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June, 1953 


To Dr. Harry K. Warfel, n^r te^sher, 

and to Ann, my ^fe. 


Life is nede up of oarble and mud* 
-liathanlel llemthome 

If it be true that human nature is evil, 
shall cain nothin.^ \yy blinkLnc the fact. 

-Julian iiawthome 



It is the aia of this studfe-^ to select, classify, and interpr^ 
those stateaesnts froa the cojnplete m-itings of Nathaniel iiairthorne 
^lich indicate the novelist* 3 ■perscmal jMlosc^rf^. Evcas tlK)ngh he 
did not adhere to a farml jMlosophy, he did e:^BCQSS his opinicsts 
often enough and isith consi0t€3wsy enotigh that the patteam ^ hia 
thoa^t msy be ascertaii^d. 'iihen the scattered bits of HawtlKSKiian 
qpdnioB are brou^it to@e*hfia* vBod&r a subject classification, and 
handled chrcaQologically, they present a clear stata^nt of the 
nweiist's cadentation to those phases of life i^iich were of peraiSBiwit 
interest to him* The patt^^n thus forsied constitutes the aental 
substaaice of \*ich the fiction is the end pax>daet. 

This study ^ows the developraent of specific beliefs, the 
relationship between diff«r®nt sets of beliefs, and ncsm of the 
subtleties -shich underlie them, vmile it is not proposed that the 
iiawthomian systsa of thought is of sufficient iugsort to lift the 
novelist into the realm of great thinkers, I believe that this 
aysteiaatic analysis does establish his thoxi^t pattern as intrinsically 
sij^iificant. Indeed, the developed pattern elucidates the key ideas 
of one of Merica^s major novelists. 

Tne prii^ry material for this study is talcon fSrora Ilasrthomo'a 
published works, his journals, and his letters. The evidence I have 
used consiarts of 562 stateioKits, which range in length ffcaa • sin&Le 


short SQfJtence to a passage of several sentences. Those selections, 
which stand out boldly as attsjpts at interpreting life, usually 
against the backgroxind of an event, a characteriaaticm, or a feeling, 
are sententious, fisurative, and decidely moral* One quality of these 
statements tnust be mentioned* They are characteristically orotund, 
oracular, and universal rather than hesitant, uncertain, or particular* 
They are the "truths" with which l^awthome elevates his writings above 
a merely local significance* In effect, th^ serve as a distillation 
of the pure essence of the nan* 

'Then explicatins several phases of the thought pattern it is 
necessary to recall pertinent events in Harrthome's life* It is 
assumed that the readsr is not unfamiliar with these evcaits* Since 
this studfcr does not purport to be biograjSiical in nattire, references 
to Hawthorne's life are eniployed only wiien biography relates quite 
definitely to tlie ideas under consideratit^ • These ideas or individual 
seninfflits of Ilavrbhomian thought are studied as fractions of the bi*oader 
concepts of which they are a part rather tlian for their unique interest. 
Once the novelist's coniraentary in the various thou,:^t areas is 
assiisllated, and once these several areas are taJcen in combination, 
the total thoucht pattern thus brought into being affarda an 
invaluable background for a surer critical understanding of Hawthorne's 
ndnd and art* 

I can expre^ bat imp©*f ^rbly lagr iodeljtedn^ to the overall 
dir^tlng g«rlus of Dr. Harry R« V?arfel» Ills firm, undesrstaiwiing of 
the ^H^ts aad shadosrs" of l^a»thome*s rslnd was of inestiBUsble aid* 
His ccaatinued encotxpage^ent ^ss challenging. To Dr. George D, 
Bartlett I aa siiaLlarly grateful. His keen and determined jsrobing 
of the Ilawthomian concepts wliich I stteaspted to explore repeatedly 
brou^xt those concepts into a gharptrar foous» For the careful 
readings and awisseations of Dr. Ants Oras, Dr. RobOTt K. Bowers, and 
Dr. G(Mrdon E. Bigelow I am deeply appreciative. The ©zperi«ice with 
Hassthojoie -was in ev&cy tk^ isade E»re rich and Ewre delightful by the 
painstaking and trader tutelage of this group of laoi. 




The Nature of Sin 

Brotherhood in Sin 

Concealed Sin 

'rhe ijevil and Dvil 

The Transniission of Sin 

Sin and Purity 

The i:;ffects of Sin 

Unpardonable Sin 





The Approach 

The Cosspound 

The £ph®aeral >juality of Life's Texture 

Observations on the Texture of Life 

Part TiTD. DI:aTH 27 

Grief and Sorrow 


The Nature of Fortune 

The Governing Power of Fortune 

Part Four. MTURE 38 

As God's "oetiy 
As a Goddess 
Hatxzro as iiefuge 
Nature as Symbol 


The Senaitive Soul 
The Solitary Zaal 



Itofc toe. EEAIJTI 51* 

Part Two, RELIGION . . , .«...••• 61. 



Aspects of Iteligion 
Fta^ml Religion 

¥, sociKry «.,.•«•.....,••......•. 80 

Society at Ijsrge 
Political Sociefty 

YI. ¥K)M13J ..«..•.«...««,« % 

The Ftmcticai of WoRffi« 
lowig ifoiaen 

Old HOiaen 
Public Viojaen 

Woiaen in General 
Kiarriage and the Hose 

?II. MS Mm THE AKTIST .,.•.,..•......•... 123 


Sculpt iHr© 




llmrthomo and I-lctitxi 


Talent and Genius 

The Avidience 


The Artist's Ideal 

Metliods and Trobleoas of Art 

vni, nimm nature i65 

limitations on Iv^ankind 
I'fen's Mature 
Individual IJatures 



The Jiature of the Public 

The Nature of the Sick 

The Twilight Zone 

Purpose and Paarer 

The Nature of a liero 

Proverbs ou Human Nature 


The aiGlish 

The Scots 

The French 

The Italians 

The ABjericans 

The Puritans 

New Ihgland 

Similarity of Natures 


Bart Ona« FED0RES3 22U 

x=art Tiro. REFORM i 233 

Part Three. 3SCTHERilC0D 239 

The I^tck of Brotheirtiood 

Part Four. .AR 2l;5 


The Emotional Equation 
The Synthesis 




Sin is prenatal to Haasfthorne»s v/orld. It is nofc adopted l^gr hiai 
merely as entertaining subject matter for ficti«m. Neither is the 
Hawthomiffln interest in sin a manifestation of an abnorraal ppedileetion 
for the seamier side of huraan nattiroj for his interest springs from an 
intuitive acceptance of ?mat the novelist felt to be an indisjHJtable 
acttiality. Any seriotia att^ipt at establishing the system of Cfpinlons 
which underlies Bssithome*& fictlm and wM,ch ctmstitutos the personal 
philosophy of the asan wist issaediately accept the araini|a'©s©nce of sin, 
for svtch an acceptance neoestarily preeedoa a critical understanding of 
the various aspects of life npcm itiich Kawthome reflected and wrote ♦ 

All questicmings of the cause of the novelist's intei^at in sin 
reeain in the conjectural realm, nor do they belie that interest, 

11^ Hawthorn© thus ■wrote, y^ the theme of sin so fascinated 

him, doEdnating his wltings and inspdi'ins his efforts from a 
rsoral jnotivation, is, since no one single trait or definite cause 
is obviously accountable, is to be charged, I supjiose to 
" teiaperaraent . "^ 

Hasvthome posited the existence of sin and consistently called it to 

the foreground, '.vhile he never once questioned either tiie assmgstion 

or the reasons beliind that assuii^ion. Melville eacplores sinj FlairbhcoTie 

states it as a fact of life besrond dispute. Sin's certain power was 

ICarlos Kllng, "Hairthome's View of Sin," Personalist , XIII 
(April 1932), 120. 

ever-present to the Hawthorne mind. From that rnental awareness it 
broadened outward into his fiction with an astonishing fullness. 

The Nature of Sin 

But ^at is the nature of sin as Hawthorne viewed it? "In the 
very depths of every heart there is a toiab aiid a dungeon, though the 
lights, the music, and revelry above may cause us to forget their 
existence, and the buried ones, or prisoners, ^om they hide."(l) 
The certainty of evil is absolute. "There is evil in every human heart, 
which may reiaain latent, periiaps, tiirough tiie whole of life; but 
circumstances may rouse it to activity ."( 2 ) i>in and evil are a natural 
disposition of man, a coiled serpent awaiting action at the snap of a 

Among the old problems of i\iritanism the most exalted is sin, 
hawtii.-.rue had inixeidted the problem but not the accompanying answers of 
election, atonement, and irresistible grace, i^or the study of 
Hawthorne's mind it is necessary to cut back iimiiediately into tlie 
principles of Calvinism, for in rejecting Calvinism as a religion he 
retained it as the raw material of his intellectual probings. "As 
Franklin translated into secular terms the moral discipline of New 
jLi-ngland, so naw-uioi-ne translated into eii5)irical truths the essential 
doctrines of Calvinism, "^ iiawth.^me had broken tiirough the heavy 

2Arabic numbers within parentheses refer to the primary sources 
ox ttiis study, that is, the $62 quotations . The citation of their 
location in iiawthome literature is in the appendix entitled "Citations 
of Primary Sources." 

3aerbert W. Schneider, The Ihiritan i-iind (New York, 1930), p. 256, 

Calvinistic tapestry, but he was xmable to shake himself free from the 
encircling strands of its shattered fibers. It is patent from the 
Hswthomian commentary that the sin-cloud is latent in every heart. 
Moreover, corrupted mankind is forced to act, and when it acts it sins# 
"J'or our natiire is not only destitute of all good, but is so fertile in 
all evils that it cannot reiiiain inactive. "'■^ Hawthorne's statements 
rest snuiily in Calvinistic teaching. 

"what is Guilt? A stain upon the soul. "(3) Chdlt proceeds 
inevitably frcan a sinful act| it is one with sin. Vfiiereas, formally, 
sin Kiay be understood to imply any want of conf ormiby unto, or 
transgj?es6ion of, the laws of ciod, hawthorae notes in a brief but 
forcef\il manner that it is "a stain upon isian's soul." 

Hawthoiixe is not displeased to personify sin as the evil 

mistress to whose call all loankind harkens. "3ut Sin, alasj is careful 

of her bond-slaves; they hear her voice, perhaps, at the holiest 

moment, and are constrained to go whither she suuiraons them.^d^) 

Again, he eoraments on the unlianited quantity and unmanageable quality 

of the sin present in everyday life. 

Perhaps, if we could i^enetrate Nature's secrets, we could find 
that wiiat we call weeds are more essential to the well-being of 
the ^^forld than the most precious f jniit or grain. This may be 
doubted, howeverj for there is an unmistakeable Csid analogy 
between these mcked weeds and the bad habits and sinfiil 
propensities which have overmm the moral worldj and we may as well 
imagine that there is good in one as in the other. (5) 

Cotton Mather voiced the wratii of God in his iiafinalia Christi 

^John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Iteligion, trans. 
John Allen (Philadelphia, 1936;, I, 275. 

Americana , a work not unfandliar to ilawthome.-' 

Every sin both oricinal and actual being a transcression of the 
richteous law of God, and contrary thereunto, doth, in its own 
nature, bring guilt upon the sinner, whereby he is bound over to 
the wrath of God, and the curse of the law, and so made subject to 
death, vilth all its miseries spiritual, temporal and eternal.^ 

The novelist's ideas appear in accord witii the expressed theological 

sentiaent. "0 Judgement Seat, not b;; the pure in heart wast taou 

established, nor in the siuplicity of nature; but by hard and wrinkled 

men, and upon the accumulated heap of eairthly wrong. Thou art the 

very symbol of man's perverted state." (6) 

Sin and evil permit neither balance nor repair in this life. 

And be the stern and sad truth spoken, tJiat the breach v/hich 
guilt has once made into the human soul is never, in tliis mortal 
state, repaired. It may be watched and guarued; so that the eneiTiy 
shall not force liis way again into the citadel, nnd might even, in 
his subsequent assaults, select some other avenue, in preference 
to that -"There he hp.d formerly succeeded. Birb there is still the 
ruined wall, and, near it, the stealthy tread of the foe that would 
win over arrain his unforgotten triumph, (7) 

Calvin's statements on the nature of original sin express a similar 


Original sin, tiicrefore, appears to be an hereditary/ pravity 
and corruption of our nature, diffused through all the parts of 
the soul, rendering us obnoxious to the Divine wrath, and producing 
in us those works wiiich the Scrixjture calls 'works of the flesh.'' 

Hawthorne, with precedent in Calvinism, and in the great majority of 

Christian dogmas, mt;ets sin by intensifying its heinous aspects and by 

5?:Iarion L. Kesselring, Hawthorne's Reading; 1828-1850 (New 
York, 19U9), p. $6, 

Cotton !<Jather, I^^gnalia Christi Americana (Hartford, 1820), 
II, 162. 

7calvin, Institutes , I, 27li. 

insisting on the irreparable breach in human affections occasioned by ^- 
an evil action. 

"So it ever is, whether thus typified or no, that an evil deed 
invests itself idth the character of doom." (8) Sin, evil, and doom are 
an xinholy synonjmious trinity. "IThat is there ao ponderous in evil, tiiat 
a thumb's bignesa of it should outweigh the jnass of thing.g not evil 
which \Yere heaped into the other scalel"(5») Here, in a word, is the 
one incontestible truth. Hawthorne here as elsewhere exclaims | he 
neither doubts nor questions. The blot on man's soul niay not be 
eradicated, niay not be ignored. 

"It must be very tedious to listen, day after day, to the 
minute and coitimonplace iniquities of the multitude of penitents, and it 
cannot be often that these are redeemed by tiie treasixre-trove of a 
great sin." (10) liarely, indeed, is liavrbhorne in as playful a mood 
over GO serious a subject. Herein lies the grim root of the moralist's 
humor—that sin is so basic to life that it may occasionally be jested 
about. Sin is the form givint: cause from v;hich life's substance evolves. 
It is so lElxed v,lth the sundry/ aspects of life that mortal man may 
function onl^y witiiin its shadov-ra. 

Basic to j^iritan theology were the doctrines of original sin 
and hui:ian depravity. Christianity tends to offer an outlet for sin 
Tivith penance, sacrifice, repentance, or by a combination thereof. 
Hawthorne failed to see a ready and easy exit to the problem; he 
continued to reflect Instead upon the natuie of sin, its effect on the 
individual and the group, and on the subtle and miraculous manner in 

■which it teinpers the whole of life. To the certain knoirledge of 
HaTithome, the nature of sin is self-evident to all who would look at 
life unflinchingly. Sin is decidedly more vivid tlian that which falls 
before the eye of man, for it is intuitive and, to a degree, experioiced 
hy aU the senses. 

Brotherhood in Sin 

It is inherent in the very nature of sin that each individual - 
must fall heir to an indistinguishable brotherhood. "Man must not 
disclaim his brotherhood, even with the guiltiest, since, thou^ his 
hand be clean, his heart has surely been polluted by the flitting 
phantoos of iniqiaity."(ll) Hawthorne lashes out occasiaially at the 
holier-than-thou attitude encountered in bigots and hypocrites. "In 
God's name, wiiich of us miserable sinners does deseirve anything?" (12) 
We are alike sianers before God, for the encircling sweep of sin 
brings all within her orbit. 

IJo sin is individual and ended in tine; rather, it creeps like 
concentric circles from a splash in the millpond. "It is a terrible 
thought, that an individual wrong-doing melts into the great mass of 
human crime, and makes us, — ^7^0 dreamed only of o\ir otto little 
separate sin, — makes us guilty of the wliole."(l3) Individual 
Instances have universal reverberations in that each specific enactment 
of a sinful deed echoes the depravity of the race. "Eveiy crime 
destroys more Ldens than our ownl"(ll4) No human being, however agile, 
may leap free of the far-reaching splash of sin. Vdiereas it is 
scarcelj^ a frolicking and optimistic fraternity, this brotherhood in 

sin, sorrow and death, there is every indication that Hawthorne thought ^ 
it, sad though it be, the only legitimate one. 

Concealed Sin 

One noteworthy aspect of sin is that a scarlet "S" is seldom 
stamped on the foreheads of mankind. *• Nothing is more remarkable than 
the various deceptions by Tsrriich guilt conceals itself frcsn the ^ 
perpetrator's conscience, and oftenest, perhaps, ty the splendor of its 
gaKBents.^d^) Attention is again called to the splendid but hollow 
delusion so frequently referred in Hasjthorne's fiction. "Decency and 
external conscience often produce a far fairer outside than is 
warranted by the stain mthin**'(l6) Sin often wears a fair exterior 
and is no longer sought out and exposed to shame. Were secret sins to 
be unmasked, life's thoroughfares would abound in a swarming mass of 
bearers. It is the natiure of sin, however, that it should eat inward 
instead of being merely an outward burden. 

The corrosive nature of sin leads to atteispts to hide guilt. ^ 
Concealment causes hypocrisj'-, and hypocrisy leads the errant one into 
the region of shadows. "To the untrue man, the T?hole universe is 
false,— it is in^xalpable, — it shrinks to nothing within Ms grasp. And 
he Iiifflself, in so far as he shows himself in a false light, becomes a 
shadow, or, indeed, ceases to exist," (17) Hypocrisj^ also leads to 
confusion. "No man, for any considerable period, can wear one face to 
himself, and another to the imiltitude, vrithout finally getting 
bewildered as to which ma^r be the true."(l8) 

Through the ages man has become deft in the art of concealment. 

"At no time are people so sedulously careful to keep their trifling 
appointments, attend to their ordinar:,- occv^iatians, and thus put a 
coramonplace aspect on life, as vhen conscious of some secret that if 
suspected would naJre them look nonstrous in the general e:,'e."(19; 
Both the external, or sociological, and internal, or spiritual- 
peychological aspects of concealed sin indicate that the majority of 
huiaan sins are hidden from view, and that this practiced concealnjent 
of an acknowledged evil is in the seeds of the race and necessitates 
a deterioration of the inner man. The assumption is, too, that social 
intercourse reflects the aanKJ unhealthy concealment. 

The Devil and Evil 
Satan is not alive to iiawthome in the sense tiiat he sniells of 
sulphur and brimstone. i!e does exist, however, as a metaphor for sin, 
"Die fiend in liis own ciiape is less hideous than when he races in the 
breast of man." (20) "Unfatlionable to mere nvortals is the lore of 
fiends." (21) "I.Vexy human being, when given over to the Devil, is 
sizre to liave the wizard mark upon him, in one form or another." (22) 
it is possible tliat the novelist adopts the Devil as the convenient 
and logical sjnabol for sin and evil, or it is also possible tJiat he 
conceives of hiw as pride.^ Ilawthome frequents shadowy realms in \/ 
more than one piece of fiction, and it is indeed probable that he liad 
not completely shaken off the world of Increase l&ther. "And as there 
are many tremendous instances confirming the truth hereof, so that of 

Hawthorne presents the Devil as Pride in "I^lcotismj or, the 

Bosom Serfjent." 

Satan's taking bodil;- posiaession oi' men is none of the least*"^ 

There ai-e no letter or jo'jrnal references to the i)evil. Indeed, 
he furnishes Hawthorne's iaaginaticxi with scant reflective material. 
Although a flesh anci blood Satan does appeal to Hawthorne the romancez— 
the stiniggle for a rum's soul reaches the height of roinance and drama,— 
he did not attract Hawthorne the nian« Hawthorne's cij.nd examined in -^ 
detail the problens of sin, Crod, and iEETK>rtality, and ^ile it held 
t^aciouslj' to and repeatedly probed these concepts, it cared little 
for the preacher's Hell tath its living Satan. It is not likely that a 
Hs^hortie detached fi«oin the threads of formal religion would give lauch 
credulity to a Biblical or to a aitonic Satan, i^liether specifically 
named, or whether referred to as the ''fiend," "foe," or "enein7,« the 
devil does play a leading role in several pieces of Havrfchorne's fiction. 
Creative writers work within a limited and somewhat conventional frame 
of reference, but they need not always believe, for their ovm part, in 
the traditional concepts wiiich they express in fiction. It may be 
doubted v;hether or not Hawthorne cherished an actual belief in the 
Devil. Indeed, Ms lack of reflection on the subject would indicate 
that he was not interested in the devil, or that he did not believe in 

The Transmission of Sin 
Red-loaired cliildren arc frequently born of red-haired parents. 
Sin is transmitted from one ceneration to the next with a greater 

^Increase J%ther, Re):iar!:able Providences. (London, 1690 ), p. 120, 


certainty. "... t}ie weakiiosses and defects, the bad passions, the 
mean tendencies, and tiio moral diseases wliich lead to crime are handed 
down from one generation to another, by a far srirer process of 
trons-nission than hrnnan law iias been able to establish in respect to 
the riches and honors irh Ich it seeks to entail upon posterity." (23) 
l&irtality is nevei' allowed a fresh start, for it niust awaken always to 
.. tlie burden of the past. "To the thoughtful inind there will be no 
tinge of superstition in what we figuratively express, by affirming 
that the ghost of a dead progenitor— p^haps as a porticm of his own 
punishniait — is often doomed to becoiM the lA-ll Genius of his family, "(ali) 
Sin, then, may be transrittod through the blood in rraich tJie manner of 
iMBredltary social diseases, liawthome is here stating a rather 
traditiaial concept — that is, the sins of the father are visited on the - 
son. The consequence of an evil deed does not cease with the death of 
its perpetrator, but continues to rankle in generations of offspring. 

Sin and Purity 
Good and bad angels have long been a coraionplace in literature. 
The conflict in -shich these two entities perpettially engage is seen by 
F^wthoi-no in terns cf the relationship existing b^ween sin and purity. 
Purity wears the haloj its touch is nlraculous and hoi;/, "/.ith 
strong 3r truth be it said, tliat a devout heart mai" consecrate a den of 
thieves, as aii evil one si^ convert a teniple to the sair.o."(25) "Thus 
it is, that, bad as the ■srorld is said to have gro^m, innocence 
continues to malce a paradise around itself, and keep it still 
unf alien. "(26) Purity, JiaAvthome fears, is but an earl;;', teniporary 


alcove in the Gothic structure of life, iHtho-ugh sone few persons , 
survive in a white innocence, the great majority are besnsarec -with 
the imid of sin» 

Hawthorne's conceptic« of lean's brotherhood in sin does not ^ 
permit the innocent to shun the guilty for the salcc of maintaining a 
cloistered virtue.'' 


Who more need the tender succor of the innccent, than 
wretches stained gviiltl And rmst a selfish care for the 
spotlessnesp of our o?/n ^^arinents keep us fi-cn pressinr; the ,?:uilty 
ones close to oxir hearts, idierein, for the verj'- reason that we 
are innocent, lies their securest refuge frotn further ill? (27) 

Innocence or purity serves as a buffer for iniquity. It is clear 

enough, however, that raan's praiisposition to sin is ovsrwhelaing, and 

that purity's pedestal is a tenuous one. 

In Ms vision of purity flawthorne does allcw a brief sunbeam 

to p^ietrats life's darkened pattern. In the sane breath, however, the 

writer resicns hiraself to the inevitable awakeninj;- of the pure by the 

world evil. 

It was that disrial cei-fcainty of the existence of evil in the 
world, vrhich, thoii^h we rm^f fane;/ ourselves fully assured of the 
sad H^.'sterj'' long before, never becomes a portior: of our practical 
belief until it takes su.bstance anc^ reality fr-on the sin of soiae ■^ 
guide, wiioin we have deeply trusted and revered, or some friend 
whon we have dearly loved. (26) 

Cliildhood's innocence is destroyed in turn. 

It is a ver:!" useral/lc epoch, when the evil necessities of life, 
in oxir tortuous world, first get the better of us so far as to 
conpel us to attecgjt a cloud over our transparency, 

^^Hawthome would appear to condemn Hilda in The 'farble Faun on 
the grounds that she fails to comfort the guilty Miriam. 


Simplicity increases in value the longer tre can keep it, and the 
further we carry it onvyard into lifej the loss of a cltild's 
simplicity, in the inevitable lapse of years, causes but a 
natural sigh or two, because even his mother feared tiiat he could 
not keep it always. Bxit after a younc man has brought it through 
his childhood, and has still worn it in his boson, not as an early 
dew-clrop, but as a diamond of pure, white, lustre,— it is a pity 
to lose it, then. (29) 

hKH speaking of the awakening to evil, HaEwthome gives moral — 

warning for the necessity of a good life. "Lert us reflect, that the 

highest path is pointed out by the pure Ideal of those who look up to 

us, and vrho, if v/e tread loss loftily, may never look so high again." (30) 

Yet, innocence must learn through direct observation of life the 

eternal presence of evil. 

