To explain why, I want to begin by reading you something that I first read in high school, 30 years ago. "By means of electricity, the world of matter has become a great nerve, vibrating thousands of miles in a breathless point of time.. The round globe is a vast.brain, instinct with intelligence!" This was not the observation of a physicistor a neurologist. Instead, these visionary words were written in 1851 by Nathaniel Hawthorne, one of my country's greatest writers, who inspired by the development of the telegraph . Much as Jules Verne forsawe submarines and moon landings , Hawthorne foresaw what we are now poised to bring into being ." Whether it be in the development of a technological breakthrough, or the completion of a short story, Nathaniel Hawthorne has been blessed with the ability to touch upon every achievement in this nation. I believe in many ways, Hawthorne was foretelling the future. One such example is when he published The Scarlet Letter, and how he opened up many issues pertaining to the Women's Liberation Movement. He used a lot of symbolism in all his writings, such as in Young Goodman Brown, these symbols were put into place to show women were just as important as men, which also took part in the Women's Suffrage Movement later on. It took a very open-minded man to include these concepts in his works. Quite possibly these works helped to influence the progression of women to go along as well as it has. Like the purpose of a history, Nathaniel Hawthorne has taken the mistakes of the past and taught the future not to make them again, or in the case of mankind he has taught us to refrain from doing it over and over again, as much as possible. Nathaniel Hawthorne took what he had as a history along with the influences in his time to tell the world a story. Whether they were stories from before his time, stories based on his own life, or even just ideas he spread through the bonds he made, he helped knit a sense of history that this nation can call its own. I believe he had just the right mix of history and connections to put him in the center stage of influence. He had relationships with other great authors and artists of his time, whom he was able to grasp the concepts of. He had the political ties from which to gain power and initiative. He even had a family history from which to build on. All these attributes combined with one of the nineteenth century's greatest minds, Nathaniel Hawthorne has been able to do more for this nation than we could ever understand. He paved the way for future writers and historians. He opened the doors for women and liberals. Most of all, he kept us "up to date" on our past. You see, Nathaniel Hawthorne really has served as a translator, taking in the influences of his time and interpreting them in a way to influence the future.
BIBLIOGRAPHY Carey, Gary, M.A., ed.. Cliff's Notes on Hawthorne's The House of the Seven Gables. Lincoln Nebraska: Cliffs Notes Inc.,1984 Dates 1800-1900 a timeline. Online. http://eldred.ne.mediaone.net/nh/nhe.html, April 2, 1999. Fleming, Thomas. "Nathaniel Hawthorne." The Reader's Companion to American History (1991): 493 Hawthorne, Nathaniel. The Celestial Railroad, and other stories. New York, Signet Classics, New American Library, 1980. Hawthorne, Nathaniel. The Scarlet Letter. New York, Signet Classics, New American Library, 1980. Hawthorne, Nathaniel. The Scarlet Letter. Edited by Sculley Bradley, Richmond Croom Beatty, and E. Hudson Long. W. W. Norton ; Company Inc., 1961, 1962. Martin, Terence. Nathaniel Hawthorne. New York, Twayne Publishers Inc., 1965. Quotes from Nathaniel Hawthorne. Online. http://eldred.ne.mediaone.net/nh/nhquotes. html. April 2, 1999 Sorel, Nancy Cauldwell. "Herman Melville and Nathaniel Hawthorne." The Atlantic Monthly. Jan. (1995): 73
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A TRULY HAWTHORNE NATION