The young and pure are not apt to find out that miserable truth 
until it is tarought home to them iiy the guiltiness of some ti-usted 
friend, T ley may have heard much of the evil of the world, and 
seem to know it, but only as an in^jalpable theory. In due time, 
some moirtal, whom they reverence too hir^hly, is commissioned bj' 
Providence to teach them this direful lesson; he perpetrates a sinj 
and Adam falls anew, and Paradise, heretofore in unfaded bloom, is 
lost again, and closed forever, with the fiery swords gloam:lnc at 
its gates. (31) 

Vhereaa Hawthorne does not question, and shows conparatively little 

interest in the fact that the pure are inevitably awakened to evil, he 

shows a permanent interest in iiie psychological readjustments 

accompanying that atralcening. 

"Hence come angels or fiends into our twlll{^t musings, 

according as we may have peopled them in by-gone years. "(32) Here 

again we recognise the dual possibility of the human personality. 

Although the "rood life," which llawbhome recognized as a rarity, aaj' 

prove an effective ballast, nonetheless man's true leanings are toward 



The Sffects of Sin 

If the act of sinning held little interest, the consequences 
of that act hTpnotized Hawthorne's mind. Actual sin normally precedes 
the opening of a Hartliorne tale, and is more often liinted at than 
specifically described. The temporary exaltation of sinning, the iron 
link of a mutual sin, the bliinting effect, the s^ibsequoit isolation — | 
these, rather than the event itself, stir the inner recesses of 
Hawthorne's imagination. The nether world of the sinner beckons to the 
inquisitive author. "Fain would I search out the meaning of words, 
faintly gasped with inteirmingled sobs and broken sentences, half 
audibly spoken between earth and the ^judgeisent seat." (33) It is in 
this tortured realm that much of ilawthorne ' s best fiction finds its 

Actual performance of a siji is a -matter of strength and 

resolution, not of tejnerity. "Crime is for the iron-nerved, who have 

their choice either to endure it, or, if it press too hard, to exert 

their fierce and savage strength for a good purpose, and fling it off 

at oncel"(3ii) Once the sin has been enacted, the initial resolve 

subsides rapidly, only to be replaced hir a variety of perplexing 

impulses . 

But there is a fatality, a feeling so irresistible and 
inevitable tliat it has the force of doom, vriiich almost invariably 
compels/uunan beings to linger around and haunt, ghostlike, the 
spot where some great and inarked event has given the color to 
their lifetime; and still the more irresistibly, the darker the 
tinge that saddens it. (35) 

Tlie sinner returns to the scene of his deed— drawi by a ma^^etic inner 



Hawthorne pondered the effects of sin as thej-- evidenced 
themselves in two distinct directions. "For, "what other dungeon is so 
dark as one's own heart! V.hat jailer so inexorable as one's self J "(36) 
The internal eatinc, here alluded to, and the social manifestations of 
sin both provide an^jle food for an observer psychological!;'' alert. 

"For, guilt has its moment of rapture too. The foremost 
result of a broken law is ever an ecstatic sense of freodoni,''(37) ^ 
Cnce raore the matter of a temporar/ rapture is alluded to. A ^rcat sin 
Hawthorne finds exciting, its effects on human nature dynamic. 

Itomentary passions are delusive, however. 

Yet how tame and wearisome is the impression of all ordinary 
things in the contrast with such a facti How sick and trenrulous, 
the next rooming, is the spirit that lias dai-ed so nuch only the 
night before I Hov/ icy cold is the heart, vshcn the fervor, the 
wild ecstasy of passion, has faded away, and suak dc?m anong the 
dead ashes of the fire that blazed so fiercely, and was fed \ytr the 
very substance of its lifel How faintly docs a criminal stagcer 
onward, laclcing the iiiipulse of that strong madness that hurried 
hiin into Tuilt, and treacherously deserts him in the midst of 

"Possibly, moreover, the nice action of the mind is set ajar by any 

violent shock, as of great misfortune or great crime, so that the finer 

perceptions may be blurred thenceforth, and the effect be traceable in 

all the rninutest conduct of life." (39) Ordinary life is duller now, 

for the power of the moment melts iramodiately and man's sensibilities 

remain henceforth in a blunted condition. 

Beyond all else there is manifest an interest in the isolating Z' 

effect of sin. 

For it is one of the chief eartiily incomraodities of some 
species of nisforbune, or of a great crime, that it malccs the 
actor in the one, or the sufferer of the other, an alien in the 

world, by interposing a wholly unsyrapathetic medium bet-wlxt 
himself and those vrhora iie yearns to meet.(liO) 

The normal, the good people of society vmose company the sinner iidghb 

wish to enjoy are no\? beyond reach. The sinner, by virtue of his sin, 

is alienated from society. 

Psychological observations on the effect of sin offer a 
mottled but striking opportunity for the coniplex turns of Hawthorne's 
nand. The over-all impression derived from a study of these 
observations is a gloorsy one, and it -nay api^ear to a reader of 
Hawthorne that tiiis seemingly undue dwelling on sin is abnormal. It 
is both a blemish and a blessing- of the IlaiTthome intellect that it 
held fast to its concepts. Unwillingly it turned an idea loosej by 
preference it retained and continued to exajnine each idea from every 
conceivable angle. 

Representative v/riters of various Giiristian sects help to 
substantiate Hawthorne's acceptance of sin. "Let us notice noiT some 
of the bad effects that mortal sin produces in the soul. ... It 
leaves a hideous stain in the soul, deforms it, and nakes it hateful 
in the sight of heaven. • • • It renders man a slave of sin, and of 
his evil desires. ''•^■'- Catholicism recognizes "the stain upon the 
soul," and also notes that man is a "slave" to inistress sin. 

Calvin, the Presbyterian Creed, the Lutheran Creed, and the 
Roman Catholic Creed are in basic acrecment on the nature of sin. 

11 J. FM' "Di iiruno. Catholic I^lief (Mew York, 1922), p. 68, 


Our perdition therefore proceeds fron tlie oinfulneas of our 
flesh, not £rom God; it being only a consequence of ovx 
degenerating from our primitive condition. ^^ 

In proportion as God is creat and glorious Calvinism 
recocniaes the sin of roan to be heinous and fatal.l3 

The Lutheran church has alwaj-s regarded the doctrine of human 
depravity as a fundamental article of the Christian System. . , , 
Tiic doctrine is, noreover, so frequently and forcibly inculcated 
in the word of '"od, that no nan ought to profenn to be a believer 
in tiie Scriptures, -who denies its truths. li; 

Of original sin, in which we are bom, we are not personally 
guilty with our o-.'<ti personal -srill, but oiar nature is guilty by the 
ndll of Man our head, mth wliom we form one laoral body throu"-h 
the hanan nature which wo derive from hi.-n,l5 

?^an»s soul and man's body, his vihole nature, are vitiated by 

original sin. This deprav3.ty is an ordained fact of experience behind 

irhich Hawthome does not go. Ho fi.nds it necessar;^ on traditional, 

intuitive, and ernpirical grounds to accept the fact—a fact stated 

emphatically in tiie oajority of Christian doctrines-^without entering 

into the theolo'::ical niceties of those doctrines. 

Unpardonable Sin 
Unpardonable sins violate the sacredness of God's temple, the 
human heart. "Supposing tliat the power arises frora the transfusion of 
one spirit into another, it seen© to ne that the sacredness of an 
individual is violated by itj there would be an intruder into the holy 

^Calvin, Institutes. I, 277. 

13;jgbert ^i'atson Sndth, The Creed of Presbyte rians (liichmond, 
Virginia, 1901), p. 1.8. 

^S. S. Schraucker, Lutheran iJaniial on Scriptu ral Principles 
(Fhiladelpiiia, 1655), p. ^6~, ^— 

^^Di Bruno, Catholic belief , p. 20, 


of holies. . . ."(Ill) A genuine concern with sin appears old-fashioned 
when set beside the laonstrous creations and expectaticais of twentieth 
century America. Such a concern is no longer fashionable.l^ Hawthorne 
was vitally concerned Tffith the sacredness of the heart, the soxa, the 
spirit, tlie persoijaLLity.l7 The personalists, a contenporary groxsp 
represented by B. P. Bowne and :^ar Brightman, present one interesting 
eorollary to Hawthorne's interpretation of the unpardonable sin. "For 
the pOTSonalist, then, the moral will is at the center of personality 
and hence of religion. Any violation of or disi-espect for the laoral 
will is wrong, even if co^dtted in the name of religion. "^^ '.vhereas 
the personalists deplore an intrusion into the personality by social, 
political, or theological forces, llaTrthoi-ne condeans the violation of ^ 
one personality by another. 

The energizing subject of Hawthorne's art WcS the subject of 
all great art; for lacaan life in all its wayward cosgjlexity. Sin is not 
the cardinal subject of Hawthorne's fiction j it is but a keyhole, an 
approach through which to viet life. All writers have an approach to 
their material J a«wthome's approach is through sin. It is necessary 
to en^jhasiae p^^perly th^ naturalness, the conplete assurance -ivith 

l^iiowever, a conparativeiy recent religious rnovement in this 
country/ designates itself "Gliristian realism" or "realistic theology.' 
It insists upon the doctrine that man is a sinner. For a discussion, 
see Mary Frances Thelen, llan as a Sinner (New York, 15 U6). 

l^Both l^han Brand and I'loger Chillingwoarth coismt the 
unpardonable sin of violating an individual personality. 

l^H, N. V/ieman and 3. E. Meland, American Fhilosopnies of 
Eelinion (Chicago, 1936), p. Ili3. 


which Hawrthome follows out liis approach, 3in is the coloring agent 
in the Hairthamian vision. 

Christian theology places on sin an enphaais ■which is often 
atrikinEly Pauline. Folloirlns Saint Paul, Saint Au^rustine wove at the 
same loom. Roth Calvin and Luther patterned their interpretation of 
sin on the "writings of Saint Paul and "aint Augustine. The J'ather 
dynasty carried fonrard Calvin's lancntation of inan's depravity. 
Though a child of the liberation, Harrbhcame is still of Pm-itan stocl:, 
and, nore important, of Puritan instinct. The Hawthorne "who xs 
soraewhat shocked by the sculptiarLng of nakedness evidences the same 
Puritan instinct which could never question the eternal presence of 
sin. It is only through acknowledging the universality of sin that 
one may bej^in to enter the Hawthomien pattern of thought. 


Havrtihomo -was an Interested observer of the pare and imyielding 
substance of wiiioh the daily course of nwrtal existence is composed. 
Life, considered as an entity, is seen to have a specific nature or 
co?istitution which is present to a like degree at all tijties. In the 
physical process of livinf;, raan perforras a brief dance >?hose every 
step is dictated by this constitution — ^which, thouf^li it is infinitely 
complex, is definable within limits. The Hawthomian vie^ of life 
formed itself around intangible eleiaents, yet these eleaents are 
presented in a remarkably concrete terminolor^^. It is well to stucfy 
those basic ingredients which fterathorne saw in life before atteiapting 
to bring :tnan into the developing thought pattern. 

Four phases of life upon ■sv'iich the novelist formed a definite 
set of opinions are* the texture of life, fortune and fate, death, and 
nature. These coriiponents are actualities to be reckoned with, in much 
the manner that sin was reckoned with, for they too are assumed by the 
Hawthorne mind to be prenatal. The sifTiificance of sin lies in the 
background of all Kawthomian thought. To assume the existence of sin, 
for exasaple, is to assume at the saiue time that the dance of life is 
scarcely a festal one. Once it is understood what ilawthome meant by 
sin and what he nxsant by the rock-ribbed dance of life— once tliis 
concept is se^ and felt in all its dark rigidity—than and only then 



may a reader co':prehend the native trend of :^awthome's thought. 

The actual texture of life was envisioned by Hawthorne in bold 
outlines. He manages, fyom his point ol view, to observe, reflect upon, 
and state succinctly with a scientific deftness and self-certainty this 
texture wherein the nature of life resides. In essence, the concept is 
one of marble and mud, AlthoUj-^h the texture is not destitute of actual 
evil, as the turner sonian would sec it, neither is it totally devoid of 
good. It is constituted instead of balanced ingredients vrhich the mind 
of Hawthorne perceived and coraTiented upon with an ever-increasinr: clarity, 

Tlie Approach 

Since the actualities of life are to be faced and fronted 

rather than avoided, in what manner is laan to make his approach? 

How much mud and ndre, how many pools of unclean water, how 
many slippery footsteps, and percliancc heavy tumbles, ndght be 
avoided, if we co-old but tread six inches above the crust of this 
worldl Physically, '.tc cannot do this; our bodies cannot j but it 
soens to ne that cur hearts and minds -na: keep thenselves above 
nioral nud-puddles and other disconifoi^ts of the soul's pathway. (1|2) 

It is a necessity of nan's physical nature, the necessity of Adam's 

flesh, that our bodies are besmeared with the world's ?mid. Hawthorne 

advances the possibility, hcrwever, that the spirit may dwell above and 

beyond this actuality. He advances this possibility with some siaall 

optindsra; yet ho is e:ctrenely reluctant to state it as a fact of 

experience. The inoral gloon so pronouncedly perceived by Hawthorne 

ultimately overpowers all. This being the case, the greatest possible 


folly in approachins life would be to counterfeit or in ax^ manner add 

to the inevitable world sorrows. 

There are so many unsubstaJitial sorrows which the necessity of 
our Jiiortal state begets on idleness, that an observer, casting 
aside scntin^ent, is sonietimes led to question whether there be esny 
real woe, except absolute pJ-sysical sufferinj^ and the loss of 
closest frieaids«(ii3) 

"Is not the world sad enough, in cenuine earnest, ?/ithout making a 

pastiine of mock-sorrows?" (ijii) Yet thore reinains a reasonable approach 

to the oredc»ainantly soleran dance ^-hich all nortals perform, 

"But there is a ¥dsdora that looks grave, and sneers at 

merriment J and again a deeper wisdom, that stoops to be gay as often as 

occasion serves, and oftenest avails itself of shallow and trifling 

grounds of mirthj because, if we wait for I'mre substantial ones, v/e 

seldom can be gay at all.'*(!iJ), Jfere is the approach vrloich Hawthorne 

feels to be tho only sensible one. Here is a raaxint to jot dorni in the 

coianonplace book, to frame on the wall, though it appears incongruous 

anadst the practical a|*iorisms of Franklin and casts an occasional 

shadow on the sunshin:;- certainty of an anersonian dictun. It 

represents, nonetheless, the rla^Tthomian approach — one thorou|^ily 

consistent -srith his lifolonc opinions. 

I'he Compoxmd 

Considered in its simplest form, life nay be reduced to a 

formula or coTnpound, This choinical con]x;und is gray, a inixture of the 

dark with the light, ?'toreover, it is decidedly a dark gray, 

Tlio world is so sad and solcm, that thing j^ meant in jest are 
liable, by an overpowering influence, to become dreadi'ul earnest, — 
;|ayly dressed fantasies turninc to ghostly and black-clad imaces 


of theraselves.(ij6) 

The laovonent of physical life is persistently' Ttallcini^ into increasinc 

darkness. Color, it nay be noted, plays an important metaphorical 

role in Hairthomc's attempt to make vivid his con5x>und» 

Life's nixed and interminfjled texture is nowhere raore clear I.7 

pronounced than in this statement: 

Nevertheless, if we look through all the heroic fortunes of 
mankind, we shall find this same entanclcnK^nt of sonethins noan 
and trivial with whatever is noblest in joy or sorrow. Life is 
laadc up of marble anJ imiJ. And, TriLthout all the deeper trust in 
a comprehensive sj/rrpathy above us, wc rrl^ht honcc be led to 
suspect the insult of a sneer, as well as an iixiiticable frown, 
on the irc« countenance of fate, v.hnt is called poetic insirht 
is the rift of discerning, in this sphere of strancely ningled 
elements, the beauty and the najestv which are coiiipellod to assume 
a rarb so sordid. (Ii7) 

The compound with wiiich nan is forced to contend places limitations 

upon hin which arc in every way as exacting as those imposed by the 

existence of sin. The good, the pure, the beautiful arc present, but 

there is great difficulty in extracting them from the strangely 

mingled ensemble. 

It is difficult for iawthome to believe in man's ability to 
dwell six inches above the earth's siirface. Some hasty and thoughtless 
soul will iinfailingl.y splash the passer-by. Tnls contrast, or 
interminglinc of tragedy with mirth, happens daily, hourly, 
momently." (Ii8) "iiuman destinies look ominous without some perceptible 
intermixtxire of the sable or t:io grco^."(li9) Constantly, the rdnd 
returns to dwell, perJiaps reluctantly, on the actual compound. 

"Troubles (as I rcyself liave experienced, and nany others before 
me) are a sociable sisterhood; they love to come hand in tiand, or 


scHnetimea, even, to coise side by side vrxth long looked-for and 

hoped-for gocd fortune." (50) the balance is rareXy if ever on the 

side of jollity, for all merges finally into the darkeniiig grayness. 

"^'ilien we find ourselves fading into shadows and tinrealities, it seonis 

hardly worth vihile to be sad, but rather to laugh as ga;-ly as we may, 

and ask little reason ¥/herefore.''(5l) Since the transition may 

neither be st^ed nor denied, it is well, once the compound is 

accepted, to find whatever little pleasure is possible. 

'iloorn, by its nature, spreads itself readily over the crust of 


Unquestionably, a care-stricken mortal lias no business abroad, 
v«-hen tlio rest of rnankind arc at high carnival; they imist either 
pelt blm and absolutel^.^ rnart.'j'r liim with jests, and finally bury 
him beneath the aggr. gate heap; or else the potenc.v of iiis darker 
mood, because the tissue of huraan life takes a sad dj'-e more 
readily than a gay one, vri.ll quell their holiday huaors, like the 
aspect of a death's-head at a banquet. (52) 

Life's laughter is but a hair's breadth fron its tears, and frequent 

tears represent the more perman^it state. 

For it is thus, tiiat with only an inconsiderable cliange, the 
gladdest objects and existences beconie tlie saddest; hope fadiiig 
into dlsappointiaent; joy darkening into ,<;:riQf, and festal splendor 
into funereal d^askiness; and all evolving, as theii* moral, a grir.i 
identity between gaj'^ things and sorrowful ones. Only give then a 
little time, and tinTj turn out to be just alikel(53) 

Life evolves to sadness. 

Here, in his elaboration of the compound, iawthome has spoken 

in terras of dark-light, airth-tragedy, gaiety-sadness, and nvarble-niud. 

Both qualitativel;:y and quantitatively the balance tends tcrward 

darkness. V/hile the transcendentalist saw the selfsaiTie world, his 

balance la;^; vdth the li^ht and optimistic. Ilawtiiome's comix)und, one 


filtered throvj^^h sin, is certainly the vxtre pessird.stic of the two. 
Yet, despite its awful solemnity, it is fundamentally based on 
observation and experience. 

The Ephemeral quality of Lifers Texture 

Ha?rthome felt the pressures of life keenly; he felt also the 

fleetinc quality of the moment, but he always insist cjc? that nan rwst 

concentrate on the now rather than the yet to be. 

In this world we are things of a 'rraiaent, and are laade to 
pursue momentary things, with here and there a thought that 
stretcher mistily towards eternity, end perhaps ma,-'' endure as 
lone. All philosopriy that would abstract nankind fron the 
present is no nore than words .(JjIj) 

Thounh the rnarble is inextricably \inited with mud, still it is 

inperative that man dwell on earth and speak onl," of what may be 

actiially known rather than depart the earth in a iT^stical flight. 

"And what arc the hau£htiest of us br^t the ephemeral 

aristocrats of a suniior's day?" (55) Jian's vainglory is denounced by 

Hawthorne in the manner of an eighteenth century graveyard poet, and 

frequently with the same schoolraaster tone. 

But, after all, the most fascinatin- eiiiplo,';^nent is sin^jly to 
write your name in the sand. Draw the letters gigantic, so that 
two stride? :ia.y barcl.Y measure them, and thiee for the lone 
strokes i out deep that the record mar be permanent i Statesmen 
and warriors and poets };ave repent their strength in no better 
cause then tliis. It is acco T^lisheti? Return then in an hour or 
two and seek for this nicht;- record cf a name. The sea will have 
swept over it, oven as time rolls its effacing waves over thie 
names of ?rtatecTnen and warriors and poets. Hark, tho surf travc 
laughs at youi(56) 

Occasionally, Hawthorne advances a private conrnentary on life. 

These brief i-limpses allow the porsc»iality of the man to step into and 


blend itself vdth the more theoretical vrorld of ideas. "I,, 
ajn greedy of the stmnMaxJays for my own sake; the life of man does not 
contain so marxv of them that even one csn be spared without regret." (57) 

ObservaticKis on the Textiure 

How that the approach to life, an airareness of its cold 

ccrapound, and the eph^tjcral qualit;- of that compound, are tsken into 

account, what naj/ be deduced from a detailed observation? First of 

all, the texture does not permit the purely: accidental, the 

raeaninglessj each incident of life is directly iswral. "Thoucht has 

always its efficacy, and every striking incident its noral.^Ci^) 

Although the vforld is of a solid nor&l substance in TRhtch all has 

significance, it is, paradoxically enough, a shadow. •'TiT3e--'where laan 

lives not—^hat is it but etenr3ity?"(59) 

iliis preset life has hardly substance and tangibility enough 
to be the inage of eternityj— the future too soon becomes the 
prescsnt, -jTJiich, before we can grasp it, looks back iipon us as the 
past; — it niust, I think, be only the iniaje of an ira.::s. Our next 
• state of existence, rre laa^y hope, td.!! be nore real — ^that is to 
say, it nay be only one remove froro a reality. Ikrt, as yet, we 
dvrell in the sliadow cast by Tiiae, which is itself the shadow cast 
by Stemity, (60) 

The physical texture of life is but of the thiclmess of a spider's 

web; from a spii^itual point of view it is flimsy indeed, iiather than 

placing Hawthorne in the transcendental stream, these reflections on 

shadows offer a decidedly moralistic observation on the ephemeral 

nature of life's textiire, 

Sian dances to an old jig and accorrplishen bvrt little. 

Possibly sofiie cynic, at once r/iorry and bitter, )ias desired to 
signify, in this pantordirdc scene, that we inortals, v^hatevar oiur 


business or aTusement,— however serious, however trifling, — all 
dance to one identical tune, and, in spite of our ridiculous 
activity bring nothing finally to pass. (61) 

Hawthorne habitually regarded the inrnediate effectiveness of any one 

action or any group of actions with lauch skepticisni. iftid is scarcely 

so plastic as a reformer night tend to believe, Man must await God's 

designs, for the texture of life is far too touch to be handled and 

shaped by inere mortals. Tlie balance iias eternally resided vdth 

sadness, and there is little indeed tliat nan can effect which ttLII 

substantially alter the corpound. 

"But real life never arranges itself exactly like a 
romance." (62) "IVho can tell where happiness may comej or where, 
thou^ an expected guest, it may never show its face?" (63) Ileal life 
does not live happily ever after, for there is a something much 
greater than roan in control. Tlit. dark hue oi life does not whit on at 
man's call, hut rnerril;- continues in a stubborn and often inexplicable 

In lieu of the fast fleeting and, fron man's point of view, 
unmanageable direction of life, ilawthome marvels thai- tJie present 
ehottld appear so fixed, "iaw wonderful that this our narrow foothold 
of the Present should hold its avm so constantly, and, while every 
moment ciianging, should still be like a rock betwixt the encountering 
tides of the Past and the infinite To-come I "(61^) 

The infinitely con^ilex nature of life is at the same tine an 
amazingly simple one. It is preferable to drift with it, enjoy it 
whenever possible, and nc( attempt to direct it. .'Ian is not the 


jaaster of his fate; he is a being who must i-ecogniae his oim lintlts, 
and who must recognize and accept at the same tiai© life's lindt— 
marble and nmd. Hawthorne's analysis of life's texture was not, for 
hini, moral speculation, so imoh as it was a reporting of esperienced 



Hanthorne views death primarily as the only certain release 
from the life coiapoimd, and secondarily as a phase of the texture 
itself. If it frere not for death, life would be iinbearable* "Cxarious 
to iiaagine i»hat siurmtirings and discontent would be rasolted, if any of 
the great so called calaisities of hussn beings were to be abolish^!,— 
as, for instance, death." (65) Ikkoh of life is contim.tal3y in 
EK)uming for dead hopes; if there w«re no release tfirou^ the 
purifying aspects of death, life would soon b« ismeraed and ossified 
in a world-^de mtd. 

^le sometiaies congratulate ourselves at tJie laouisit of waking 
from a troubled dreamj it may be so the aoiaeot after death." (66) 
Life is a strife-torn excursion to Hawthorne, a briar patch of 
countless thorns, wiiose only sure exit is death. "How invariably, 
throughout all the forms of life, do we find these interndngled 
msmorlals of deathl"(67) i3eath, as it presents itself in everyday 
life, grays the corapound. 

In the second sentence of The Scarlet Lett«r , in a spot 
prominent enough to forewarn the reader of the novel of the unfolding 


drama, and vfith a nariced degree of emphasis, the novelist records Vnatt 

The founders of a new colonj'^, whatever Utopia of human virtue 
and happinos;? they nlr-ht originalls' project, have invariably 
recocnized it anonc their eai-liest practical necessities to allot 
a portion of the virgin soil as a cemetery, and another portion as 
the site of a prison. (6(3) 

Throughout his llfetiiae lUnrthome was something; of a haunter of 

graveyards. He was dravm, perliaps, not so Tauch throw^ii nwrbidity as 

by the eternal and basic recognition of death tugging at his intellect. 

Death, rrwreover, is seen to contain the blessing of rest and 

completion. It iias lost its sting, "The best of us beinc unfit to 

die, what an inexpressible absurdity to put the worst to death," (69) 

An individual is not sij^nificant in the Icxig look. 

It may be remarked, however, that of all the events which 
constitute a person's biography, there is scarcely one — none, 
certainly, of aiiythins like a siirdlar ifn!X)rtance — to w^dch the 
vmrld so easily reconciles itself as to his death. In most cases 
and contingencies, the individual is present amonc us, mixed up 
with tiie daily revolution of affairs, and affording a definite 
point for observation. At iiis decease, there is on2y a vacancy, 
and a nomentar:/" eddy,~very srall, as compared with the apparent 
magnitude of the ingurcitated object,— and a bubble or two, 
ascendinc out of the black depth and burstinc at the surface, (70) 

{Jawthome's concern over death lias many facets. In a 

philosophical or religious sense he sees spiritual release and 

completion; accornpanyin^ the event he observes genuine grief and 

sorrow J finally, subsequent to the event, he notes the psychological 

impact of death on life. 

It is vcrj^ singular, how the fact of a nan's death often seenis 
to give people a truer idea of his ciiaracter, v;hr;ther for good or 
evil, than they have ever possessed wJiile he was li'.-inr and acting 
amonr then, Death is so genuine a fact that it excludes 
falsehood, or betrays its emptiness; it is a toiiclistone that 
proves the gold, and dishonors the baser metal. Covd.d the 
departed, whoever lie ciay be, return in a week after iiis decease. 


he v/ould almost invariably find liimself at a liigher or lc»rer 
point than he had formerly occupied, on the scale of public 
appreciation. (71) 

More in keeping with philosophical interests lies the recognition of 

a i^ysteriouc purifyinc aspect, ""'hat a trustful guardian of secret 

matters fire ist Mwi, should we do without Fire and Death?" (72) 

In the final reclconing, death is viewed in a thoroughly 

Christian raanner. 

The dying melt into the great miltitude of the Departed as 
quietly as a drop of water into the ocean, and, it rjaj"- be, are 
conscious of no unfaniiliarity -with their new circui^istancos, but 
iojriodiately becorae aware of an insufferable strangeness in the 
world which they have quitted. Heath lias not taken them away, 
but brought them home. (73) 

;Iere is the sure and shining exit ftora the grayness of life. 

Grief and Sorrow 

HuB»roiis of ilaairthoi'ne's reflections on the effects of death, 

that is, grief and sorrow, are quite obviously of the graveyard school 

of thought. 

But when we ridicule the triteness of raonxiiaental verses, we 
forget tliat Sorrow reads far deeper in thorn than we can, and finds 
a profound and individual pxurport in what seems so va^e and 
inexpressive, unless interpreted by her. She makes the epitaph 
anevf, though tiie self sanse words may have sei-ved for a thousand 
graves. (7h) 

It is an old theme of satire, the falsehood and vanity of 
inonumental eulogies; but vAxen affection and sorroi-.' grave the letters 
■Hith their o«n painful labor, then we tnay be sure tiiat they copy 
fron the record on their hearts. (75) 

Grief is such a leveller, vdth its own dignity and its own 
humility, that the noble and the peasant, the beggar and the 
monarch, will waive their laretcnsions to c>;t^cmal rank without 
the officiousness of interference on our part. (76) 


Illustrious unfortunates attract a ^Tider sympatic, not because 
their griefs are nore intense, but because, being set on lofty 
pedestals, they the better serve nankind as Instances and by -words 
of calamity. (77) 

There commonplace notations are of little intrinsic worth, yet they do 

show to some defyee the sensitive, thorou,?:)i3y human, and at tirres 

almost sentimental nature of the reflective liatirthome. 

Finally, the detached observation of which llawthome is 

extremely capable brings the matter into perspective. 

Thus it is that the grief of the passing nwment trJces upon 
itself an individuality, and a char cter of clirnax, which it is 
destined to lose after a r/hile, and to fade into the dark gray 
tissue corranon to the crave or zlan events of nany years aco. It 
is but for a ■■^oTncnt, comparatively, that anj-lihinj looks strange 
or startlinc, — a truth that has the bitter and tiic sweet in it, (78) 

Tliere is no reason to suspect an iinhealthj'- delight in death on the 

part of Hawthorne} there is every reason to suppose that he accepted 

it, alons with sii, as one of the inevitables. 


Hawthorne has been accused quite unfairly, by various 
interpreters, of fatalism and c.micisTn. An;,' writer who employs the 
terras "fortune," "chance," "necessity," "fate," and "providence" runs 
the risk of being damned as a pagan worshiper of the "Goddess 
Fortima." ".ith Ilawthome, however, the inatter is entirely a Christian 
one. Never is he more orthodox than in his concept of the operation 
of Providence, whichever of the synonyms for Providence Hawthorne 
eniplo;^, it is always clear from the context of the statement that 
the precepts of Galvinisn are not bcinr: violated. 


The }Jat\iro of x ortrme 

Fortune is present iii and concerned -with the affairs ol ii»n» 

"Then mght I exoniplify how an influence beyond cnr control lays its 

strong i^and on every deed we do, and weaves its consequences into an 

iron tissue of necessity. "(79) Ha^horne, had he been a theologian 

rather than a romancer, would fiave been careful to use the technical 

terms Providence. 

Blrst, thm let the readers know that what is called 
providence describes God, not as idly beholding from heaven tiie 
transactions ^Tiiich happen in the world, but as holding the helm 
of the universe, and regulating all event s.^^ 

The idea of r^an as a bit actor in a cosmic drana Intrigues 

Hawthorne, not so ouch that he is aiiazed that it is so, but that the 

absolute truth oi the concept is brouf-ht home so forcibly in everyday 


Vie car! be but partially acquainted oven Tsrith the ev«aits -frhich 
actually influence our course tiirough life, and our final destiny. 
There are inni«:Brable other events — if such they may be called — 
which come close uix>n us, yet pass awa^^ without actual results, 
or even betraying their near approach, by the reflection of any 
light or shadow across our sninds. Could vre know all tiie 
vicissitudes of our fortunes, life would bo too full of hope and 
fear, exultation or disappointment, to afford us a single hour of 
true serenity. (80) 

It is far better, Hawttiome believes, that mn should not be 

acquainted with his destiny. "Life figures itself to juo as a festal 

or funereal procession. All of us have our places, and are to inove 

onward under the direction of the Chief iAarshal.«(3l) Festal and 

funereal are but vivid synonyms of the light and the dark, the marble 

19Calvin, Institutes, I, 222. 


and the raud. M-ji is not a fl-ee agent but follows instead a 

predetermined course. This predetermination tends to oake man feel 

at home in his universe, assures him that the Chief liirshal is in 

full control, and need nowise lead to fatalisni and a cloon^r 


Providence is an accomplished wrecker of man's iriperfect 

plans and aspirations. 

HovT often is the case that, when iii?)ossibilities have come to 
pass and dreams have condensed their inisty substance into 
tangible realities, we find ourselves caln, and even coldly 
self-possessed, ainid circumstances which it would have been a 
delirium of joy or agony to anticipate I I'ate delights to thwart 
us thus. Passion vd.ll choose iiis own tine to rush upoii the 
scene, and lln(;er3 slu^^igishly behind when an appropriate 
adjustment of events would seem to sujomon his appearance. (82) 

Destinal forces, it must be realized, are in congilete control. It is 

a prime characteristic of fortune that she scowls T;hen need her 

ssdle, and smiles when we least expect it. Happiness, like tiie other 

niceties of life, is God-sent not man-nade. 

ilappiness, in this world, if it comes at all, comes 
incidentally. Jlalce it the object of pxo'suit, and it leads us a 
wild-goose chase, and is never attained. Follow some other object, 
and very possibly we nay find tnat we have caught happiness 
■without dreardng of such luck; but, likely enough, it is gone the 
moment vtB say to ourselves— "Here it is I" — like the chest of gold 
that treasure-seekers find. (83) 

Hawthorne's remarks on the nature of foi'tune, taken 

individually, appear to snack of defeatism. 

Chance and claange love to deal vrith men's settled plans, not 
with their idle vagaries. If v;e de?ire unexpected and 
uniniaginable events, we should contrive an iron frajnework, such 
as we fancy nay coE$)el the future to take one inevitable shape; 
then cories in the unexpected, and sliattei's oxit design in 
fragments. (81i) 


It is wisdom not to te^pt the plan-wrecker, far mortals can never stay 
the capricious t^sts of jrortun«« 

In spite of the se<^ing v/aywardtaess of fortune tile tenets of 
Calvinism offer assurance to the doubter* "All futia-e things being 
^^ertain tc us, we hold them in suspense, as though they might ha^^ai 
one way or anotli.ix". lot tlxis reai&iaa a fixed j3:'inciple in our hearts, 
tiaat there vvlll be no event -.diich God has not ordained* "^^ Uawthtane 
is cognizant of tho fact that man fails to comprehend thia cdraciilous 
element in life. "The aettial esqperience of even the laost ordinary 
life is full of events tliat never explain tliCBiselves, either as 
regards their origin or their tendency." (35'i An over-all vie?; is 
above and beyond Ban's limited vision, 

"IJo human effort, an a grand scale, has ever yet restated 
according to the purpose of its projectors. The advantages are 
always incidental. Plan's accidents are God's purposes* We ndes the 
good we sought, and do tlie good we little cared for." (86) Here is a 
basic Fkiwthome precept, esid admonition, ilan desires pure govertiaient, 
reform, or my other good, yet he inevitably fails the quest. "A 
dragon alWaj'-s vsraits on everything tliat is very good»»(87) An angel 
also waits cm evil schemes. After a tirae the two balance each othar, 
but this balonce is 1>eci?^ond the boundaries of the individual's view. 

The Goveming Bower of Fortune 
Fortune's govea-nsjent is a planned religious one in which chaos 

2^Ibid., I, 230. 


receives no portion. This rigid concept Hawthorne eirfbraces 

intuitively and inmediately— .^abraces it with the sanie lack of 

astonishraeait r/ith which he accepts sin. The mind of iiawthome ia 

conplex in that it is highly inquisitive, frequently skeptical of 

gwierally accepted truths, nonnally enrpirical and ioaginative, and 

nearly alvra^s acute to the point of profundity. Yet at the same tine 

it is seldom swayed by cold logic, but believes instead Trith a 

childlike unsh^eable faith. 

"Does it not argue a superintending Providence that, while 

viewless and unercpected events thrust themselves continually athwart 

our path, there should still be regularity enough in mortal life to 

render foresight even partially available?" (88) Hawthorne is not a 

thoroughgoing Puritan; he holds firirdy to certain beliefs which would 

have made the Mathaars shudder. In his basic orientation to life, 

hoTrever, in his forthright pronnilgation of the doctrines of sin and 

Providence, ho is thoroughly traditional. 

God the creator of all things, doth uphold, direct, dispose 
and govern all creatures, acticms and things, from the greatest 
even to the least, by his laost rdse and holy IVovidence, according 
to his infallible foreknowledge, and the free imautable counsel of 
his own will to the praise of the glory of his wisdom, power, 
justice, goodness and mercy. 21 

Omnipotent Providence has talcen on the additional duties of 

assigning tasks and of establishing the basic balance of life. 

But <;hen the ethereal portion of a man of genius is obscured, 
the eartlily part assusies an influence the more uncontrollable, 
because the character is now thrown off the balance to which 

21Cotton iSather, ^iaaialia Christi Americana , II, l6l. 


Providence had so nicely adjusted it, and w dch, in coarser 
natures, is adjusted t^/ some other method. (89) 

So long as we love life for itself, we seldom dread the losing 

it. "hen vro desire life for the attainment of an object, vre 
recocnize the frailty of its texture. But, side by side vdth this 
sense of insecurity, tliere is a vital faith in our inviilnerability 
to the shaft of death r/hile engaged in any task that seems 
assigned hy I^ovidonce as the proper thing to do, and v/hich the 
world would have cause to njoum for should we leave it 
unaccotnplished. (90) 

These staten^nts are but outspoken corollaries of a religious faith. 

"Providence was the expression of ilis inner detea-cdnation, and 
though the lesson of sorite 'divine providences* could be read with 
ease, the teaching of others remained obscure."22 The voicings of 
God's decrees, or providence, is a laatter of some concern. "It was, 
indeed, a mjestic idea, that the destiny of nations should be 
revealed, in these awful hieroglyphics, on the cope of heaven. A 
scroll so wide ndcht not be deenied. too expansive for Providence to 
>7rito a people's doom upon." (91) Perhaps liaarthome would like to be 
able to clsnce at the heavens end read for himself the gigantic 
assurances of a coinmunicative deity. Although >ie no longer believes 
in superstitious omens, he is not as incredulous of the miraculous as 
many of his conteraporaries. 

Hawthorne has observed fortune's daily perfox^^ances in our 
mundane spaiu He has, in fact, become the spokesman of its povTors 
and its ways. 

Destiny, it may be,— the most skilful of stacc-Tfianacers,~ 
seldoin chooses to arrange its scenes, and carrj- forward its drama. 

22perry 'ailer. The nevi l'jif:land Mind (New York, 1939), p. 39. 


without securing the presence of at least one calm obeetver. It 
is ills office to give applause vfhen due, and sometiraes an 
inevitable tear, to detect the final fitness of incident to 
character, and distil in his lone-brooding thought tho whole 
morality of the performance. (92) 

Through the calm observations, and ca3jn reflections of destiny's 
observer, rJathaniel Hawthorne, Aaerican literature was vastly 

The Presbyterian creed offers a fonaal statement of 
Providfflice's adndniatration of the affairs of mankind. 

God is Sovereign, He reigns Suprraae in fact as well as in 
the right. The universe to him is not a surprise, a defeat, a 
failure, but a development of has eternal purpose. That Durpoae 
is Predestination, Tliat developjufflit is Providence, Tne one" is 
the all-wise prodeter-mnod plan in the aind of Godj the other is 
the all-powerful exocuUon of that plan in the administration of 
the universe.*^ J 

The final and ultiaately fair balance of ftrovidence is accepted by 
Hawthorne on faith. 

(Yet the vr&ys of Providence are utterly inscrutable,- and many 
a murder has been done, and many an innocent virgin has lifted 
her white arras, beseeching its aid in her extrendty, and all in 
vain J so that, though Providence is infinitely' good and wise,— 
and perhaps for that ver>' reason, — ^it may l>e half an eternity 
before the great circle of its scheme slaall bring us the 
super-abundant reconpense for all these sorrowsi(93)| 

Calvinism, Puritanifisn, Presbyterianism have frequently been 
misinterpreted and raisquotod on tlieir beliefs in Providence and 
predestination; have been nri. sunder stood for the same reasons that 
llai^home has been erroneously stanped a fatalist. A statement from 
the Presbyterian creed may help to r^xtify this ndsapprehension. 

The doctrine of our Standards is not that "whatever raist be. 

23sraith, The Creed of Fresbyterians . p. 157. 


mist be," bat that whatever God has decreed md purposed shall b«. 
Tl» one expa^ession attributes the ccjurse of events to a blirKi 
laochanical necessity, tlie other to the intelligent purpoae of a 
personal God. Tlie me is fatalisa, the other Foreo3?dination, 
Predestinatic«i, Providence. 2« 

There is no attejsgpt to suggest that Hiorthome's wSjoA. kept a 
literal allegiance to the tenets of Calvin* The doctrine of "electioi" 
was repugnant to him, and "irresistible grace" scarc©3y warmed his 
heart. Hssfthorae did obBerve oertain intangibles— sin and forttme— dn 
the dtedly dance of life. These he saw, these he understood, ti»se Im 
never ^ook off. The essential problem of Calvinisia, liaa aa a sinner, 
and the majestic destinal torcB, Providence, jO^ principal roles in 
Ha»th<aTie*s perscsial iMlosoiSiy. 

H. W. Schneider states tlie trath of the Bii*t©p laost 

Heedless to s^, I^awthonie used the theological tearadnology 
metaphorically. He did not need to believe in Puritanism, for 
he understood it. He sass- the ecgjirical truth b^ind the 
Calvinist symbols. He recovered nrhat Puritans professed but 
seldota practiced— the spirit of piety, humility and tragedy in 
the face of the inscrutable ways of Qod.25 

Sin and the inscrutable ^iay« of fr©vid®ice provide ths imsical 

accoiupaniiaent to which mm perfonas his stately waltz. Hassthorae's 

final reckoning with these actualities constitutes the coiaplete story 

of his j^steiaatized orientation to life. It is sufficient for the 

raoiaent to insist that they are the obvious mental framework on which 

all future specxilation raust be hung. 

%bid. , p. 166. 

2^Sctoeider, The Puritan I/And , p« 262. 




A fourth and final conpsnOTrb of the dance of life, nature, 
Hawthorne conceived of as poetry, goddess, refuge, and symbol. 
Essentially, She is viewed as a participatinc backdrop to life's 
little dramas. Her role is only sllchtly subordinate to that of sin 
and fortune. Althougli nature is much nore than a rjechcnical 
externality or mere scenoiy to Mawthome, ho never saw in Her w5iat 
Einerson and Thorcau were seeinc. -"^he never spoke aloud to hin. In 
Haw^.home's fiction nature plays a very substantial, at ti:Tes a 
dynamic and s:'Tnbolic, role. Nature is never inert natter alone, but 
in the lone '^^^ She is, like her interpreter, more of a laoralist than 
a riystic. 

As God's r^oetry 
"It is strange what humble offices may be perfomed in a 
beautiful scene vd.thout destroying its poetr3'."(9h) "It is strange 
what prosaic linos men t^irust in a-rdd tho poetr/ of nature. . . ."(95) 
There is no indication of an artistic deafhess to the melodious 
rhythms of nature. ?ten, in contrast, is viewed, more often than not, 
as a black blenish to the beauty of tho natural scc«e. Had Hawthorne 
continued to write poetry after his seventeenth year, 26 he would 
scarcely have developed into a nature poet in the ordswortliian sense. 

26na:i-/thome ' s early attempts at nature poetry show little 
promise. For a reprint of the poems see: lizabeth L. Chandler, 
editor, ''taTfthomc'r? oDectator," K'e'.; .•■ngland ^.r^arterly , IV (April 1931) » 


For Ilawthocrne ssw in nattire a jaoral fore© "which blends wit*, 8<«aetiaieo 
echoes, and somctinses shapes the texture of life* Nature is but an 
ingredient of a greater ccBi5>aund| her poetry is therein pBrovocative 
but fiaardly rhapsodic. 

As a Groddess 

"The reason of the sinute superiority of Kature's ■spork over 

nan 'a is, that the forser works from the innenaost g«apffl, iMle the 

latter worka Toet^ supe2'ficially»''(96) Nature is wedded in a 

iqjrsterioua laanner to fortunei sSibb is a Ooddeas moving fornsard firoa 

spiritual origins in a predeteiiained manner. She is not to be 

identified with Providence, for She is a more ijiB^aediate and -warEiep 

administrator of the affairs of vmn. 

It was the fatal flaw of haaaanity uhich Mature, in one shape 
or another, stmpa ineffaceably on all her productions, either to 
iiaply that they are temporary and finite, or that their perfectiwi 
nust be wrought t^ toil and pain. (97) 

"Hattjre sometiines displays a little tendemaas for our vanity, but ia 

never careful far our jadde. She is willing that we should look 

foolish in the eyes of othersj but keeps our little nons^sicalities 

from ourselves." (98) Nature my be seen, then, to have sOTjething of 

the ^mrrath and perscmality of a Goddess. Man is hvA, a child to be 

cuddled or scolded. 

Behind this warmth, in sharp relief to the in^plied taid^ness, 

lies the more deliberate wantonness of natinre. 

Nothing conies aadss to Nature— all is fish that coiae to her 
net. If there be a living form of p««fect beauty instinct TdLth 
soul—wty, it is all very well, and suits Nature -tyell enough. But 
she woxild just as lief liave that sasae beautiful, soul-i?_luniined 
body, to inake worni's meat of, and to manure the earth ^vith.(99) 


In thin instance. She in the fickle j^oddess, Fortuna, in all her pagan 


Korr ?!atnrc seems to love us! And how readil", nevertheless, 
without a sich or a coraplaint, she converts us to a meaner 
purpose, yf.-.exx her highest one — that of a conscious intellectual 
life and sensibility — ^has been untimely balkedl(lOO) 

f.?orc often than not, nature, charged with planting various 

seeds in man, is seen as a second gardener to fortune, "How strange, 

how strange it is, tliis deep, wild passion that nature lias ingjlanted 

in us to be the death of our fellow-creatures, and which coexists at 

the sane binie v/ith horror I "(101) Nature, though more LTTiediate than 

forttme, is at tines id«aitified with her. .'3he is, in fact, in one of 

her aspects, a personal rocecuter of the divine will. Hajrthorne does 

not deify nature, nor does he pledge himself to her rysterious 

messages, for he reads her as a noral rather than an eaotional divine 


■Mature as Refuge 
TIawthome, nore tlian most raen, socnn to have felt the cross 
and crude pressures encountered in earning a living. In his youth ho 
had roTnped in the Ifelne v,x)ods vdth notorious happiness. In young 
manhood he took long walks into nature and was fond of ice skating. 
In his inaturlty and in his autunnal years iic continued the habit of 
nature walks with close friends. He died while on an excursion with 
Pierce, 'alph aldo Snierson had attended lasitJiome on rrore than one 
walking tour; it vras poriiaps all they had in cor:mon, this love for 


The sailor blotxl in Hawthorne was never happy far inland, for 
he found in the coastal mlds and tlie ocean's roar an escape, a relief 
fi'om civilized pressures. "Oh that Providence wotild build lac the 
laerest little shanty, and nark no out a rood or trro of carden-^Tound, 
near the sea-coast." (102) Halem and Liverpool were seaports, w!iereag 
Concord vras too far inland for the descendant of Captain Natlianiel 
llathome, "^Pold" Daniel Hathome, and other sea-going men. 

Nature affords an uncorrupted retreat from "the perverted 

ingenuity of the race." Especially in the auttmai is she apt to 

coddle tliooe wio corae unto her. 

If St' readers should decide to give up civilized life, cities, 
houses, and wliatever laoral or n-aterial enoraatios in addition to 
these tlie perverted ingenuity of our race has contrived, let it 
be in the early autumn. Txien Nature will love hir, better than at 
any other neason, arsd will taJcc him to her bosom with a jnore 
jnotherly tenderness. (IO3) 

It v/as to nature tJmt tfavrbhome vms wont to go vhen life's pressures 


iiut perhaps it is necessary for the health of the human mind 
and heart that there should be a possibility of taldnc refuge in 
what is wild, and uncontamnated by any c^llturej and so it has 
been ordained tliat science shall never alter tho aspect of the 
sky, whether stem, angry, or beneficent, nor of the awful sea, 
either in cal'?. or tenpest, nor of these rude jiichlands.(lOlj) 

Nature as Symbol 
Finally there exists in the renewing aspect of nature a syirtool 
of the purification-rebirth cycle of life. "»ill the world ever be so 
decayed that spi-inc raay not renew its croenness? Can riaxi be so 
dismally age-stricken that no faintest sunshine of nis youth may 
revisit hirn once a year? It is impossible." (105) ii^ch spring 


blanks life out of death with an endless yet eternally beautiful 

B\' and large the syrabolis??; of natiire is unreadable to the 
intellect, "''ihen God expressed himself in the landscape to rrtrmldJid, 
He did not int«id that it should be translated into an:' tonj^e save 
his own iuEnediate one, "(106) r'or beauty nay be felt in the heart 
but never full" comprehended. >he ±r, the painting of an artistically 
adept God, a hi.eror-lyph which man rna-^ neither uncover or crnilate Tdth 
any degree of success. 

Hawthorne's srmbolical nature is one of var^ring aspects. "One 
touch of nature nakes not only the whole world, but all tine, akin." (107) 
Nature is pigantic and beautiful, a nanifestation of God's plan, but, 
above aDJ, a norp.l force in the life of oan. She is the catalyst for 
the corapound of life, although she frequently enters that coiapound. 

Life an an entit:;^, ai^art from the people Trho live it, has 
starnped itself in bold relief on the rdnd of rteavthome. lAfe's 
texbtire is one Tihich ms-r be felt between the fingers, stretched and 
probed, yet it always reverts to the sane pattern. -Tawthome is not 
repelled b-/ the harsliness of that pattern. Death, for exairplc, is 
taken as an intej^ral aspect of life. It is overyvrtierc present as a 
solemn rendnder of nortality, yet Tawthome viewrs it as a jreat 
airakeninc— an awalcening far greater than the one associated with 
Jonathan Edwards. Fate, Fortune, Chance, Destiny, 'Jecessity, 
Rrovidenco and Nature are fused in ifsnrthome's observation into the 
dyna.m.Cf yet unfathomable, directional forces hovering above life'r 


surfaces. They arc seen by the "calm observer'* as detached yet 
meaningful hieroglyphs, if one can roac then, of God's divine plan. 
Riritan exis-tcncc was a predeterminod one— one in "sf.iich nan 
relinquished God's natters to Cod and v.'eat aestfully to fulilll his 
o',^ obllsations. Few systrais ersipJiasizing the free will of nan have 
evidenced a like vitality. The Puritan dance of life is essentially 
tlie one vriaich fiawthome obcerved. It is scleinn, i-igid, and a bit 
forbidding. At the saao time it is the dance ox assxarance in an 
ordered universe. Though there aix fc;v r;trains of light and aiiy 
imsic, neither is there the staccato of hesitation. It is the 
Puritan's world j it is God's Tst^rldj it is Hav/thome's irorld. It is a 
world tutored by norality. It moves to the pipings of sin, for flesh 
is siniUl, but occasiona^JLy it looks npnard frosi the dark texture of 
ji^jysical life to the brighter tc:rttire of a spiritual one. 


ssKsiriviTi: Aim sclituds 

If there is one personal and at the same time social problem 
w^iich confounded Hawthorne tinio and again it is to be discovered in 
that necessity which forces a sensitive person to find solace in an 
insensitive world. The romantic, misleading account of Hairthome's 
life between 1825 and 1837, one depict inr a sensitive and secluded 
artist in a dismal chanjber, has been justifiably aacnded by more recent 
bio-raphers.27 yet Hawthorne was basically both a sensitive and a 
solitary soul. Had it not been for the pressures exerted by Sophia, 
Nathaniel would have been eacerl;/ content to dwell a little apart 
sociall:,'. i ollowin;; his riarria^e on Jiay 9, l8h2, and the subsequent 
political appointuients which befell him, it became mandatoiy that the 
reluctant author assume social burdens in an institutionalized society. 
Once iie entered the outer world, especially during the Uverpool years, 
he became more accustomed to the social role which all men must play to 
some degree. The Hawthorne of 1805 shouldered v/ith some ease social 
obligations wliich would have set the flawthome of 1835 all atrenfcle. 

In one sense of the -mord, Hawthorne entered late into society, 
although he liad never been so far out of it as oarly biographers rero 
prone to believe; yet in a more abstract sense iie .ever entered at all. 

'Robert Cantwell, liathaniel Hawthorne t T he i\nerican Years 
(New York, IShQ), p. viii ffT — 


He tras essentially a fa^TcLl^y nan, a warm friend to not over a half 
dozen people. "Hawthorne was never a very social person, in the sense 
that he liked to have a lot of people arotind him. This was due, in all 
probability, not only to the circiirnstances of his childhood, but to his 
own nature as well.'"' 

Prior to 13!}2 Hawthorne preferred ai individual forra of 
seclusion, wiich becaiae after I81i2 a kind of domestic seclusion, from 
social fanfare, 'ie, like Jonathan Svdft, enjoyed tlie individual but 
not the i'roup. Yet in the midst of his personal stniccle vdth the 
problem of society he was internally possessed of two basic ideas: 
first, raan is essentially alone in the world in that he can never 
break through the invisible barrier to his fellow raan| and, second, 
the world will nqi_lfitL^ nan alone but eternally insists that he 

participate in its affairs as a social being. Intirjately related vath 
these beliefs are the i^robleras w dch thej,'- father: the solitary soul who 
is doo}3ied to the cold outer fringe of society, and the sensitive soul 
whose cross of living lies unbearably heavy upon iiim. 

The Sensitive Soul 
The notion of a soul too sensitive to endure the harsh 
strictures of life is a central one to the Hawthorne philosophy. It 
persists in the fiction, journals, and letters. If there are but two 

types of man, the sensitive and the insensitive, the SoroBr is 

invariably trampled upon by the latter. Life's burdens overwhelm the 

2"L:anning ilawthome, "Hawthorne's iarly 'i;'ears," Lssex 
Institute Historical Collections , IJOCIV (1933), 11. 


sensitive beingj the group becomes a vicious animal; he desires above 
all things to be left alone, to vrlthdraw from the clamor of a busy and 
unconcerned world* "liercy on us, T»hat a noisy world we quiet people 
live in I" (108) Playfully but with a certain seriousness, the reader 
is made aware of triat c^lf existing betweeai a quiet inner irorld and a 
boisterous external one, 

"Bufc tlier© are natures too indolent, or too sensitive, to 
oidure the dust, the sunshine, or the rain, tlie turmoil of laoral and 
jdiysical elements, to wliich all the wayfarers of the world expose 
themselves." (109) It is tragic that there are beings, often with 
imaginative and fertile minds, who are constantly in^aaled upon the 
indifferences and open hostility of the extenial world. Hawthorne was 
enough of a sensitive soul in his ov.n right to feel the wounds keenly* 
The readiest way out is to create an internal v/orld, a world, however, 
which proves a dangerous substitute. "A dreamer mac/ dwell so long 
among fantasies, that the things .vithout fiim will saean as unreal as 
those vdthin."(llO) 

Hawthorne's sensitivity was far removed from that of a 
mildHtnannered Casper Iitllquetoast. He ai joyed good cigars, good 
liqueurs, and good coirpaioy as much as any man, nor was he blind to the 
charms of the fairer sex. At the same time he was quite hesitant aivout 
liftrTidlng on people. "It is very painful to me to disturb and derange 
anybocfy in the world. "(ill) /ilthough frequently imposed upon by 
others,29 Hawthorne was instinctively retiring, and somewhat reluctant 

29Throughout the notebooks there is singjle evidence that 


to ask a favor. 

A sensitive person inajr vTithdraw fi^onj life as Riuch as possible, 

he may play leech to a stronger personality, or he nay relinquish the 

struggle auLtogether. 

In iTioods of heavy despondency, one feels as if it would b© 
delightful to sink domi in some quiet spot, and lie there forever, 
lettinc the soil grtidually accumulate and forra a little hillock 
over us, and the grass and perhaps flowers gather over it. At 
such times, death is too much of eai evunt to be -ifished forj — vm 
have not spirits to encount^:* itj but choose to pass out of 
existence in tiriis slu^^iish wscy.CllS) 

The easily v/ounded i>erson is hard pressed to find the •wheresurithal to 

j'eslst the blunting effect of life. 

There btb chaotic, blind, or djr^jnken nioaents, in the lives of 
persons who lack real force of character, — moinents of test, in 
isiiich courace would most iissert itse3.f,— but wiiei'e these 
individuals, if left to themselves, stagger aimlessly along, or 
follow inpliqitl^- i^hatever guidance rmy befall theni, even if it be 
a child's. Mo matter how preposterous or insane, a purpose is a 
God-send to thaTi. (113) 

Vj'eak, shy, and sensitive creatures need to rely on the gu:ldance 

of others, for once tliey have eiicoxintered tiie "tiud of life" they are 

not again eager to step forward. Self-;Justifications with v^ich shyness 

attempts to excuse itself are on shafc' grounds. 

It is a ver:/ genuine ad-niration, that with iwiiich persons too 
shy or too atvkwar'd to take a due part in the bustline world regard 
the real actors in life's stirring scenes^ so genuine, in fact, 
that the fonner are usu.alli;' fain to make it palatable to their 
self-love, by assumng that these active and forcible; qualities are 
incorapatible vri^tii others, which they choose to deem higher and more 
important • ( III4 ) 

Hawthorne was frequently- imposed on. Begcars found him an easy mark; 
his friends found hin rcadj' to lend money when he had any; several 
Americans stranded in Sngland borrowed but never repaid return passage 

Frequently, and tliis was sonevi^iat the choice of Haarthome, the 
sensitive individual contriver an j_nner world, to act as a buffer to 
the out'.a:, Tr-iich in turn gradually fades from virion. "I need 
MfOTotony, too, an eventless exterior life, before I can live in the 
world within." (11^) This inner trcrld is felt to be of greater 
significance than the artificial structxire of social life. 

There is little reason to assurne that Hawthorne may be 
lecitimatelj/^ characterized as a sensitive soul, h'is sensitivity 
represents but a minor phase of his total personality, and, as is often 
the case with artists, it tends to lack stability. Other corponcnts of 
his intellectual and ernotional make-up are much irioro sharply defined, 
IJeverthGless, the author's fictionallzation of a senaJtive soul 
ndrrors ouc asp.'ct of his ininost self. Sensitivity, as Hawthorne 
lived it and wrote it, appears as that reaction wrdch the idealistic 
and introverted person feels when thrust into a materialistic and 
extroverted world. 

The Solitary Soul 

It is part and parcel of an observer of life that he should be 

cut off from the humanity subjected to iiis gaze. 

The most dej^irable node of existence M^ht be that of a 
spiritualized Paul Pry, hovering invisible round man and vronan, 
witnessinc their deeds, searcl-iin,f: into their hearts, borrowinc 
brif^htness fro-n their felicity and siiadc from their sorrow, and 
retainin£^ no emotion peculiar to himself. (116) 

The role which Hawthorne proposes, ti;at of a Paul Pry, provides the 

detached observer with ample material for reflection and fiction, but 

cl-iills him with a cold and claiaDV afternath. V/hile a role of this 


type enables an atithor to stii^ly himself with raw material for his 
tsritings, it proinotes en rinfortunate breach between author and subject. 

While solitude is to be feared and avoided as a ponaanent 
condition of Hfe, while man's appetite for society is intuitive, 
still there is an occasional longing for the refreshing calM which 
8olittu3e affords » "What would a msxi do, if lie were coopelled to live 
always in the sultry heat of society, and could never bathe himself 
in solitude?" (117) 

The ill effects of solitude overbalance its advantages, and 

the isolated individiial, the laan cut off by the group or lofb behind 

by it, is to be pitied asnong mortals. "Soe© old people have a dread 

of solitude, and whaa better congsany laay not b© had, rejoice even to 

hear the quiet breathing of a babe, asleep upon the carpet," (llQ) 

Solitude is to be dreaded above all other waters in which a roan raacr 

droim himself. Perspective gro«ra into a distorted ideal. 

It is not good for man to cherish a solitary anfeition. lijiless 
there be those around hijn by whose exaiiple he niay regulate himself, 
his thoughts, desires, and hopes mil become extravagant, and be 
the sei*lance, perhaps the reality of a madman. (119) 

In a letter to Loi^fellow in 1837, Hawthorne referred to his 

so-called solitary p«riod and stated the probloa of one laftio has cut 

the warm ties of humanity and drifted into bleak isolati(»i. 

You tell lae tliat you have laet T.Tith troubles and changes. I 
know not wioat the;;- laay have beenj but I can assure you that trouble 
is the next best thing to enjoyment, and that there is no fate in 
the v/orld so horrible as to have no share in either its joys or its 
sorrows ,30 

30sainuel Longfellow, Life of Hairy Wadaworth Longfellow 
(Boston, 1891), I, 26h, 


There were no rp-eat sorrows plaguing: Haarthonie's twelve years of 
literary apprenticeship, neither were there the pleastires of love and 
success. Perhapo the novelist's roaantic self-estiinate is overly 
dramatic. Assuredly, though, it has some basis in fact. 

At the veiy aoment Ts*ien HaTTthome felt himself to be in 
isolation he longed for the crowd. His acceptance of solitude both as 
a p'ersonal problen and as a concern of mankind reco-.'nized that a 
.eluctant fear of tlie crowd must eventually give way before the 
greater evils of solitude. He was continually forced to battle a 
nature which yearned for seclusion and the freedom to think and dream 
and feel.^^ 

By tne time of his niarriage, Hawthome had come to look upon 
the solitude of his early years as a loathso^ne disease. Henceforth he 
conceives of the solitary way in the blackest of terns. "In a forest, 
solitude would be life; in a city, it is death." (120) 

Herein lies the strongest statement of aii ill-starred course: 
"The r.-orst F^ossible fate would be to reraain behind, shivering in t.he 
solitude of tlr^e, iriiile all the r;orld is on the move towards 
eternity." (121) "To persons whose pursuits are insulated from the 
co:!Bnon business of life — who are either in advance of mankind or 
apart ticm it — ^there often comes a sensation of moral cold that makes 
the spirit shiver as if it had reached the frozen solitudes around the 
pole." (122) Physical separation does not enter into the Hawthorne 

31lJathaniel Hawthorne, love Letters of liatlianiel Hawthorne , 
preface by Roswell Field (Chicago, 1907), I, 213. 


concept; he spealrs rather of a corapletc mental and emotional alienation 

i'roia one's fellov/ beings. The outcast desires notldng nore than a 

retiirn to the hunaii fold. "?ersons v;ho have wandered, or been expelled, 

out of the coiatnon track of things, even were it for a better system, 

desire nothing so mch as to bo led back. They shiver in their 

loneliness^ be it on a nountain-top or in a dungeon." (123) 

Repeatedly, llasrthorae ref<^s to that drearj' refjLon of 

isolation as beinc one of a pi^'-sical and nsntal coldness. .Society is 

the heat; solitude the ice of life. 

Generosity is a very fine thing, at a proper tir«e and rrithin 
due limits. But it is an Insufferable bore to see one man 
cngrossine eveiy thoiight of all the woaon, and leaving iiis friend 
to shiver in outer seclusion, TO.thoxjt even the alternative of 

solacing hinself vdtii -.-vhat the more fortunate individual has 
rejected. (I2li) 

Even when recording sentiTnents of tliis kind on the lighter side of the 

ledcer, Hawthorne evinces an abounding ^yiapathy for those who are 

by-passed by life. 

Seclusion, the state of being utterly alone \¥ith one's sell, 

rapidly grows insufferable. 

A secluded irmx oi%en grasps at any opportunity of cosEaunicatinn 
with his kind, ishen it in casiiall:/ offered to hln, and for the 
nonce is suiprisinely fandliar, running out towards his 
chancc-corapanion rdth the giish of a danncd-up torrent, suddenly*- 
unlocked. (125) 

Especiallj'- in the aorc eirtreme raoncnts of life does tlie insufficient 

solitude of self seek out the comr.ion herd for solace. 

,In circurastajices of profound feelinn and passion, there is 
oft^ a sens© that too great a seclusion can not be endured; there 
is an indefinite dread of bein,r qidte alone with the object of our 
deepest interest. The species of solitude that a crowd harbors 


within itseli' is felt to be preferable. In certain conditiono of 
the heart, to the remoteness of a desert or the depths of an 
untrodden v/ood. iiatred, love, or -«iiatcvor kind oi'too intense 
emotion, or even indifference, where emotion has once been, 
i^istixiCtivol^ seeks to interpose soiTie barrier between itself and 
the correspondinc passion in another breast, (126) 

Ilawthcme's chief concern is isith the individual who has been 
shut off by manlcind, or with the one vrho, b:/ virtue of his own nature, 
in the Taidst of companions is unable to brealc the barider betireai 
personalities. Tne inan ymo is alone vrhen in a crowd, alone when with 
friends or fa-aily, is the true solitary figure. Thorns v.olfe, some 
sixty-five years after Hawthorne's death, began to write long and 
earnest novels dealing in part with that invisible barrier separatine 
man f3-on man. He too felt keenly tliat solitude, in its ^oro abstract 
sense, is a permanmt state of mn. lIa:wthome, althou^i he recognizes 
man as a social being, continues to believe that the cocoon of self 
surrounding the individual, hov-'cver transparent it wx: api^ear, is 
scarcely penetrable. 

Sensitivity and solitude are phases of personality ratiier tlian 
a priiTua element of life, ".lioreas sin and the dance of life are 
empirical essences present prior to the enerconce of the individual, 
the sensitive and solitaiy laan reflects one aspect of that omercence. 
It is on the reluctantly einerging individual tiiat the prenatal 
realities and institutional influences of life cut their deepest mark. 
>e is the eternally exposed, nerve-filled figure wliich Hawthorne 
pushes back and forth in his nind with curiosity and with sympathy. 

Hawthorne is ful3y aware that all mtn are not as delicate]^ 


ccaistituted as the unfortunates wiiich he divisions. At the other end 
of the scale there are crassly social, uneraotional beings Trtio are 
repugnant to the artist, ifii-iile the great majtadty fall into a raiddle 
range. Althouj^h -lawthome, in his crm life, tended to rrove torrard 
a JHore balanced social state during his uddcile years, although he 
looked back vdth special dread upon isolated eadstenee, he never lost 
that natural sytripathy for the sensitive and solitary soul. 

The struggle within an individual between his desire for 
isolation and his desire for society affba forth a problem central to 
liawthoniian philosopher. Solitary life, a contentment with one's owi 
self, has about it a cold but wholesome quality i^ich is difficult to 
sadntain in croup living. At the sair© tiKS, hcwever, society offers 
a warmth and companionship v.Mch is essential to man's well-being. 
The continual dileBsm of those individuals iiiKwe native ^ijpathies 
would lead them along the qtdet and lonely pathway emphasizes the 
struri;-:le. «hai eum-ging into the social order the individual 
encounters njass imperfection} yet, emergence is mandatory. There can 
l>e little doubt that Hassthome's preocoxxpation vrith tds prbblwn 
reflects a struggle contained within his own personality. For 
Hawthorne's part, the question was never completely resolved. The 
conflict lessened, but it did not cease. For mankind, Hawthorne urges 
a full participation in the social way. The iisperfect nature of 
society malces mere association an imperfect solution, but the 
gregarious appetite of man makes it the only possible one. 



At the heart of the Ilawthoi-nian world view are two intangible 
interests wnlch are formed upon faith and which supcarsode in a caln 
fashion other concepts developed fi-om observation and reflection. 
These dual essences, "reality" and relicion, are frequently fused, 
because Hawthorne's conception of actuality falls within a reli:dous 
fraiae^mork. At other tirnes, the nature oi' the actual bcconxjs a imique 
problen in H.iirthorne ' s conquest of ideas. For the nost j-art, however, 
the comnentary on "reality" serves as prefatory material for a 
systenatized analysis of >ds relicious thought. 


Although it may appear both personal and intuitive at first 
glance, Ha»srthome's vision of "reality" is not essentially a mystical 
one. Ultimately, it is highly inpersonal, completely natural, and 
thoroushly unspectacular. T ds vision, dealt \dth on tvro planes, 
concerns a single essence. The superficial voicini.;s of polite society 
often counterfeit the liidden thoughts of the social i^articipants in 
the sane nanner that the perception of sensor5' phenomena cloaks life's 
spiritual values, l^n underlyinc "reality" may be detected on both 
these levels, in tho first instance on a United or hujnar; plane and in 



the second <ms a lindtless or spiritual one. 

Earthly things do not possess finality. 

On being transported to strange scenes, fre feol as if a-11 vrore 
unreal. This is but the p^^eption of the true unreality of 
earthly t^iinfjs, made evident b;/- the want of congruity between 
ourselves and them. (127) 

An attempt to discover a true and direct knowledge of the naterial 

world in T9!iich man lives lies beyond Hawthorne* s desire. Such a 

knowledce, if ascertainable, would prove of little worth. '♦But then, 

as I have said above, the grosser life is a dream, and the spiritual 

Ufe a reality." (128) 

Nothing in worldly life constit\rt;es "reality" in a greats 

S(3Jse5 for a priiue ingredient of the life coiapound is that it shall 

be ephei!»ral and siiado^. 

Indeed, we are but shadows — we are not endowed with real life, 
and all that seems Ksost real about us is but the thinnest 
substance of a dream — ^till the heart is touched. Timt touch 
creates us — then v/e becin to be — thereby we are beings of reality, 
and inheritors of eternity. (12?) 

Several seendngly Platonic reflections, reminiscent of KLato's cave 

ayitibolian, when considered in conjunction ? other facets of 

Hawthorne's total conception, are seen in their true lig^ as moral 

assertions of a spiritual truth rather than as elevated metaphysical 

speculation for its own sake. 

In truth, words fail when attesnptinc to define "reality," for 

it is experienced through the feelings and not through the intellect. 

"Viho has not been conscious of nysteries within his ndnd, mysteries of 

truth and reality, which will not wear the chains of language?" (130) 

»lhile a statement on the exact nature of actuality is never advanced, 


it may be averred tlaat what tlie croat body of mankind clutches as 
"reality" is but delusive externality, "i^ucan natixre craves a certain 
raaterialisiii, and clings pertinaciously to v.-hat is tangible, as if that 
were of more importance than the spirit accidaitally involved in it." (131) 

Tliat uriiich is actual is also iioiiortal, tineless, indestructible. 
Pure beauty, of the t;/pe which Shelly [X>eti2ed, possesses these 
qualitien. "Not that beauty is worthy of less than immortality; no, 
the beautiful should live forev r — and thence, perhaps, the sense of 
iniproi»dety v.-lien we see it triumphed over by tine," (132) Earthly 
beauty, though it be a deserving reflection of a perfect spiritual 
beauty, is unfortunately bounded. Celestial beauty is unblemished 
and infinite; the world's beauty is finite, 

SojAiistication, hoT.'cver delicately it is contrived, often 
brings its observer to cm avfareness of the obvious incongrnuty between 
wiiat is said and wiiat is thought, rolite conversation perpetxially 
bordei's on deceit. "Stramge spectacle in human life it is the 
instinctive effort of one and all to hide those gad realities, and 
leave them undisturbed beneath a heap of superficial topics wiiich 
consitirte the riaterials of intesrccurse between man aiici manl"(l33) 
Social intercourse, as ilawthome observes it, partakes too often of 
the purely artificial. 

Two paths to "reality"— one inan-centercd, one God-c«itered— 
seemed worthy of investigation by Harrthorne. The first and more 
artistic raediura, one which man may attenpt, is triat of the iraagination. 
"It is only through the r^cdiun of the imagination that we can lessen 


those iron fetters, wiich we call truth and reality, and make 
ourselves even partially sensible isfhat prisoners we are."(l3tt) A 
heightened imagination, tlien, ma^ cut through the outer lagrers of life 
and into "reality." laiaginaticai is a laan-centered, active jnedima 
which pierces and reveals* Although riawthoitie frequently employed 
tills method in hia fiction, he discussed it but little. Instead, he 
allowed the work to be the final teetiiUDny of the efficacy of this 

The second mediua of perception is passive, intuitive, and 
God-centered. "There is something truer and more real than tshat we 
can see with the eyes and touch -sdth the finger." (135) God, in his 
vdse Providence, occasionally permits the actual to break throu^ the 
deceptive externality of life. This breakthrough raay occur in the 
rugged beauties of nature or in the delicately contrived, iaEm*-aado 
airts. 'ihen vieisring majestic and awesome beauty, a person t^y 
instantly intuit, with no effort on lils orm part, tho existence of 
those universal forces and truths to wMch he is normally blinded. 
Thus it is tliat a sunset or a Baphael painting tends to reassure nan 
of that full and final acquaintance with "reality" which awaits the 
close of physical life. 

"Realities keep to the rear, and put forward an advance-^ard 
of show and humbug." (136) Repeatedly, the novelist refers to that 
lesser plane of deception— one on which the unreal qualitj-- of the daily 
events of life is too apparent, itoiy of the artificialities which 
confront raan in society are intuitively fathoiaed by sensitive 

observers. "But ^et, in some indescribable tray (as is the case with 

all that has deluded us when once foiind out), the poor reality was 

felt beneath the cunninc artifice." (137) 

The manner in which idealism works is intimately related to 

the quest for "reality." Since the "realities" of life are all 

important, he who falls short of knowing than, he who never attains 

his ideals, has still advanced further than the nan who aanages to 

accumulate the merely znaterial goods of life. 

Yet, after all, let us acknowledge it vileer, if not more 
sagacious, to follow out one's day-dream to its final consummation, 
although, if the vision iiave been worth the having, it is certain 
never to be consunEnated otherwise than by a failrire. And Trhat of 
that? Its airiest fragments, impalpable as they nay be, will 
possess a value that lurks not in the niost ponderous realities of 
any practicable scheji». Taey are not the rubbish of the mind.(l38) 

ifeaningful success can be c^'^ined in striving for those indescribable 

yet permanent truths jvist beyond man's innaediate reach. "I think I 

fflight yield to hi^^er poetry of heavenlier wisdom than mortals in the 

flesh have ever sunc or uttered." (139) Continually though, rnan is 

called ajvay from his yearnings for truth and farced to dwell among a 

humanity largely dedicated to surface values. A person inclined 

toward artificiality presents an outer appear<.ace beneath which his 

true being loses its original force. "It is the effect of anything 

coinpletely and ccwisuniaately artificial, in human shape, that the 

persOTi impresses tis as an unreality and as having hardly pith enough 

to cast a shadow up<Mi tlie floor." (lIjO) 

Man, in this life, is c\irtained off from eternal essences! yet 

he retains inysterious inklings of prior happeiings. "scenes and events 


tiiat had once stained theinselves, in deep colors, on the curtain that 

Tirae hangs around us, to shut us in from eternitj^, cannot be quite 

effaced by the succeeding phantasmagoria, and sossetijaes, by a 

palimpsest, show more strongly than they.^dUl) For the rmst part, 

nan is \xnable to coi^prehend the inmost nature of those forces "s^ich 

are functioning aLl around him. Cinly on rare occasions does 

provideitial li^ht break throuch roan's dark enclosure. It is even 

mavo difficult for laortals to push aside momentarily that heavy 

tapestiy. In truth, there is but one solution v^iich jnan rnay himself 


Facts, as wo reall:>' find then, wliatever poetry they r-ay 
invol\fe, are covered vrith a f.-tony excrescence of prose, resembling 
the crust on a beautilMl sea-shell, arid th^/ never show their 
laost delicate and divinest colors until we shall have ^dissolved 
away their grosser actualities by steeping theia long in a 
powerful EKjnstruum of thoxight.(li»2) 

Hawthorne felt no need to question his faith in spiritual substances, 
for though the nature of actuality is difficult to define its 
presence is undeniable. It is blandly assumed and landly revealedj 
for "reality" is a aiatter of feeling and faith, not one of intellect 
and logic. 

Through glimpses of an eternal essence present in the inrrwst 
nature of this world, man may come to understand a true essence. 
There is, then, a l^andaraental spirituality permeatinc all* It may be 
seen, but i:nperfectly, as tliron-h a mist, for raan's nature is a 
corrupted one. Our Y.-orld is "ut a sliadcw of a f^eater spirituality in 
that its tangibles are ephemeral and do not constitute "reality." 
Althou.-h this world eadsts as but a rat>ment in eternity, it is of 


poriiaary importance in that it must consume man's total effort while he 
dirells thereon* 

Those visionaries who would neglect the duties of earthly life 
in an effort to achieve total idealism are in for a rude awakening. 
Hawthorne, thoroxighly cognizant of the necessity of earthly living, 
has no leisure for raystical philosophies idiose aim is to elevate man 
above this world. In truth, iiis entire philoaoplQr is a caveat on 
detached and oblivious idealism. Although his perceptions are taken 
hy hira as natural assurances of that ultirjate knowledge beginning with 
death, although he emphasizes tliat "reality," or spiritual life, does 
await man, he makes it quite clear that man's achievement of a 
spiritual state belongs to another Torld, J&n's first duty is to the 
mortal v.-orld. 

One opportunity of viewing naked actualitv while still residing 
in tliis world is to be found in those gliraraerings wiiich God allows to 
filter throiigh life. Conversely, man may, throv^h ^ipirical stimuli 
distilled by the imacination, break throuch to that selfsame inner 
truth, "lieality"— that all-engulfing presence which surrounds, is 
present v.lthin, and occasionally darts through the ex-temal crust of 
life— may be arrived at in eitner fashion—through the strivings of man 
or through the beneficences of God. Ilawthome's connents on "reality" 
are wholly intuitive, but he assumes that mankind is potentially 
capable of an identical intuition. "Reality" is an undeniable natural 
phenomenon of which all men may partake as they are individually 
capable. The novelist did not assume that he alone held a private 


telephone line with divinity. 

Hawthorne's underst ending of "reality" blends readily ^th his 
acceptance of sin and ifllth the general tenor of his moral and religious 
thought? for although he believes that an ideal world transcends the 
phencanenal one, he insists that mn's life is a pilgrimage through the 
material world and that jnan's chief concern rrast remain in that 
iimnediate realm ^.Gve the will to roodness is feeble and the propensity 
to evil stagf;r:erin2. At the same tiso, the novelist would offer a 
severe warning to those individuals who would shirk the obligations of 
ssortal life. Although Hawthorne's belief in the existence of an 
underlying "reality" is firroly rooted, his comentary on the exact 
nature of that "reality" is not explicit. Taken as a group, his 
assertions of "reality" stand more as a preface to his ideas on 
religion than as pure philosojriiical strictures, 



Religious faith is possible not because laan is good, an image 
of the divine, but because God is pormrful and unduly benevolent, A 
religious attitude may exist in spite of man's inherent evil and 
weakness. Of all the thought areas with -which Hawthorne concerned 
hiraseJ.f, that of reliE:^on is the most clearly and consistently defined. 
Despite the lack of a specific name vd-th which to label Hawthorne's 
religious concepts, the nature of Ms relicious thoucht is easily 

"Hawthorne never made any mention of his or his sisters' 


attending church v/nile they were children, and iiis days at iSomloin were 
filled y.lth fines imposed for cutting prayers and Sunday chapel. "^2 
like many another relicious naii he had no Sunday religion. L'ondnally a 
Unitarian, ^redded to the daughter of a devout unitarian, '^iav^thorne 
cared little or nothing for spocillc creeds. He was too keenly aware 
of man as a sinner to accept in toto the optiMstic Unitarianism of his 
generation. iVhen ilawthorne reflected on Josus, IJis goodness seened 
less significant than the evil things wldch men had done to ftlin.33 An 
hereditary and instinctive smaresness of evil prev^ted Hawthorne's 
accepting an easy religion. 


Hawtliome's belief in that spiritual essence which Christianity 

has designated man's soul was unsiialceable. 

V/e do wrong to our departed friends, and clof; our ovm 
heavenward aspirations, by connecting the idea of the crave \fith 
that of death. Cur thouchts should follow the celestial soul, and 
not the eartiily corpse. (11j3) 

A first acquaintance with one's soul may cone through suffering* 

Any sort of bodily and earthly torment may serve to make us 
sensible that we riave a soul tiiat is not within the jurisdictiwi of 
such sJiadowy demons, — ^it separates the immortal vriLthin us from the 
mortal. (lU;) 

Sufferings of the body are but haircloths which quicken the 
soul's stirrinfs. 

32jjanning iiawthome, "Parental and Family Influences on 
Hawthorne," bissex Institute -iistorical uollections . LX"XV1 (19I4O), 6, 

33c;antwell, The American Years , p. 90, 


Yet vroTds are not -Ithout thoir use, evcai for purposes of 
explanation, — but merely for explaining outward acts, and all sorts 
of ortomal tilings, leaving the soul»s life and action to eaqplain 
itself in its ovm way»(lli5) 

Man's soul is not Ms property, but functions as a thing apart with 

directions all its cmn. Hrequeaitly, souls are squeezed, perliaps by sin, 

until their flutterings become enfeebled. "For there are states of our 

spiritual systein vfl\en the throb of the soul's life is too faint and 

weak to render us capable of religious aspiration," (lii6) Although a 

soul raay fall becalned in individual instances, it still retains full 

potentiality for goodness. 

All souls belong to God, 

It takes davm the solitary pride of laan, beyond most other 
things, to find the itipracticability of flinging aside affections 
that have grorm irksome. 'Hhe bands that were silken once are apt 
to becoi.Tc iron fetters when Tre desire to shalce them off. Our souls, 
after all, are not our cffin* -Ve convey a property in then to those 
with ?;hon we associate; but to vrfiat extent can never be known, 
until we feel the tug, tiie agony, of our abortive effort to resume 
an exclusive sway over ourselves. (lit?) 

"It is because the spirit is inestiirsable that the lifeless body is so 

little valued." (li|8) I^wthome's conception of laan's soizl, v/hile 

conventionally Christian, is also conventionally vague. There is no 

attempt to ferret out the secrets of a soul beyond the fact that there 

is a something which resides isitnin the body during life and leaves it 

upon death for higher regions. It is viewed as a bit of divine 

property terrtporarily housed by a beneficent Creator in physical bein.'rs. 

Actions in this life serve as a springboard for iiaaortality. 
"The sovil shall survive its frail eartltily tenement; and if vfe have 


conducted ourselves Justly here, there idll be a reward for us in 
another, and a better world." (ll{9) "And whatever may be the duration 
of this earthly existence, lot it ever be in our rainds, tliat another 
comes hastening on--w?iich is eternal, "(l^O) This basic notion of 
eternal life does not deviate appreciably from the standard body of 
Christian teachings. 

Heaven is a joyou? place only a breath away; yet hunan nature 
strives too frequently for less substantial rewards, "A man will 
underfTO great toil and hardship for esnds that must be many years 
distantj—as wealth or faiae,— -but none for an end that nay be close at 
hand,— as the joys of }ieaven,«(l51) Man should fasten his gase upon 
firmly rooted etemality, rather than a fluctuating warldly life. 

Has it talked for so many aees and meant nothin^j all the Tjhile? 
Noj for those aces find utterance in the sea's unchancinc voice, 
and warn the listener to withdrarr liis interest fi-on moral 
vicissitudes, and let the infinite idea of eternity pervade his 
soul, (152) 

Good deeds and faith thrust aside the curtain between the 
raoinentary and the etemal. "And thus we, ni^ht ^Tanderers throu-h a 
stormy and dismal vrorld, if we bear tlie lamp of Faitli, enkindled at a 
celestial fire, it will surely lead us hoiae to that heaven whence its 
radiance was borrowed. "(153) There is little to be perceived in 
Hawthorne's nresantation of iranortality w ich would not be acceptable 
to the jTiajority of Christian believers. Ills declaration of faith in an 
afterlife, though it is mde with certainty, nowise balances the darker 
aspects of his life philosophy. 

Somehow, the novelist had picked up the idea that mental labor 


will find its coiapletion in tho next life. "It seera a ^preater pity 
that an accotiiplished worker vrith the hmid should perish prematurely, 
than a person of creat intellects because intellectual arts may be 
cultivated in the next world, but not p5^sical on©s»«(l5U) This sort 
of conjecture on the exact nature of a soul, or on the lieaven in which 
it dweHs, points out once sore that Harbhorne's religion did not 
always evolve from that rationalism so intimately linked with 

In one way, an anthroponsorphic one, the necessity for 
iimaorta-lity is af iUrjaed. "Thus ever does the gross fatality of earth 
exult in its invariable triuafsh over the iniaortal essence which, in 
this dim sAere of half developasnt, deiaands the completeness of a 
higher state." (1^5) Heaven affords Utopian fulfillment for earth's 
projects. Iforeover, it appeoxs as a oecca for total p€jrsona31ties — 
loved ones are united, poets round off their poems, a3.1 is brought to 

The existence of a higher life is thus proclained: first, God 

is benevolent; second, there is sense and order to man's existence; 

third, the natiiro of ii\ysical life is incotipletej fourth, since this 

life is incomplete and since God is just and good, there 'oust be a 


TJiis so frequent abortion of Tnan's deai^st projects inust be 
taken as a proof that the deeds of earth, hmever etherealized by 
piety or genius, ai-e vfitSiout value, except as exercises and 
raanifestations of the si)j-rit. In heaven, all ordinary thought is 
higher and Tijore laelodious than i/dlton's song. Then, vrould he add 
another verse to any strain that he iiad left unfinished here? (156) 

Itorbhome begins empirically vdth a hard world-centered texture and 


ascends intiiltively to celestial heights. 

But God vrould not hax'e made the close so dork and wretched, if 
tnere were iiotriinc beyond; for then it ^voiild have been a fiend that 
created us, and neasured out our existence, and not God* It would 
be sooetiiing beryond Trrong — it would be insult — to be thrust out of 
life into annihilation in t>ls miserable T?ar. ^o, out of the very 
bitterness of death, I gatiier the s^veet assurance of a better state 
of bcin£^.(l57) 

In one instance, Hawthorne questions hds own naivete' in 

assiwdng the existence of heaven with such rrlshful lo^ic. 

If we consider the lives of the lower aninials, we shall see in 
then a close parallelism to tiiose of aorbalaj — toil, strug-le, 
danger, privation, mingled mth cli "Pses of peace and easej enmity, 
affection, a continual hope of bettering tneiaselves, althouf-h tneir 
objects lie at less distance before them than our own do. Thus, no 
ar^unent from the imperfect character of cur existence, and its 
delusor;r pronises, and its injustice, can be drawi in reference to 
our iiaraortality, vf".tiiout, in a defyee, being applicable to our 
bnite brethren. (155) 

It is Jiiglilj? probable that inraortality has becorae so fixed a concept 

that it, like sin, may occasionally be treated rrith levity. On the 

other hand, this one statement may reflect an earnest doubt, one soon 

merged in a sea of certainty. 

Mortal life's crim limitations forewarn eventual perfection. 

God hiiRself cannot conpensate to us for beinn bom, in any 
period short of eternity. All the :.-i.sery Tv-e ca^dure here 
constitutes a claira for another lifej — and, still more, all the 
nappiness, because all true happiness involves so:net inj;; nore than 
the earth owns, and something more than a mortal capacity for the 
enjoyment of it.(13'9) 

And it is the promise of a blessed eternity; for our creator 
would nevei- have made such lovely dayB and have niven us the deep 
hearts to enjoy them, above and bc5''ond all thought, unless vre were 
meant to be iranortrl. This sunshine is a golden pledge thereof. 
It beams tlu-oui^h the gates of paradise anc shows us glimpses far 
inward, (160) 

Beauty, "reality," immortality, though they are kindred terms to 

Iia»thome, are not identical in connotation. Beauty, as a state of 


taste^ nay be thought of as relative and «Bnoral. Yet beatity, as man 
knows it, is but the symbol of a penaanent essence. Since genuine 
beauty descends from another world, it tends to be confused as a symbol 
with the condition t^ich it symbolizes. The conceptions of "reality" 
aiKl inraortality are closely allied in that imnwxtality is merely the 
retiim of the soul to a state of permanent "reality" — a "reality" -SThich 
can be only imperfectly kno^m in physical life, but v/liich inimortality 

In the nddst of more objective voicings there rings always a 
pexrsonal note. "Yet I am not loath to 30 avrayj ingsatient rather; for, 
taking no root, I soon -sreary of any soil in which I may be temporarily 
deposited. The sauK iinpatience I sometij^'S feel or conceive of as 
regards this earthly life. . . ."(I6l) Hav/thome dreaded that he 
might die without leaving anple provision for his wife and cMldren, 
but there is no evidence in his writings of a personal fear of death. 
Immortality is accepted as a natural lega<^. At fifty-five, ilawthome 
was old and tired| Una's severe illness in Italy had especially 
depleted 'lis strength, iihen he returned to America in i860, the fire 
and zest of ten years previous had thoroughly chilled. Death wore a 
kindly face. 

"Now, the very knowledge of God sufficiaitly proves tlie 
immortality of the soul, which rises above tlie world, since an 
evanescent breath or inspiration could not arrive at the fountain of 
life."^*^ The Calvinistic concept of the after life is proved by the 

3liCalvin, Institutes . I, 20li. 


very fact that God exists. For Hawthorne, heaven is intuitive. ""He 
have strongly within us the sense of an undying principle, and we 
transfer tliat true sense to triis life and to the body, instead of 
interpreting it Justly as the promise of spiritual Immortality." (162) 
It is the incurable disease of a corrupted humanity that it perverts 
and ndschannels its longinc for LTmortality. 

If nan performs good deeds and keeps faith he will be awarded 
a niche in heaven. Fleaven, wiicre human aspirations are culminated on 
a divine level, is thought of as a more perfect world. Here man is 
compensated for the mud of his earthl- life. The existence of a 
spiritual life is known through an undeniable intuition. Taken as a 
group, these {lawthomian reflections on iianortality are iDore notable 
for their number than for their variety. 


God is presented in surprisingly warm terms, ilawthome speaks 
of a personal deity, a loving caretaker, whose chief attribxite is 
goodness. It is true that an equally strong conception of fortune 
enip*iasizes the complete and awesome sovereignty of God. 

Calvin had stressed tiie ruling powers of the Creator. 

Therefore, since God claims a power unknown to us of governing 
the world, let fais be to us the law of sobriety and modesty, to 
acquiesce to his supreme dominion, to account his -^11 the onlv 
rale of righteousness, and most righteous cause of all thlngsT'^ 

Puritan divines had likewise singled out the sovereignty of God as the 

one attribute TThich could be rendered most vivid to human 

^ ^Ibid.> I, 235. 


intelligence,^^ ?Mle Jfawthome is a thorou^going Puritan in his 

clea3>-cut recognition of the goveminc pcmesr of Cod, or Providence, he 

leans toward an abstract optiraism v/hen he reflects on the natiare of God. 

Sindlarly, Calvinisra, w»iile it raroaches the attribute of sovereignty 

for the a»st part, mokes it plain enougii in its dogma that throupih }iis 

baieflcence God is a •R'arm and munificent father to each and all» 

To HatHthome, Ood is inmeasurably good. 

"Kius it appears that all the external beauty of the universe is 
a free gift from God over and above Tihat is necessary to o\ir 
coiafort. Mow grateful, then, should we be to tliat divine Benevolence, 
TThich showers even superfluous bounties upon us i (163) 

VMle God's goodness is bountiful in an absolute or final sense, 

iramediate actions ranain inscrutable. "God has injparted to the hmaan 

soul a aarvelous strength In guarding its secrets, and he keeps at 

least the deepest and iKJst inward record for his awn perusal." (I61i) 

He reads souls as readily as man reads a newspaper, and He gives each 

a just and thorough reading* 

Thei^G is no mention, when dealing with that infinite 
disembodied primal spirit, of anger or harshness. Providence is 
necessarily severe in that it mingles vdth a corrupted world, and is 
viewed as it -Brorks upon that world; but God, although he institutes 
Providence, is not besmeared Ti?ith earth's nire. 

A paternal God actively loves and cares for all mankind. 

It is a comfortable thought, that the smallest and most turbid 
mud— puddle can contain itr; own pictiu*e of Heaven. T^t us remember 
this, when we feel inclined to deny all spiritual life to sonie 

3^./illiam V.'arren Sweet, lleligion in Colonial Ainerica (New York, 
1951), p. 98. 


Manifestations of that lovinc care are felt in mortal life. "God does 

not let us live anywtiere or anyhow on earth, vdthout placing something 

of iaaven close at hand, by rightly using and considerine which, the 

earthly darl-mes.g or trouble will vanish, and all be Heaven." (166) 

Trinitarians stress the qualities of goodness and mercy trtien speaking 

of Ciirist. The Puritans had thought in terms of "irresistible .-race." 

Jiawthome, since he intellectually rejects the divinity of Jesus, nay 

well liave shifted back to God those attributes rhich Trinitarians find 

personified in Christ. Tnat is not to say that Trinitarians do not 

attribute supreme coodness and riercy to God, for they do; yet they 

frequently treat God as a rather distant supreme Deity and view Christ 

as an immediate and warn .'^:avior. ^,7hile Providence is seen as a 

conparatively cold force by Hawthorne, God, by contrast, takes on a 

warmth not typical of the Puritan's God, 

Calvinism assures man of the active directive energies of God. 

For he is accounted omnipotent, not because he is able to act, 
yet sits down in idleness, or continues by a general instinct the 
order of nature orir-Lnally appointed b- him; but because he rovems 
heaven and earth br/ his providence, and regulates all thin-s'in 
such a manner that nothing ha--ons but according to his comsel.37 

Hawthorne, in like vein, writes of a supreme caretaker. "But God, who 

made us, knows, and will not leave us on our toilsome and doubtful 

march, either to wander in infinite uncertainty, or perish by the 

wayl"(l67) Once again there is a recognition of a warm dordnion. As 

the recipient of paternal care, man owes prayer for what is so 

3'' Calvin, Institutes . I, 220, 


gratuitously given, "The air, -Tdth God's sweetest arid tendarest 
sunshine in it, was rreant for mankind to breathe into their hearts, 
and send forth again as the utterance of prayer. "(168) 

ftrayer is one expression of man's dutiful allegiance to Godj 
htaallity is another. "Tlais is the true way to doj a mn ought not to 
be too proud to let his eyes be moistened in the presence of God and of 
a friend." (169) "God knows bestj but I wish He had so ordered it that 
our Jiortal bodies, wiaen we have done wit^ them, might vanish out of 
sight and sense, like bubbles." (170) whether in jest or in earnest, 
Hawthorne does not question divine intellicencoj he remains humble 
before it. Feeling and faith provide sxifficient grounds for belief, 
"But he never discuss^ jr^ligion in set terras either in Ms writings 
or in his talk. He 'believed' in God but never sought to define hiffl."38 

In contrast to the dark afflriaation of Providence, HaOTthome's 
warm asserticai of God coE»g as a pleasant surprise. The dojainemt 
isgiression of God, if God may be separated from his own providential 
nature, is more Unitarian than Puritan. While Hawthorne had almost 
nothing to say on the subject of Hjercy itself, he does pay full homage 
to God's goodness* 

38julian Hawthorne, The liemoirs of Julian Hawthorne , ed. iiiith 
G. }Iawthome (New York, 1938), p. 16, It is interesting to speculate 
on the nature of the God in which Havrthome believed. It woidd seem 
from the coranentary on man's soul and on imiTOrtality that the God he 
envisioned did not differ greatly from the Christian God as presented 
in the Scriptures. iiojYcver, since Mawthome does differ from the 
majority of Christians in tliat he rejects the Trinity and in that he 
seems to have had little belief in the devil or in hell, it may well 
be tliat his conception of God is not nearly so conventional as it 
ndght at first appear. 


Aspects of Relifdon 

Religion is an unlettered institution in that it requires 
sinrplicity and hundlity of its subjects rather t!ian erudition. In the 
most trivial workincs of life, reli-ion reaches out to nan. "^Jo 
fountain is so small but that Heaven may be imaged in its bosom. "(171) 
Ho creature is left dr^/ \yy the outflowinc relicious tide. 

"Purity and sinplicity hold converse at ever moment 7,ith their 

Creator." (172) It is a consistent belief of Hawthorne's that 

simplicity and purity are intiiaately connected with divinity. Just as 

there is an undeniable chain of evil running throughout life, even so 

is there a corresponding chain of goodness. 

In every good action there is divine quality, vrfiich does not 
end with the conpletion of that ^ articular deed, but goes on to 
bring forth good works in an infinite series. It is seldom 
possible, indeed, for humn eyes to trace out the chain o^ blessed 
consequences, that extends from a man's simple and conscientious 
act, lierc on earth, and connects it nith labors of love 
which the angels make it their joy to perform, in heaven above. (173) 

Assertions of goodness appear as a minority report however, r.-hen placed 
beside the vivid and immense body of recognized evil. Although 
goodness Isolds equal qualitative strength with evil, the fonaer is 
overwhelioed by tlie quantity of the latter, llairthome's conmentaiy on 
the various aspects of religion, in its repeated emphasis of goodness, 
tends to neglect for the moment the sterner phase of religion— God's 
indefeasible sovereignty. 

Unless the believer have an unquestioning faith, religion 
provides a free play for his imagination, iiarrthorne is nambered a->»ng 
these who have faith; yet he inserts a rather darinn thounht of what 
conceivably might be. 


Perhaps there are idgher intelligences that look upon all the 
manifestations of the hioman mind — metaphysics, ethics, histories, 
politics, poems, stories etc etc— with the same interest as we do 
on flowers, or any other liirable production of naturej finding a 
beauty and fitness even in the poorest of them vnaich vie cannot see 
in the best. (171)) 

It is a fanciful idea, not a serious one, 

"Generally, I suspect, -.-men jjeoj-jle throw off the faith th^ 
were bom in, the best soil of their hearts is apt to clinf; to its 
roots." (175) In England, in lioiae, however far from the land of his 
ajicestors Ilavrthome journeyed, he never relinquished his birthright. 
The roots vrere in roiritanisa and they ^"ore infinitely deep. 

Calvin was certain that the day of judgment would see numerous 
souls fallen into Mell. "For those whom the Lord does not favour v?ith 
the governiaent of his Spiilt, he abandons. In righteous judgeiaent, to 
the influence of Satan, "-^^ >»Mle there are abiondant coinments by 
Hawthorne affirming Ms mental and einotional acceptance of God and 
Heaven, t'aere is little or no evidence, outside of fictional 
i^presentations, that the novelist countenanced a literal belief in 
Satan and Hell, At times, he seeias to take ?irhat is tantaiiount to the 
existentialist view that nian is lids own hell. "At the last day—I 
presuiae, that is, in all future days, when we see oui>selves as we are- 
man's only inexorable jud^-e Td.ll bo liinjself, and the punishment of his 
sins will be the perception of them." (176) Satan and Hell find little 
roon in iiawthome's world of ideas, yet it is true that he utilized 
ti:ien as dramatic features of his tales, it is conceivable that tiatan 

^ '^Calvin, Institutes , i, 335 • 


and I'ell, in their traditional onplpyacnt as fictional entities, are 
knovm to the Hawthorne intellect as convenient raetaphora for evil; even 
though they are not wholly discarded fron an emotional standpoint, 

A blacksmith my perform his tasks in a religious nanner, 
Calvin and the Puritan fathers had preached the doctrine th^t work is 
worship. (^7e do ourselves VTonc, and too neanly estinate the Holiness 
above us, \iiien we deen that any act or enjoyaent, cood in itself, is 
not rood to do religiously," (177)) 

Ilawthome chose to consaent on the brij^ter aspects of religion 
rather tiian the darker ones. Helicion is seen as more than a way of 
lifej it becones life itself. Purity, goodness, hurdlity are comraended 
as earthly manifestations of divinity. 

Formal Religion 
Hawthorne's irreligion consisted in his not attending church: 
as a ciiild, ho was rarely present at .'unday services; dur-ing his 
courtship, Sophia could not prevail upon him to hear visiting 
minis-ters; in liiglond, he sent the children to church and felt inuch 
better tliereby, but did not go himself. Tiiere was no one sect with 
sufficient ans»Ters for :iawbhorne's questioning nind. He had cast off 
sonie vital 'uritan beliefs as untenable, but ho failed to find confort 
in the rationalistic prograra of New England Unitarianism. The eternal 
\7rangling over ninute doctrinal points, which formal religions 
iVequentl^' engage in, was especially repugnant, ilawthome dwelt in a 
subjective religious world ^vhich felt no need for the objective act of 
church going. 


"0, but the chfurch is the syndbol of religion. May its site, 
which vfas consecrated on the day vrtien the first tree was felled, be 
kept holy forever, a spot of solitude and peace, audd the trouble and 
vanity of our week-day worldl"(l78) I'mile the church Imd slight 
appeal to Hawthorne the Indixddual, he heartily reccanraeads it for the 
rest of mankind. The Church, however, may be found in the Individual 
heart vdth more ceii>ainty than in the visible church building* 

Clerical people, with their dxist-destined volumes, failed to 
make a favorable iinpression. "I find that my respect for cleidcal 
people as such, and v^ faith in the utility of the:lr office, decreases 
daily. V,e certainly do need a new revelation — a new system— for there 
seems to be no life in the old one." (179) There is snore than one 
appeal by HaiMthorne for a nevr apostle to rescue Protestantism from 
stagnant waters. 

One of the most disconcertins aspects of formal religion is 

that it rapidly grows intolerant. This scriisraatic tendency of 

Protestantism is as old as tiinc. Sects tend to pull apart rather than 

draw together in a rriutual effoart for a coriimon cause. 

iilach sect surrounds its orai ri^'hteousness vritti a heoEo of 
thorns. It is difficult for the good Cliristian to aclmowledge tiie 
good Paean J alnost impossible for the z^od C^rtiiodox to p^asp the 
hand of the good l^itarian, lo<ivinc to their Creator to settle the 
natters -m dispute, and civing their rmttial efforts strongly ajid 
trustingly to whatever right thing is too evident to be 
mistaken. (180) 

Simplicity is the keynote of rolicion. Books of relifaon, many 
of vrhich /lawthorne had thumbed, seemed to hiia to miss the heart of the 

Books of religion, however, cannot be considered a fair test 


of the enduring and vivacious properties of human thought, because 
such books so seldom really touch upon their ostensible subject, 
and have, tlierefore, so little business to be written at all. So 
lone as an unlettered soul can attain to saving-; -race, there would 
seen to be no deadly error in holdin- libraries to be 
accuEiulations of, for the most part, stupendous impertinence. (131) 

notwithstanding an evident disdain of theolosical tomes, there 

is ever:,' indication that Ilavrbhome held the liible to be the inspired 

word of God. In a letter to his publisher, Janes T. I'lelds, in i860, 

there is a tribute to the saving powers of the Scriptures: 

u.,-,'^*? -^ "°* surgest to you, last summer, the mbUcation of the 
.Able m ten or tTrelvc 12 rx. voluaies? I think "it would have creat 
success, and, at least (but. as a publisher, I suppose tJiis is the 
very smallest of ;-o'ar cares), it would result in the salvation of 
a creat many souls, w:>o would never find their way to heaven, if 
left to learn it from the inconvenient editions of the Scriptures 
now in use.*^'-' 

By 1358, Hawthorne had increasincly come to feel that 
Protestantism needed rejuvenation. "Protestantism needs a new apostle 
to convert it into soraethinc positive. . . ,»il82) In the same year 
he made his first real acquaintance with Catholicism, i«l and r/as both 
attracted and repelled by what he found. 'n^Tiat better use could be 
made of life, after middle-age, when the accumulated sins are many and 
the remaining temptations few, than to spend it all in kissing the 
black cross of the Coliseuml"(l83) V^Tiile Catholicism, especially the 
Homan Popes, evoked rather harsh criticism and satirical thrusts from 
iiawthome, he discovered that certain practices of the Catholic faith, 
notably the confessional, deeply appealed to him. 

^° James T. fields. Yesterday vdLth Authors (Boston, 1900), p. 95, 

Hawthorne's youngest daughter. Rose, became a Catholic convert 
some years after her father's death. 


The Catholic Chiirch is praiseworthy in that it keeps religion 
present to the daily life of man. 

V.liatever raay be the iniquities of tlie papal system, it was a and lovely sentiment that set up the frequent shrine and cross 
along the roadside. IJo wayfarer, bent on whatever worldly errand, 
can fail to be recdnded at every mile or t-.'fo, that tJils is not the 
business ^^Mch most concerns iiin. The pleasure-seeker is silently 
adironished tc look heavenward for a joy infinitely nreater than he 
now possesses. The wretch in testptation beholds the cross, and is 
warned that, if he yield, the Sit^viour's aeon;/ for his sake will 
have been ^idured in vain.(l3it) 

Catholicism continually rerninds her followers of life's deeper 

laeanings. Ilawthome is more than superficially attracted by 

Catholicisa, but it is extremely doubtful that he woidd have ever 

becoine a ccsivert. His energy for any sort of outer participation in 

religion was quite feeble. 

Since the universe in wliich he found himself was predominantly 

inoral, Hasrthome felt nan's chief business and urgent problem to be a 

sufficient laorality.^^ Calvinism had provided an intellectual 

backer ound steeped in sriorality. 

Calvinism in fact is not essentially a systemtic body of 
doctrine. Its essence is revealed in that wrdch Calvin consistently 
strove to effect and actually succeeded in effecting; In no snail 
degree— the moralisation of all life by religion.^ 

Hawthorne's religion is not formlly Celviiiistic in that it is 

not Trinitarian, and in that it finds no faith in "election" and 

"irresistible nrace." Literal Satans, literal iiells, and the angry 

God of early New Jhgland are not taken seriously, liawthome did 

^2vemon L. Parrington, f/ain Currents in /bierican Thought (New 
York, 1927), II, hh2. 

^A. latchell iiunter. The Teachinrr of Calvin (London, 1950), 

p. 298, 


believe in the soul, in iriPiortaUty, in a God with the attributes 
which Christian theoloey reiterates, and in t}ie savinc power of the 
Holy V.rit. Goodness in this life is to oe rewarded by heaven; man's 
sins are to be punished, possibly through a persistently conscious 
dwelling vdth those veiy sins. Heaven is to compensate laan for an 
iiTQXJrfect earthly life. 

"Hawthorne's religious faith was of an almost cliildlike 
simplicity, thougii it was as dccplj-- rooted as :-iis life itself,"^ 
Relicion is net tliat urge which brines nan to church on vSunday, but it 
is that, instead, wliich gives meaning and color to all life's actions. 
Inklings of doubt, if they occurred, were quickly lost in the certainty 
of a naive but ad^rdrable faith. Sophia's unstinting belief in God oust 
have given added inpetus to that intuitive faith which her husband 
possessed. "He deeply accepted his ;vife's rejoicing faith, and 
perceived the limitations of reason. "^^ 

God in !;is pure form, considered apart from ii«ovidence, is far 
more of the paternal being and less of the almighty spirit than -right 
be suspected. The further Siawthome nove : into abstraction and away 
from the dance of life, the ore optimstic he became. Thus Providence, 
as the chief protagonist of the texture of life, is seen in rigid gray 
lines. The rrorkings of ft-ovidence are visible to the Hawthorne eye; 
hence they are instinctively intollectualized with immediate pessindsm, 
altliough the long look at Providence, unobtainable in this sphere, is 

'^Julian Hawthorne, "ilawthorne's rMlosophy," The Genturv 
l^anazine. XXXII (f^ay, 1886 J, 91. ^^ 

'-'Julian ilarrthorne, Llemoirs. p. 16. 


an optimistic one. To God, on the other hand, felt tixrou^^ the 
unlettered heart, is ascribed viaxm and personal, ali-Tost sunshiny 

Jesus affords a special interpretative problem. He enters 
Hawthorne's writings only in brief and scattered passages. Noyfhere is 
the iiavvthome intellect seriously concentrated on the question of his 
divinity, i{owever, in a letter to Sophia, written the 2lith of uecember 
1J39» the i7ould-be husband in alluding to the fact that the Gustos 
House employees nsust -jrork on Christmas day, makes warrd mention of Jesus. 
"The holiest of holydays — ^the day that brought ransom to all other 
sinners — leaves us in slaveiy still. "^^ Although he had discarded a 
belief in the divinity of Jesus, possibly Hawthorne had not completely 
shaken it from ids raind. 

iieli£;ion is traditionally one of the most significant 
institutions confronting man in society. All life is a religious 
reflection, for religion as an institution casts its sxiadow over the 
iThole scope of human activity. It is not suggested that liaTrtihome was 
pious, notably devout, or in any yray a proselytizer of the good lifej 
but rat er that he saw the ephemeral procession of life as a somber 
one, and that le recognized religious faith as the one necessary 
accompaniment to mortal man's procession. 

^ ^Love letters , I, 113, 


Social and civic institutions, Hawrthome scans v.lth a practical 
but slightly jaundiced eye. Society in its greater sense, and 
political society more specifically, are to be interpreted as earthly 
actualities, conceived and perpetuated by man out of his need for 
cooperation and for his own convenience. In contrast to the 
imponderable presence of a relirious force which dwells both above man 
and within his individual heart, and which renders every action both 
moral and meanincful, society eiMrges as a gross superficiality. This 
is not to imply that institutionalizcsd social forces are not central 
to earthly life— for they are indeed a priiae concern— but rather that 
they are not spiritual in essence. 

Religion, while it is simultaneously the most immediate and the 
most ultimate of actualities, and while it enters somehow into all 
actions, allows man free rein to work out his social living in his own 
limited and blundering wa.y. Somehow, man, with all his spiritual 
shortsightedness, caught up in marble and mud— man who goes wrong more 
often than right— somehow, he constructs upon the social appetite a 
formalized mode of life T*ich recrulates his earthly intercourse and 
uhich he recognizes as society. The social way is the natural way— in 
so far as the urge to group is as dominant as the urge to mate — ^yet, 
v/hen seen in its refined form, institutionalized and standardized 



society may be viewed as a racniment to nan's tendency to err. 

In close con^nction v.lth the social piocess, tradition looms 
ondnous* Jn effect, it is tradition v/ixich nourishes and liands forward 
the laore fornalized and the incre habitual aspects of the co-anunal way. 
J.san, v.tierever he nd-ght seek release, continually sturablcs beneath the 
heavy vreight of tradition. At ti;cs, tradition appears to the 
Hawthorne aind as an insidlouc pi'essure, distinct from yet intimately 
linked to social lixi-nr:. Less frequently it ±c seen as a v.'orth?.-hile 
agent of conservatism. 

The Hawthoniian analysis of tradition is oversrhelraingly 
consistent to the point of monotony. The principal concern is for the 
decay, the sterility, the offet^iess accoiBoanying tradition. Life 
requires periodical renewing, for "Hunan nature vd.ll not ilourish, any 
more than a potato, if it be planted and replanted, for too lone a 
series of rrenerations, in the same worn-out soil." (185) ^iven though 
tradition propagates and increases the oppressive weight on k^i's 
shoulder, its conseirvative influence is a utilitarian one. "This long 
connection of a family -vrith one spot, as its place of birth and burial, 
creates a kindred between the human being and the locality, quite 
independent of any charn in the scenery or moral circunstances that 
surround him. It is not love, but instinct," (l86) An appetite for 
the land, of the kind expressed in Tennyson's "Northern Fanner Old 
Style," presents the nobler countenance of tradition. Unfortunately, 
as is the case with many a pure desire, evil adheres to its practical 



Undoubtedly, the five generations of Puritan ancestors which 
had precedc-d Nathaniel Hawthorne, as well as the spirit of Salem 
itself, were in his blood. He could not rid ioimself of this profound 
influence.^7 it is tiiis sort cf tradition—the double-barreled 
intGrna.1 pressure of heredity and environnjent-wivich confounds 
Hawthorne. I'o escape from tradition is to escape fron one's pl^sical 

"The evil of those departed years would naturally have sprung 

up aeain, in such rank weeds (symbolic of the transirdtted vices of 

society) as are always prone to root themselves about human dwellings.' 

(1^7) There is a heavy insistence that decay and vice invariably 

follow the passace of time and that a dwelling enriched by age evinces 

the mouldy face of evil. Tradition transrdts that evil. 

!ence, too, ^nicht be drawn a wi^hty lesson from the little 
regarded trutn, that the act of the passinc ceneration is the rera 
whicii ;.iay and must produce good or evil fruit in a far-distant ' 
tiraej that, ^vith the seed of the inerely temporary crop. 
Which mortals terra expediency, they inevitably so-.r the acorns of a 
nwre^endunnf; growth, wliich may darkly overshadow their tx)sterity. 

Good, which r.ay theoretically be transmitted, tends to melt before the 
Clare of its darkened antithesis. 

Vice is robust and free roaiainc, not caged and sickly, it is an 
untamed entity swept forward by tradition. 

Not to be deficient in this particular, the author has 
provided himself rrlth a moral,— the truth, namely that the 
wrong-doing of one generation lives into the successive ones, and, 

''^Vanning Jiawthorne, -Hawthorne's Early Years," Kssex Institute 

iistorical Collections . IJCXIV, 21 

divesting itself of every teajjcerary advantage, bec<aaes a pure aiMl 
uncontrollable nischief j and he would fael it a singular 
gratificati<yi if this rtxiiance raight effectuaUiy asivince aankind— • 
or, indeed, any one jaan— of tli© fol3^ of ttnnbling doBn an 
avalanche of ill-gotten gold, or real estate, on tlie heads of an 
tmfortunate posterity, thereby to maim and crush theatu, until the 
accuiaulated niass shall be scattered akaroad in its ca>lginal 
atone, (189) 

I^h generation, if it is to breathe a pare air and labor with any 

degree of fVeedoin, nust scmKhos' find relea^ from the ever-increasing 

pressures of its past, from the petnt of p«re theoaiy, 4a tl» porely 

abstract rcala, liaBthome is seoi as a iiTOuld««be reforjaesp of society, 

as a reada* of Rousseau* He is seoi as one -erho Irishes n«n fi'eed frora 

the ^:cu?milated artifice of civillssatiai* Actually, liowever, 

Ha^vthome's practical recognition of the incorrigible yet necessary 

nature of laan's piiysical sojourn belies the ideal* 

''Tradition,— w!il^ sorae^iiKSs brings dc^m ta^cth that history 
has let slip, but is oftencr the «ild l»^le of the tixae, such as ^ras 
formsrly spoken at the fireside and new ccs^eals in tlie newspapers,— 
traditicai is respcswible for aD. conta'ary aveOT3ents»"(l90) Traditicm, 
in wloatever manner it is perpetuated, speaks with an absolute voice* 
Yet, meee age fails to impress Hanthome* He is interested in values 
rather tlian the purely antique* "An old thing is no better than a neir 
thing, unless it fbaj a syitiJx>l of soraethlng, or have aorae value in 
itself. » (191) 

Coraplete detacnnient tram the past is ingxsssible* Individuals 
and nations may change tlieir ndnds, but they cannot change their 
histcwy* Apparent change and newness is someliow cocmected with past 
eveits. Man continues to build cnto the naterial and mental structures 


of past ages, and in so doing -rags behind him, like the chancered 
nautilus, an outgrorm past. 

The fact is, the world ir accunulatinc too many materials for 
knowledge. We do not recognize for rubbish rrtiat is really rubbish: 
and under tv,is head rai;.:ht oe reckoned al-^st ever.-thin- one sees in 
the i^ritish hiuseum; and as each generation leaves its fragments and 
potsherds behind it. such will finally be the der^perate conclusion 
of the learned. (192) 

I'he present is burthened too niuch T.lth the past. V/e have not 
tine, m our earthly exif3tencG, to appreciate r^^at is warn rdth 
life, and inmediately around usj yet we heap up all these old 
shells, out of ^7 iich huTTian life has Ion:: emeraed, car5tinr theni off 
ioreyer. I do not see how future aces are to stagger onward under 
all thas dead wei-ht, v.dth the additions that ttLII be continually 
made to it, (193) 

If only man were allowed to start afi-esh, though Hawthorne sees no 

effective means of castinc" aside outraoded paraphernalia, then and only 

then would the transmitted sears of society heal in the new enthusiasm 

of fresh conquest. It is a young idea, a liberal idea, but scarceily a 

well-rounded one. hen fiawthome cries out that dead weight makes 

progress difficult, that society should amputate its Tdthered limbs, 

he begins and ends vrLth the sane lament, but failn to provide the 

necessary smrgical implements. 

"But raethinks it must be weary, weary, Treaxr/, tliis rusty 

unchangeable village-life, where men grow up, grow old, and die, in 

their fathers' dwellings, and are buried in their grand sires 'very 

graves, the old skulls, and cross-bones being throvm out to make room 

for them, and shovelled in on the tops of their coffins."(19Jb) The 

spectacle of a traditional life led in an unthinking manner is a 

depressing one, for it is felt that the person observed never comes liawthome ad-nits his ornn need for a physical rut, for a calm 


external routine, to free hie mind for action, iho observed failure 
of a mind lost in traditioiial v.-ays to ones flex its nusclcc is '-tOst 
deplorabloj mental fixedness: is to be avoided at. all costs. 

Jian's onljr release froia tradition co'ies through fire and death. 
These two purifying agents are applied by iiawthome to both the 
individual and the group problen. ' "/dl towis should be aads oftpablo of 
purification by fire, or of decay, vdtioin each iaalf-century., 
they become the hereditary haunts of vernin and noisomeness, besides 
standing apart from the possibility of such inprovQmcaits as are 
constantly introduced into the rest of man's contrivances and 
accoia3iodations."(l?5/; -tt is crimnal to foisrt the present onto iznbom 
generations—to pass on old hemes, old ways, and old evils. Ideally, 
rnan should be allowed a new cycle each fifty years. 

Late in hir; life, in lo62, the graying novelist appears to 
contradict nis earlier conclusions. Such reversals of position are 
exceedingly rare, for Hawthorne normally probes and elaborates liis 
ideas in an amazingly consistent manner. It is not iiis w>nt to .junip 
from a considered opinion to its very opposite. Frequently, the 
Hawrthomian paradox is nonexistent when the surface contradiction is 
evaluated in terms of the over-all thought pattern. In other 
instances, the intellectual phase of the vn:*iter'n personality gives 
£TO\md to teinporary einotional outbursts or even to petty grievances. 
Then, too, Hawthorne is knavm to have occasionally spoken Tdth tongue 
in cheek. 

The sentiment expressed but two years prior to the novelist's 


death is readily seen as a niore conservative and perhaps a more 
reasoned approach to the problem* 

It msi'- seem to be pajrLnc dear for -what mony will reckon but a 
worthless weed} but the more historical associations we can link 
with our localities, the richer vtxH be the daily life tliat feeds 
upon the past, and the more valuable the things that have been 
lone ortablished: so that our childjen will be less prodical than 
their fathers in sacrificing good institutions to passionate 
impulses and inpracticable theories. (196) 

The bulk of Hairthome's criticisra of tradition decries the L'mense 

burden of a perpetuated evil. It fails to recognize tiiat "good" may be 

transmitted to any TrortlTrahlle degree^ it fails to jive full recognition 

to tradition as a stabilizing elenent in society, finally, when the 

author comes to speak of "good institutions," it is wL«i the voice of 

an old man— one made more malleable and more conservative by a long and 

sharp engagemnt irith life. Tlie more balanced view, arrived at late 3n 

life, scarcely represents the dondnant liawthome notion, 

Nathaniel HaTtthome was bom into a town overladen with old 

houses, old oust odd, old legends, and old evils. He inherited the rich 

and shadowy past of the Hawthorne family. Cn his maternal side, the 

Mannings -vvero equally tradition-conscious. Mary ifenning, the youth's 

aunt, had steeped him in Hew Ehgland lore. Then, too, from infancy he 

was rade aware that certain acconplishinents ware expected of a 

Hawthorne. He rebelled against those expectations in taking up the 

pen. Perhaps the constant nagging of ,-randnother I&nning and the 

Manning uncles had wich to do with that rebellion. In any event, 

Harfthome never quite cane to a balanced understanding of tradition. 

liis rebellicai, lor all its vinegar and ia^dshness, is not an entirely 


illogicjal one \7heii viewed in the light of the youth's upbringing. 
One too keenly attxined to the world's evil could not help 
feeling that any carry-over frcai the pasrt is essentially an evil one. 
Tradition gives rise to social as viell as personal problems. 
Intellectually and emotionally Hawthorne is repeatedly called on to 
face tradition. He recognized it for what it appeared to him, 
scrutinized it in the dark light of lifes's prenatal influences, but 
never quite knew what to make of it. 

Society at .Large 
"?ian is naturally a sociable being; not formed for himself 
alone, but destined to bear a part in the great schetae of nature. All 
his pleasures are heightened, and all his griefs are lessened, by 
participation. It is only in Society that the full energy of the mind 
is aroused, and all its powers drawn forth," (197) At age 'sixteen, 
some years before the artistic Hawthorne was to hesitate sensitively 
on the brink of society, the adolesceait Hawthorne offers a lucid 
statement of social necessity. Together with a recognition of that 
necessity, the youth xonhesitatingly affirms the nature of the social 
problem and the inevitable choice of answers which an individiml must 
make. "Perhaps life may pass more tranquilly, estranged from the 
pursuits and the vexations of the multitude, but all the hurrj' and 
whirl of passion is preferable to the cold calmness of indifference." 
(198) After endless encounters with the crass actuallt: of social 
existence, after numerous cides of pain, Hawthorne is led, throu[:h 
living and through observin-: the life pattern of others, to accept in 

his later years the prophetic statement of his adolescent self. 

Though the appetite for society is genuine enough, the edifices 
erected on that urge are ahallow and vain, "Alas that the vanity of 
dress should extend even to the gravei"(l99) t/ith all deferaice to 
the Qiglish poets of the eighteenth century, Iiasrt;home takes up the 
theme of nan's vainglory, './Tien the visible worlcLngs of society are 
seen apart from the shining theory which mandates then, they wear 
conspicuously the staop of man's iniperfectibility. 

"Andd the seeming confusion of our nysterious world, 
individuals are so nicely adjusted to a system, and systems to one 
another and to a whole, tliat, by stepping aside for a mcsnent, a roan 
exposes himself to the fearful risk of losing his place forever. "(200) 
Society mechanically thrusts itself forward on an unaharted track. 
Once the individual withdraws from its intricate train of movement he 
never regains his former seat. Those wlio remain "shivering behind" can 
but marvel at the unfeeling conrplexity of that in which they wice 
participated. Hawthorne unquestionably believes, at tliis stage in his 
development, that a functional society, moulded by man of artificial 
ingredients, lacks spiritual substance. Society is binding on man in 
that acqxiiescence to it is necessary for a balanced participation in 
this life, yet it is factitious in that it is bom of man's shoirb and 
shallow view. 

By the slieer force of its routine, the social way provides a 
needed fortress for the individual. Yet at the same tine it is so 
superficially fashioned, so lacking in spiritual fiber, that it can 
scarcely' withstand a sharp interruption of its order. 


A revolution, or anything that interrupts social order, may 
afford opportunities for the individual display of eminent virtues? 
but its effects are pernicious to general norality. ?/iost people 
are so constituted that they can be virtuous only in a certain 
routine, and an irregular course of public affairs deirioralizes 
them. (201) 

Society does render surface satisfaction in providing a necessary- 
stabilization, for "It is one great advantage of a gregarious niode of 
life that each person rectifies his mind by other ralnds, and squares 
his conduct to that of his neighbors, so as seldom to be lost in 
eccentricity," (202) It is through social interplay that balance and 
perspective are attained and that an adjustaent to group living is 

Social life's entire structure, however ordered on its crust, 
stands out to the Hawthornian eye as little more t.ian an ingenuous 
personification of man's depravity. "Vie rfno are born into the world's 
artificial systens can never adequately know how little in our present 
state and circumstances is natural, and how siuch is raerely the 
interpolation of the perverted Hdnd and heart of Eian."(203) Jxaian 
Hawthorne, althoiigh normally blind to the inner workings of his father's 
mind, was astute enou;j;h to recognize that "Another of iIan»thome's 
strongest f>erceptions vras of the artificiality of our present 
civilization and of the superfluities and absurdities to which custom 
iias insensibly blinded us."^ As a novelist, ilawthome was uniquely 
qualified to write on the necessary adjustment of the individual to 
society; for having remained on the outer rim of social activity for 

^S Julian Hawthorne, "ilawthome' s l=iiilosophy," Centxay , XXXII, 90, 


twelve years, he saw the problem of participation with an excessively 
sharp focxis* 

"The advance of man from a savage and animal state may be as 
well measured by his mode and morality of dining, as hy any other 
circumstance." (20li) Society's plane is a cultivated and refined one. 
Tne exact state of a civilisation nay be observed in its outer manners, 
for society at large is so constituted that its degree of perfectibility 
may be taken on a surface reading. Havrthome is not certain, when he 
carefully considors the possibilities of man in society, tliat tliore liaa 
been any internal advancement beyond the prinitive state. 

It is the ir^personal and essentially heartless quality of the 

social order that liawthome most abhors. 

In this republican country, araid the fluctuating waves of our 
social life, somebody is always at the drofming-point. Tiro tragedy 
is enacted with as continual a repetition as that of a popular 
drama on a holiday} and nevertheless, is felt as deeply, perhaps, 
as when an hereditary noble sinks below liis order, 'bre deeply; 
since, v/ith us, rank is the grossor substance of wealth and a 
splendid establishnKnt, and lias no spiritual existence after the 
death of these, but dies hopelessly along with them. (205) 

The American social tendency toward an aristocracy of wealth is 

lamented as the peculiar shortcoming of a people keyed to materialistic 


Although Hawthorne censures what seems to him an artificial 

mode of social conduct, he hastens to accept as valid the appetite upon 

which that rnode has arisen. He speaks of a great chain of belonging. 

^^kind's gregarious inclinations lead iaira to look askance on those who 

attenipt to stand apart. "iJut tho syn^iathy or magnetism among human 

beings is more subtile and universal than we thinkj it exists, indeed. 


different classes of organized life, and vibrates from one to 

another. "(206) If hxiroanity woiad but allow its brotherhood to assert 

itself in a natiural way, then all things would be possible. f.fut there 

is a still more powerful force in man yet to be reckoned ?dbh — one 

■wliich never changes, one which makes impossible a genuine social union. 

Noble theories fall short of their narlc when actuated by a selfish and 

evil hujuanity. Nonetheless, in spite of the corxnipt practice tlirough 

which it becones manifest, the gregarious inclination exists in a pure 


This then is the nature of that institution govemins man's 

conduct, that it beats down upon hini, -.vearies hi:n, jret demands his 

participation. Man imist assume his function in a society propagated 

by tradition and crounded in superficiality, lie saist remain a lielpless 

witness to the v/orld's vanity "For, has not the world corae to an 

awfully sophisticated pass, v;hen, after a certain de^^ee of acquaintance 

'.Tith it, we cannot even put ourselves to death 5ji ^ole-hearted 

simplicity?" (207) I'axi must come to realize that society has 

progressed away fron native joy and simplicity and into a realm of 

unwholesome artifice. 

(Mot that the modes and seeming possibilities of human enjoyment 
aie rarer in our refined and softened era,-- -on the contrary, they 
never before v/cre nearly so as-undant, — but that mankind are getting 
so far beyond the childhood of their race that they scorn to be 
hapny any longer. A simple and joyous character can find no place 
for itself amon^ the sage and sombre figures that would put his 
unsophisticated cheerfulness to shame. Tlie entire system of man's 
affairs, as at present established, is built up purposely to 
exclude the cai-eless and happy soul. The very children would 
upbrai.d the wretched individual w!io should endeavor to take life 
and the world as— A'/hat we rdi;ht nn'urall;/ suppose them meant for— 
a place and opportunity for enjoyment. (208) } 


iluraanity is seldm very clever at aatisfying the possibilities 

of its finite range. "I somertimes appr^end that our institxxtions raay 

perish before we shall have discovered the nost precious of the 

possibilities Tshich they involve, "(209) Still, Mn niust yrork 

diligently tc perfect this world} he must reinforce, T>rtienever and 

however possible, the necessarj' stable structure of society. 

In timen of revolution and public casturbance all absurdities 
are laore unrestrained; the measure of calm sense, the habits, the 
orderly decency, are partially- lost, i-iore people becone insane, I 
should suppose; offences against public morality, female license, 
arc norc numerous j suicides, murderc, all unrjovernable outbreaks of 
men's thoughts, embod^'-inr; themselves in wild acts, take place more 
frequently'-, and vrith less horror to the lookeis-on.(210) 

Social organization, that regulatory force -which gives comfort to the 

individual, in spite of its ui-jnaturalncss, is i'ar preferable to chaos — 

to the wildnesn of a primitive state, or to the icinesE of a solitar:.'- 

one. It is not that priirdtive nan is raorclly inferior to his 

cultivated brother, but that he is not as well oriented to the outer 

"procession of life." 

Finally, Hawthorne speaks vrith a modern voice in recognizinn 
that environment helps determine the finished social product. "Space, 
a free atmosphere, and cleanliness have a vast deal to do with the 
possibilities of human virtue." (211) lUin cannot be held totally 
responsible for a free shaping- of his own life, for tradition and 
environment linit human pot rntiali tics. Heredity alone does not 
sufficiently account for the development of the individual. A muddy 
environment rarefy produces white marble figxirines. 

Hawthorne is interested in the r)hcnoraenon of society as the 
superficial actuality of a binding human propensity; he is interested 


in the congilexity of the 3jidividual as he relates to that propensity 
and to that actualityj he is interested in the natxire of tlK? social ws^ 
itself. Above all, he is endianted by that ^^.ch lies beneath and 
regulates the achieveraents of any sociaO. organization. However 
oblicators'- the existence of a man-^aade social order, however necessary 
that the individual participate therein, the systenj itself is viewed 
vdth a Icousseauistic disdain. It is at this point that the kinship toe French philosopher ^ds, howeverj for Ha^rtliome perceived htaaan 
nature to be everywhere alike at all times. It is unfortunate but true 
that the noble savage, if loft to himself, would evolve in due time a 
new society equal to the one now functioiing Tttii its characteristic 

Political Society 
Although he was intiioately linked with politics the last 
twenty-five years of his life, Hawthorne reacts in a decided3y negative, 
aljnost vitriolic nanner, to political society. "It is only fair to say, 
however, that his political activity was motivated by financial 
necessity."^ Had HaB»thorne achieved the early recognition laerited by 
his short stories, and had writing been sufficiently lucrative for a 
fainily man, he would probably liave hecitated before accepting a 
political appointment. lie was forced in earning a livelihood to enter 
the unlovely, materialistic realm of practical jwlitics. "I do detest 
all offices — all, at least, tliat are held on a political tenure. And 

^Randall Stewart, "nawthome and Politics » Unpublished Letters 
to V/illiam B. Pike,« New 5n{^land Quarterly , V (April IS'32), 239. 


I want nothing to do irith politiciana— th^ are not nenj they cease to 

be men, in beccmLnc politicians." (212) 

Hawthorne took little pride in his political duties. "How 

unlike, nlasl the hang-dog look of a republican official, who, as the 

servant of the people, feols liiinself less than the least, and below the 

lowest, of his masters. "(213) 

An effect— TTliich I believe to be observable, nore or less, in 
every individual who has occupied the position—is, that, while he 
leans on the mi'jhty arm of the F:epublic, b±s o'cm proper stren£:th 
departs from him. He loses, in an extent proporticmed to the 
wea'^ess or force of his orir^iiial nature, the capal>ility of 
self-support. If he possess an unusual share of native energy, or 
the enervating znagic of place do not operate too lone upon hiin, his 
forfeited powers may be redeemable. (2lii) 

In contrast to ..hig policy, Hawthorne, as a denwcrat of his times, 

advocates the Jefferscmian ideal of the least possible government. Both 

aa a derxicrat and as a provincial New Eiiclander, he preferred local and 

state sovereignty to a centraliaaticm of national powers. 

Political salaries are seen to be sorriewhat tainted and fully 

capable of stifling initiative. 

ijhcle Sam's gold — meaning no disrespect to the worthy old 
gentleman — has, in this respect, a quality of enciiantment like that 
of the Devil's wages. .:'hoev€r touches it should look well to 
himself, or he may find the bargaiii to go hard against him, 
involving, if not his soul, yet many of its better attributes; its 
st^irdy force, its courage and constancy, its truth and self-reliance, 
and all that gives the entphasis to 7Tian3;7 character. (215) 

While the theor^r of democracy is the best one under r-iilch a people may 

govern themselves, democracy in prnctice abounds smoke-filled 

rooms. "The popidar voice, at the nex-t cubomatorial election, though 

loud as thunder, will be really but an echo of yrhat these gentlemen 

shall spealc, under their breath, at your friend's festive board." (216) 


Jonatii?_n Chilley was the I'irct friend to push Hawthorne into 

tlie political arena. After Franklin lUerce's election as "resident in 

1052, the- political future of the novelist was assured* iUthough 

Ilavrbhorne served competently as a consul at Liverpool, he realised that 

the Aiaerican political cocioty v/ac not especially wise in selecting its 

representatives • 

An appointnent of tsiiatevcr grade, in the diplooatic or consular 
service of America, is too often what the English call a "job"} 
tliat is to sa^', it ic inac'.e on private and x>ersonal [irou-nds, without 
a parariount eye to the public good or the gcntleraan ' s especial 
fitness for the position. (217) 

The patronage system, as it had blossomed after the Jackson 

adndJiistration, considered inerit only accidentally. Hawthorne, in Ida 

doivnright honesty, laaiented the sad state of affairs vAich bequeathed 

l\ln the choice political plua of the Liverpool consu-lship. 

Society surrounds irjan at every turxi as an external home in 

which all rtsast accustora thsanselves to a like degree, .'.hile it is 

preferable to no home, the solitary way, it is scarcely a warm 

residence. Ilawthome continually pushes aside tiie outer coverinc and 

looks beneath at those hvasmi limitations v.l^ich pennit only a factitloiis 

social structure. Yet, as an expedient of dail;/ life, society is to be 

reckoned vritli above all othei' instltutims. Tlie individual rwst inask 

his face, inarch vdth the rest of mankind, adjust to nan's waj-s, and 

conforn to man's dictates, Hot to do this is death. 


In tlie variety of her total role as idol, wife, homenaker, and 
nother, ■woman stands out as an institutional force in the Jlawthornian 
world of ideas. She is significantly f-onctional on both a j^ynical and 
a spiritual level rather than merely ornamental. There can be no doubt 
that Hawthorne idealized wcraan — that he iield her to be Infinitely more 
ethereal than her male counterpart — yet interestingly enou::h the 
seemin^ily sur-erficial structure of this ideal concept is rich in 
philosopdiical overtones. 

.''Secluded domDsticity, wiiose very core is Tromanhood, provides 
sian with a most gracious coirpensation for the crass necessity of social 
participation. The domestic institution affords a partial release, the 
most universally accesrible one, from an essentially sonber compound. 
Althoufjh an old-fashioned approach to the gentle but co-nplicated sex 
lay well appear Victorian, unrealistic, or just plain naive — oi^i it is 
admttedl:/ all of these — it furnishes at the sa-ne time, through its 
fixing of woman's place in the over-all scheme of being, a wholesome 
array of ideas. The Hawthomian conception of womanhood,^ however 
much it ird-ght disconcert the iiodem woman, has its roots in an 

^''I'or the best discussion of the tj-pes of womanhood vrtiich 
Har/thome portrays in hi? fiction see Ilandall Stewart's introduction to 
his edition of The American IJotebooks , pp. Iv-lxi. 



inacinative morality rather than in prejudice. It is not out of hatred 
that the visible function of woman is to be limited, but out of respect. 
In truth, when looking beneath the surface, one sees the greater 
function of iTomanhood operating in an almost boundless sphere. 

There is a teirgstation to dismiss numerous iiatrbhorne statements 
revealing a distaste for certain types of fendninity — old women, fat 
women, ugly women, and, above all, "public" -vTOincn — as a natter of 
personal taste. A far iTiser view would consider his ill-natured 
reroaiics as tj'-cical responses bom of a reverence for vdiat was felt to 
be the true function of woTnanhood. iVhen a Hawthomian precept is 
violated, the novelist is not long silent. 

The Function of ,<'oH^n 
^/hile there is comparatively little inquiry into vfoman's 
biological, raental, and eraotional make-up, t rere is an intense interest 
in the over-all i^mction of the sex. "f.oraan's intellect should never 
give the tone to that of raanj and even her morality is not e:<:actl5'- the 
material for masculine virtue." (218) The dividing line bctv^een male 
and female natiire is a hard and fast one. 7/oman approaches that which 
is etherealj man, if left to himself, that which is bestial. It is 
because woman is so dissimilar to )nan, not because she resembles liim, 
that the two in union handsomely complement each other. orian's tasks 
are not man's tasks; her ways are not his wa,ysj her functions are not 
his functions. The male treads clumsily in mud, is forced into social, 
econonical, and political thorouf;hfares} the female, a domestic 
creature, is co-^^paratively sheltered from the harsh actualities of a 

masculine Trorld. 

Hawthorne proposes a distinction betvreen the wa^/s of the head 
and the ways of the heart. In every eventuality he side? vdth the 
heart. The apsertion that "it is only when the heart is touched that 
we become beincs of reality" was not a reluctant one, for it betokens 
an intuitive and emotional acceptance of life rat-ier than a merely 
rational one. In accord r/ith this taowled.ce, v/oman, as a creature of 
the hearL, is seen to be superior to raan, a creature of the head. 
"Blessed be woman for her faculty of adrdration, and especially for her 
tendency to admire v/ith her heart, when rran, at most, crants merely a 
cold approval with his mind I "(219) i^'oman, by virtue of her proximity 
to the pri^nal source of all life, apr.roaches spirituality in her 
earthly form. Mind alone ±r, but coldness and error5 neai't alone 
furnishes truth and warmth. The two may unite, balance, and nourish 
one another in a proper wedding of the sexes. 

In his love affair v.lth Sophia, who appears to Flawthorne as a 

personification of all that is best in Tromanhood, he persistently 

idealizes the function of liis betrothed. She is to serve both as a 

sanctified filter for the coarser attributes of man and as a visible 

symbol of the imz^iortal state. 

IIo one, whom . ou would deem v/orthy of your friendship, could 
enjoy so larce a share of it as I do, without fcolinn the 
influence of your character tiu'oughout iiis own — purifying his aims 
and desires, enablinn hin to realize that t!\is is a truer v/orld 
than the feverish one around us,^and teachin:- hin hov: to gain daily 
entrance into that better world. ^^ 

^ ^Lovc Letters , I, 5. 


"The angel and apostle of the coiainc revelation nwst be a vroman 
indeed, but lofty, pure, and beautifxa} and v/ise, Tnoreover, not through 
dusJ<y grief, but the ethereal niediuni of jofjrj and showinc bow sacred love 
should rnake us happy, by the truest tert of a life successful to such 
an endj"(220) For the first time, a notion of the spiritual quality 
of beauty intrudes itself. Ilai^'thome unfailingly links, or perchance 
confuses, beauty virtue, vhile he is extremely fond of a 
beautiful and pure woinan, for he sees in her that wiiich is of the 
essence of angels, he cares little enough for an ugly woman no natter 
how virtuous siie might be. 

Woman, a protected creature, is to rely on her mate for the 
provision of physical necessities. Siie is not to bescoroe nore mannish 
by intruding herself into ordained inale functions, but is to ply the 
needle in domestic contentiaent • "It vias the art — ^"bhen, as now, almost 
the only one vdthin a woman's grasp— of needlework." (221) As a woman 
moves away from her asr'ifjied realm, she becomes correspondingly less 
feminine, and infinitely less attractive to Hav-rthorne. "-oinen derive 
a pleasure, incoraprehonsible to the ether sex, fron the deLicate toil 
of the needle." (2?2) Needlevrark is a wo^nan's sphere; it provides her 
with sufficient artistic outlet. It is inconceivable that a woman 
could desire or need anj'thing more— that she could be anything less 
than delighted vdth her home^aa'dLnj^ chores. 

In addition to her native talent for sewing, vroirjan is endov^ed 
with the ability to raise and care for flowers. "This affection and 
syirpathy for flov;ers is alnrost exclusively a v/oman's trait, ^fen, if 


•ndowBd with it by nature, soon lose, forget, and learn to despise it, 
in their contact Tdth coarser things than flowers. "(223) V/onan is 
thus tightly United in her sphere of mortal activity—not from a 
selfish desire to protect the nels prerogative by stifling woman's 
outlets, but in a valiant effort to prohibit her contact with the crass, 
grey, worldly procession. Tlirough protection and non-participation a 
wonian continues to function in a pare and siriple realm. i«an, forced 
out of the home and into a full participation with all that is isnoble, 
invariably crows callous by contrast. Yet it is only fitting that man 
should shoulder lils social obligations while strivinc at the same tim 
to shield Ms wife. 

Needlework, -rrith its faintly artistic coloring, is 
enthusiastically pointed out as a safe and proper ahannel for foininine 

There is somethin': extrenely pleasant, and even touching,- 
least, of veiy sweet, soft, and winning effect, — ^in this peculiarity 
of needlework, distinguisliin.^ Tfonon from nen. Cur ovm sex is 
incapable of any such byplay aside from the main business of life; 
but women— be they of what earthly rank they nay, however gifted 
with intellect or genius, or endcwed with avrful beauty— have always 
some little bandi\TOrk read:/- to fill the tiny gap of every vacant 
moment. (22li) 

This tender plying of the needle unites woman with the more gentle 

interests of life, and thereby allows expressicn of her Inmost nature. 

The woraanliood of Hawthorne's day desired, or appeared to desire, little 

more freedom than Hawthorne vrould allovf her. America, then, was 

substantially more of a patriarcl^/ than at present. Although the 

ungentle voice of tlie "feminist" movement was beginning to make itself 

heard, traditional sentiment remained closer to the Ilarthome view. 


Woman's place is perennially at Jiojiie. In return for that 

sweet completeness which she provides, wonan is man's responsibility. 

If she woTild but T?holeheartedly trust herself to laasculine 

protectiveness, then inip;ht her natui'e reach its fullest potential. 

In ninety-nine cases out of a hundred, the apprehensiveness of 
women is quite iT:*atuitous • i-^-en as matters novf stand, they are 
really safer in perilous situations and Gmergencies than men; and 
niight be still laore so, if they "rusted themselves more confidingly 
to the chivalry of manhood, (225)' 

While the feminine function is in some ways a lindted one — 

especially in that needlework and flowers are considered sufficient 

outlets for artistic energies—still, in its primary duty as a 

complement to masculine nature, woman's role in the total drama looms 

equally as vital as man's. Vioman, since she is predorrdnatingly heart 

and hence more spiritual, shines forth as a purifyinc agent for all 

that is corrupt. By virtue of her traditionally sheltered way, woman 

retains more or less intact that which is childlike and divine. 

Young iVomen 

Throughout the great ranj^e of womanliood— from nuns to 

novelists — Hawthorne's special favorite was a beautiful young woman. 

Not a young woman alone, not a younj^ and virtuous woman, but a 

"beautiful" yff g^_^^9'^^t" came to represent the zenith of perfection in 

this life. 

Beauty always captivated him. V'shere there was beauty he 
fancied other good gifts must naturally be in possession, jluring 
his childhood homeliness was always repulsive to him. vhen a 
little boy he is remembered to nave said to a woman ho v/ished to 
be kind to him, "Take iier awayl She is ugl^y and fat, and has a 
loud voice. "52 


From childhood to death, Ilairthome harbored an alinost abnormal 

detestation for that v.'hich was ui;ly,^3 

"i'ut slight the cfianse, street maida, to make angels of 

yourselvesl"(226) Beauty is Tvithout caste, far it may flourish in a 

chaniber naid as well as a princess. V:-herever it cliances to appear, 

the Havrthorne eye hastens to take note cf it. "There is I:iarday 

another sicht in the vrorld so pretty as that of a company of young 

girls, aliaost women groim, at play, and so giving themselves up to 

their airy impulse tiiat their tiptoes barely touch the ground." (22?) 

Beautiful maidens are other eaithlly; they frolic lightly on tiie earth'* 

surface in conmamoration of a purer and higlier beauty. Hawthorne is 

correctly thou^^ht of as a moral man; :, et if he were forced to choose 

between a chaste ugliness and a slightly tainted beauty, there is 

little doubt of his choice. 

In ga;y relief to male insensitivoness, woman thrives as a wild 

but delicate flower. The nature of young wonanhiood is a simple and 

free onej it is close to tlie heavens. 

Girls are incoE5)arably wilder and nore effervescent than boys, 
more untamable, and regardless of rtile and limit, vdth ar 
ever-sliifting variety, broalcing continually- into new raodec of fUn, 
yet -Hith a harmonious propriety tlirough all. Their steps, their 
voices, ap:->ear free as the v.ind, but keep consonance with a strain 
of music inaudible to us. Young men and boys, on the other hand. 

^^iields, icsterday dth Authors, p, 6?. 

53Malcolm Cowley in his introduction to The Portable IlavTthome . 
(New York, 19l|8), p. 9 ff., advances the notion that IIar/thorne»s life" 
pattern su/jgests the Narcissus con^jlex. /athougli there appears to be 
some truth in the idea, tae extent to waich the I.'arcissus legend helps 

to explain Ilarrbhome is questionable. 


play, according to recognized law, old, traditionary games, 
permitting no caprioles of fancy, but vdth scope enough for the 
outbreak of savage instincts, for, vounc or old, in play or in 
earnest, man is prone to be a brute, (2?8) 

Hawthorne does not cherish the feminine sex in its totality. 

Numerous of his comments are highly critical. These derogatory 

criticisms of womanhood may bo explainable in terms of artistic taste, 

or sometimes as mere squeamishness. This much is certain: liaT/thome 

elevates and idealizes the function of woman; he evidences an especial 

fondness for beautiful young vromenj and, in the best American manner, 

he places motherhood on the loftiest of pedestals. 


The ijistincts of brotnerhood and motherhood are among the 
nobler claims of humanity. If v/oman is to be associated with the 
"heart," then mother is pvxe heart. "Fsut you must know a mother 
listens with her heart much more than with her ears; and thus she is 
often delighted with the trills of celestial music, when other people 
can hear nothing of the kind." (229) A mother is even closer to 
heaven than a beautiful young girl — she is, in fact, a visible 
embodiment of the motherly instinct in nature and of the caretaker 
instinct in God himself. "The Creator, apparently, has set a little 
of his own infinite v.lsdom and love (wiiich are one) in a mother's 
heart, so that no child, in the common course of things, should grow 
up without some heavenly instruction. (230) 

Eliaabeth LJanning Hawthorne, Nathaniel's mother, has been 
dramatically presaited in biographical studies as a queer recluse. 


The notion is a misguided one. 

A mother wno never shovfcd herself, wiio never ate -.rLth her young 
children, woiad assuredly niake enougli of an inprescion by her 
strange behavior so that her children or relatives would' mention it. 
iJut they do not.^« 

In trutli, young Hawthorne cherished a very warm affection for his 

mother. He had written in 1321 to urge her not to move back to Salera. 

If you remain where you are, think how delightful the time will 
pass with all yovr children around you, shut out from the world and 
nothin,^ to disturb us. It xvill be a second garden of Eden.-^ 

If a beautiful young woraan may be considered as representative 

of an artistically perceived universe, then mother -lay be properly 

thourht of as the epitome of womanhood in a morally perceived one. The 

relationship wnich existed between Nathaniel and his mother was much 

more normal than the early raythmaking biographers had supposed. It is 

quite certain that Hawthorne was fond of .is own mother and that he was 

extroiiely loyal to motherhood as an ideal state. 

Old .'^omen 

There is little i^.araony between iavrthorne's affection for young 
women and his disdain for old ones. In contrast to the glowing praise 
heaped on beauty, and to the sanctification bcstovred on motherhood, old 
women are caustically dealt with. Certain old women were particularly 

feme old ;.eople, especially vromen, so age-^Yorn and woeful are 

^^Uajrrinc Hawthorne, "Parental and I'amily Influences on 
Hawthorne," Essex Institute .listorical Collections . IJCXVI, h* 

^^I.ianning liawthorne, "Nathaniel Hawthorne Prepares for College," 
Mew Iceland -Quarterly , XI (March 1938), 87, 


they, aeern never to have been young £ind gay. It is easier to 

conceive that siich gloofl^' phantorsis ytere sent into the world as 
witliered and decrepit as vie behold them now, with syinpathies 
only for pain and s^ief , to ?/atch at death-beds and weep at 

Hasrthorae's squeamsiuiess over that Tsiiich is old, fat, or ugly is an 

unwholesome one. It should be remsHberod, ho?«2ver, that yoiaig 

Nathaniel was raised by women vmtil his college days, and that his 

associations with the liannings were not always pleasant ones. He 

frequently lamented this unpleasantness in letters to his mother. 

I am extremely honesick. Aunt Mary is continually scolding at 
jne. Qrandmaam hardly ever speaks a pleasant word to me. If I ever 
atteisipt to speak in ray defense, they cry out against wff in5)udence.^° 

Old v/omen are inordinately stupid. In liis fictional 
presentation of aged fenaales, the novelist evidences little sympathy 
for their foibles.^' Since old women are no longer capable of their 
ordained function — that of giving con^leteness to inan — ^th^ pervert it 
by turning out pastries as a bribe to win undescr'ved affection from 
youth. "Old iTOmen never knov/ hov/ to show their kindness in any other 
vfay than by giving a man doughnttts and .junipkin pies, and such infernal 
trash." (232) It 7!!^ well be that fiawthorne's recollection of 
grandmother Manning teiapered his conception of all aged wcmen. 

Several possible explanations nay be suggested for liavftfiome's 
love of beauty and for his tvristed hatred of that which is xmbeautiful. 
I'lrst, to an artistic Hawthorne, beauty may have appeared as a I'orm of 

-^°!ianning Havrthome, "Nathaiiiel Hawthorne Prepares for Gollege," 
New iihnland .juarterly , XI, 69* 

57Ha»rthorne delights in poking fun at lass Hepzibah J^cheon of 
The House of Seven Gables. 


earthly perfection, and all ivhich did not rneasure up to its standard 
of the perfect was artistically repulsive. Second, a Hawthorne sprung 
fi-om the Jinnninr environnent was worked upon from infancy by forces 
which might prejudice him against certain types of v/ooen. Third, in a 
sensual Hawthorne — and there are hints that the nian was more warm-blooded 
than the novelist — the reprersions occasioned by a thcrough 
moralization of life nay have found their release in a lust after beauty. 
Fourth, the vrorship of beauty my be attributed to fastidiousness or to 
an emotional aberration. Finally, and more in keeping with a Havrbhome, all deviations from a code of idealized 
vromanhood— ugliness, plunptiess, age— are seen as corruptions which 
nerit abuse. 

Public v.orocn 
Although Hawthorne's manifest hatred of the unbeautiful is 
undoubtedly a little strange, the vigor with w!iich he attacked public 
women is much more understandable, lie feared that the entrance of 
women into public life mi^ht well destroy woman by riaking her too much 
like man. 

Put thejTc are portentous indications, changes gradually taking 
place in the habits and feelinns of ths gentle sex, which seem to 
threaten our posterity with many of those public women, whereof 
one was a burden too grievous for our fathers. ( 233 )>S 

The antagonist toward public women, although it may scorn to spring from 

petty jealousy or Urom an egotistical resentment of any encroachment on 

-'^The woman referred to as a "burden too grievous" was i\nne 


the male prerogatives, is, idealistically spoakin-, TIawthorne'a way of 
defending yihat he considered to be the prijnal function of wcwnanhood. 
He is attempt inc to protect his dreaa fro:n would-be refor;;jers and from 
time itself. 

iVoman's sex is a secret and holy one. 

Fame does not increase the peculiar respect tiiich mn pay to 
female excellence, and there is a delicacy (even in rude bosoitjs, 
where few v.ould tldnk tc find it) t at perceives, or fancies, a 
sort of iE^jropriety in the display- of -Ionian's natal rand to Wie 
gaze of tiiG uorld, Tdth i-ndications by wh.ich its inmost secrets 
may be searched out.(23U) 

It is bad enough for a man to wite of his inner longings, to spread 

his soul on foolscap, but when a m>mn coeks naked to print she 

prostitubea all that is divine in ha?. That deepest Kystery, wocaan's 

sex, Hairbhome never fathoiaedj he preferred to cloak those secrets and 

to declare them sacred rather than uncover toeia. Vihei woiaan clwse to 

unravel herself before his rery eyes, Hasrthome iiras appalled, 

"Th^, the verj'^ nature of the opposite sex, or its long 

hereditary habit, which ims become like nature, is to be essentially 

modified, before \r<Msn can be allowed to assume what seoras a fair and 

suitable position." (235) ^Voiaan is so physically and spirit-'ally 

constituted that she aaist modifj' her total being before attenptinr to 

chanse—even one degree— the traditional balance between herself and 

man. Although Hawthorne recognizes the need of a gradual inqprovement 

in the social position of women, he stands firraly declared against 

those feminists -Bho would attespt iintnediate, forceful aeosures. 

';ihBt aimised and puzzled ne was the fact, tliat wonien, however 
intellectually superior, so seldom disquiet theraselves about the 
rif^ts and wrongs of their sex, unless their owi individual 


affecticms clianco to lie in idleness, or to be ill at ease. They 
are not natural reformers, but become such by the pressure of 
exceptional misfortune. (236) 

A woman liappily -narried, a nwther, a v/oinan fulfilling her natural 

function, is not concerned ydth breakinc out of her designated sphere 

of action, but is Instead thoroughly contented. It is only when wonan 

is frustrated in the pursuit of her birthright, when she is either 

unfit for or neglected by the natrinonial state, that she sticks her 

nosG where it docs not belong. 

Although any trpc of public woraan is capable of raising 

Hawthorne's ire, Trom«i who attempt to write provoke the ,';3'eateat 

contempt. "What a strange propensity it is in these scribbling women 

to niake a show of their hearts, as well as their heads, upon your 

counter, for anybody to pry into that chooses I "(237) The novelist had 

difficulty in accustoming himself oo the idea that v/omon could write. 

vSince women are to be thoujfht of as delicate, protected creatures, 

indelicate feminine overtiires are unduly shocking. To congjete with 

women in print is especially distasteful. In a letter to his friend 

and publisher, Vdlliam Ticknor, the novelist speaks his mind. 

Besides, America is now vrtiolly given over to a d d mob of 

scribbling women, and I should have no chance of success while the 
public taste is occupied with their trash — and should be ashamed of 
myself if I did cucccod.^^ 

V/riting is a brutal job, trfdch women, since they are to be protected 

from life's roughness, in no way qualify for. Let women stick to their 

-'^Caroline Ticknor, :-'a\vthoi-ne and is l^iblisher (New York, 1913), 

p. liil. 


knitting «ad leave the indelicate process of ccaigjosition to the male. 

By 185$, Hawthorne was -willing to admit that some few women 

were capable of the laanly art of writJJig. He "wamly espoused the 

cause of Delia Bacon, and financed, -with considerable personal loss, 

the publicaticMi of her controversial book on the origin of Shakespeare's 

plays* For the laost part, however, he continued to diide fesiale 


Generally -wanen write like emasculated raon, and are only to be 
distinguished from aale authors by greater feeblKiess and folly; 
but TThen thej' throv.* off the restraints of decency, and come befoire 
the public stark naked, as it were— then their books are sure to 
possess character and value. (23O) 

There are, then, a £&st vicoro\is women who sre disposed by their very 

natures to function boldly as mm* This does not rmsn to suggest that 

the average woman steuld try her hand at writing. '*^¥otaen are too f;ood 

for authorship, and that is the reason it spoils tiiera so." (239) Since 

she is recocniaed to be intrinsically better than man, and since her 

functional realm lies above and apart from the hard one of authorship, 

wanan corrupts and is hiopself corrupted when 1^© eri^oneously atteiapts 

to become an author* 

./omen must be freed from the cuittoersoiae reflations in^josed 

upcffi them by society before they are admitted to wider spheres of 

endeavor. With age and witii experience, HswthoTOe grew more tolerant 

of women urtio defied his special standards. Perhaps he had become more 

practical and less idealistic about wcnianhood in general. Tlie awakaiing 

of a "new" womanhood, although it 5.s still regarded as something of a 

nightmare. Is no longer attacked. 


^e custon^ of arti-tic Life besto-.f suc'i liberty uoon the sex, 
which is elsevfhere restricted "VTithin so rauch narrower iirltsj and 
it i^ 'pevharis an indication tliat, -^rlienever we adtiit women to a 
wider scope of pursuits and professions, ve must also remove the 
shackles of our present conventional rules, vrhich yrovld become an 
insufferable restraint on either maid or wife.(2iiO)' 

The character of transcejidental reform was illustrated by its 
fervent agitation for the enfranchisement of women, and for the 
enlarcoment of their sphere of duty >-md privilece.^O Li conjunction 
with the arrival of the "public" woman onto the .\jiierican scene, it is 
not unlikely that Havrthorne canie to find her syrnboli zed— found the 
embodinent of all that was rwst unpalatable to hi:n— in llargaret 
P\iller. The uneentleiuanly slandering of Stiss Fuller's c laracter, 
while it is not easiiy e>xused, may be partially understood in tiiat 
LJarcaret -rost have appeared to Uawthorne as the most flagrant violator 
or hi.a ideal womanhood. She was not especially noted for physical 
beauty^ she wrote, she edited, she preached "feminisTii"; s'ae was 
garrulous. Tne presence of evon one of these attributes woiild 
scarcely ingratiate her vath Hawthorne. Packaged together they proved 
far too much, tiargaret's virtue, inteUirence, and literary 
accomplishTnents fade from view when placed beside numerous other 
bumptious qualities which must have made her extremely obnoxious to one 
with :ia%Tthome's ideals. May.thorne, as a defender of the faith, was 
loath to give way before tiose forces which Margaret personified- 
forces irtiich were hacking away at the very basis of womanhood in an 
effort to improve the finished product. 

Cctavius Brooks i-'rothingham. Tran scende ntalism in New ^nrland 
(New York, 1336), p. 17^;, """" ^ 


V/omffli in General 

ilawthome v/as fond of reniarking on the status of present day 

woman, fond of reinarK'lng on feminine psychology — however little he may 

have understood it— and fond of reflecting on the nature of women in 

general. These miscellaneous observations, while they are seldom 

profotaid, shed sorao additional li^-ht on Hawthorne's inquiiy into 

woraanhood. Occasionally, in an effort to be amusin;; rather than 

serious, Harrthorae tries his liand at phrase-baking • 

In her youth, a woman goas to the glass to see how pretty she 
isj in her a.r:G, she consults it, to assure herself that she is not 
so hideous as she niight be. She gets into a pcssion -vath it, but 
dies before she can make up her mind to break it.(2lil) 

There is no aversion on Hawthorne's part to commenting rather firankly, 

rather personally, on femnine apparel. "A white stockinc is infinitely 

more effective than a black one." (2^2) 

iJew Rngland vromen of Hawthorae ' s time were felt to be measurably 

weaker than their i'uritah prototypes. 

Morally, as well as siaterially, there was a coarser fiber in 
those wives and maidens of old i^n^lish birtli and brcedinf;;, than in 
their fair descendants, separated from them by a series of six or 
seven generations j for, throughout that chain of ancestry, every 
successive mother iias transrdtted to her child a faintei* bloom, a 
more delicate and briefer beaut;-, and a slighter pliysicaj. frarae, if 
not a cliaracter of less force and solidJ.ty, than her ov/n.(2li3) 

Although tile present day woman is fairer to the eye, she has weakened 

in her moral function as mother and homeinaker — lias beccxne feeble in that is most vital to womanhood. Sharp iXinctional lines which 

formerly distinguished the sexes are rapidly vanishing. "V/e seldom 

meet with women nowadays, and in this country, \7ho impress us as being 

Tiromen at all, — their sex fades away, and goes for nothing, in ordinary 


intercourse ."( 2Ui ) 

Certain coirmonplace psychological phenomena of the fendnine 

world are recorded from time to time. 

A brilliant v/onan is often an object of the devoted admiration- 
it ird^^t almost be termed worship, or idolatry — of sonc younc £irl> 
who perliaps beholds tlie cynosure only at an awful distance, and has 
as little hope of personal intercourse as of climbing amonc the 
stars of lieaven. i.e racn are too gross to coinprehend it. Tven a 
woman, of mature age, despises or laughs at such a passion. (2li5) 

In one instance, liawthorne takes up the challenge of woman's limited 

opportunity for self-expression. 

It is nonsense, and a miserable wrong, — the result, like so 
many others, of ntasculine egotism, — that the success or failure of 
woman's existence should be made to depend -.vholly on the affections, 
and on one species of affection, wiile man has such a imaltitude of 
other chances, that this seems but an incident. P'or its ov.n sake, 
if it vdll do no more, the world should throw open all its avenues 
to the passport of a v.oman's bleeding heart. (2146) 

If her existence is so intimately linked with affairs of the heart, 

then a failure in those affairs — spinsterhood or widowiiood—forfeits a 

woman's birthright—her total excuse for being. Tnere is evidence that 

there were fe;v respectable career women in the first iialf of the 

nineteenth century. 

Once a woman goes ever so slightly wrong in the matter of 

sexual morality, she has crossed the line for all eternity. 

A woman's chastity consists, like an onion, of a series of 
coats. You may strip off the outer ones without doing much 
mischief , pei-haps none at all; but you keep taking; off one after 
another, in expectation of cominc to the inner nucleus, including 
the whole value of tlie matt-.r. It proves, however, tliat t]iere is 
no such nucleus, an i that chastity is diffused tlxrou-h the whole 
series of coats, is lessened with the removal of each, and vanishes 
with the final one, which you supposed would introduce you to the 
hidden pearl. (2I47) 


A woman must be either purest •vrhlte or deepest scarlet, for there are 

no iTj^brid hues, r^uinp matrons receive a final harsh upbraiding. 

I wonder wtiether a middle-aged husband ought to be considered 
as legally married to all the accretions that have overgrovm the 
slendemess of his bride, since he led her to the altar, and which 
make her so much more than he ever bargained forl(2!i8) 

Hawthorne's understanding of wojnen was far from a con^lete one. 

Although he understood well enoucl^ what he admired and iiirliat he hated in 

the sex, Tsroinanliood'c true nature provec5 elusive. He was never quite 

able to break through, in the manner of a Flaubert, into the internal 

mainspring of femininity. Perhaps the actual was hidden ty the 

formdable structure of his ideal. 

?v^-riage and the Home 

The force of the domestic institution parallels in inany ways 

that of religion and society. Yet significant as marriage may be, it 

is frequently a ready source for proverbial humor. "A man and his wife 

should never both be angry at once."(2i!9) '^x>re often, though, 

iiatrthorne is in dead eai*nest vriien he stops to reflect on the domestic 


But, blessed be God, whether our habitation be a cave, a hut, 
a lodge of skins, or a laarble palace, the name of home has a 
hallowing influence wMch renders it the only spot on earth Trtiere 
true comfort may be found. (250) 

Home, and all that the word suggests — woman, marriage, children, the 

fireside— stands as a v/arra refuge, a partial exit, fro;", the discomfltux^ 

of grosser actualities. Home has something of that same purifying 

quality found in a beautiful woman. It comforts man — ^raan stained 

through liis necessary outer contacts — with its wholesome warmth. In 


truth, hone is nan's second womb, lieaven lois third. As an intermediate 
realm betx/ecai heaven and earth, hoac provides the best refuge accessible 
to man* 

ilarriafje, for which the hone exists, is a rairaculour! entity in 
that its very presence glosses over an infinitude of imperfections. 

A kind Providence Jias so skilfully adapted sex to sex and the 
nass of individxials to each other, that, with certain obvious 
exceptions, any male and female may be moderately happy in the 
married state. The true rule is to ascertaiJi tliat the match is 
fundamentally a good one, and then to take it for granted that all 
minor objections, should there be such, vdll vanish, if you let 
than alone. Only put yourself beyond hazard as to real basis of 
matrimonial bliss, and it is sc£ircely tc be imagined r/hat miracles, 
in the vay of recognizing sinaller incongruities, connubial love 
^vill effect. (251) 

}.anor adjustments automatically effect themselves. It is not so much 
that one man is made for one v.-onan but that the sexes are destined to 
form one unit. Hie domestic state, then, is the only fitting one if 
the two sexer are to function properly. 

"It appears to ne that matrimonial deaths affect men more t'.ian 
women." (252) llere, riaBrthome elects to coiment on the inner or 
spiritual strength of woman which enables her to cany on under stress. 
In his own marriage witli Sophia, the devoted husband had come to know 
such bliss that even a temporary absence fron his spouse was felt to be 
unl-jearable. •^■-hat is the use of going to bed at all, in soUtude7"(253) 
ViMle flawthome repeatedly idealizes marriage, his total conception is 
not v/ithout its phj'slcal origins. In a letter to his friend Bridge, a 
leap into matriiaonj' is heartily urged. "If you want a new feeling in 
this weary life, get married. It renews the Tsorld from the surface to 
the centre. "^1 


In 3ater years, when .Sophia yr&s designated »Uorma!» rather than 
"DovG," it is possible that the husband, no longer a young lover, liad 
groTO a little ^ary of inarital perfectibility. "It is good to see hoi^ 
every body, up to tliis old age of the wrld, talcea an interest in 
weddings, and seems to have a faith that now, at last, a couple have 
con» together to make each other happy." (25h) There is no evidence of 
Harthome's becoming cynical about mairiage. He continued to his death 
to recosniae Kiarriage as the richest of huraan experiences. 
Intellectually, he conceived of it as a Joyous release, one open to all 
laiKi, from an overnhelming soloirinity. 

lagh above the muddy necessity of social intercourse, marriage 
erects her marble cathedral, "ach marriage is a worlcinc expression of 
that brotherhood of the heart which should ideally exist aiaong all 
mankind, v.-ere it not for the unfortunate failings of human nature. In 
the niidst of confusion, taarriage stands as the physical and spiritual 
earthly l-ulfillmont of that which is best in humanity. 

Havrthome wag inordinately fond of children. He played games 
vdth his own brood; when they were absent, he wote long cluldish 
letters concerning tlieir doll's health; in short, he attenipted to spoil 
them ;7henever and hovrever possible, ^though Hartliorne understood the 
nature of children -/rell enouch to rrrite stories for them, ^2 ^^ comonts 

(Now York''™ T'tiV ■ ""'""^ ^recollections of Nathaniel Ma^hom. 


Havrfchome's tlu:-ee books of children's stories, which vrore 


on children, though they strike a deep p^cholorical note, 
are rather cormonplace ones. 

If there is one idea to be found, it is that children are 
closer to heaven than adults~not that they are nore recently bom. but 
that their pure and Joyous nature is closer to the divine one. C^ous 
force, centered on adult beings make the desirable retention of that 
nature irjposaible. 

.vhfin our infancy is alnost forgotten, and our boyhood lon„ 
departed, though it seems but as yesterday,. ie^liJe ^^tle"^ 

^^J'"?H''^?.^f' """ ^^ ^°"^^* Whether to call ourselves Coun. 
a^ nore, then it is good to steal avray from the society of Sed 

Td^LtlTsr '-'''''' ^^> ^"^ ^^-"^ - ^-- - t,. ^th'"^'^' 
The tree state of childhood reflects that which is basic and uncorrupted 
m hunan nature. Yet it nmst nK..e unceasingly forraixi into adult life, 
there to disappear. Children, together with beautiful young ^^omen, and 
n^others, form an earthly trinity to which a Unitarian IIa«thorne my give 
alleciance. In this one way, then, the exploration of children's nature 
fits into the over-all development of Hawthorne's thought. 

"The younc havo less charity for aced follies than the old for 
those of youth.«(256) Youth and a^e are frequently placed in 
paycholoEical contrast. „hereas age may allow for tho vagaries of 
youth,, youth, havinr yot to live in the formidable adult world, is 
seldom capable of projecting itself beyond its scope. Havinr: once 
passed thro,;gh the middle years, man in his autunnal time returns to a 

framed on classical myths — A ..onder Book for Girls and Bovs Tsn'ri^nr^ 


state soraevrJiat siadlar to that of his youth, 

2xtei-nally, the Jollity of aged men has rmich in cOitKon with the 
mirth of children; the intellect, any more than a deep sense of 
humor, hue little to do vrLth the matterj it is, with both, a ';leani 
that plays upon the surface, and iir^jarts a sunny and cheerj' aspect 
alike to the green briinch, and gray, moulderinr; trunk. In one case, 
hovrever, it is real sunshinej in the other, it raore resembles the 
phosphorescent glow of decayins wood. (2^7) 

Since children are essentially unf/orldly, since they are a part 
of the ilawthomian trinity, tlieir psychological make-up is one -which 
allOifs for extremely sensitive j>erceprbion— for direct knowledge through 
an intuition of the heart. "Children liave always a syinpat}^ in th.^ 
agitations of those ccnnected v.ith thenj alwaj'^s, especially, a sense of 
any trouble or irjpending revolution, of ivtmtever kind, in domestic 
circurnstances."(258) "CMldren possess an unestiinated sensibinty to 
vriiatever is deep or high, in ima.'rination or feeling, so long as it is 
sijfnple, likewise. It is onlj^ the artificial and the corplex that 
bewilder thera.''(259) The child is man in a natural state, a state 
capable of intuiting tuose subtiles which lie beneath the surface. 
"Children are even more apt, if possible, than grovm people, to catch 
the contagion of a panic terror." (260) 

The father of tliree spent endless hours reading to his cliildren. 
"J-«ut children have no rnercy nor consideration for anybody's vreariness; 
and if you had but a single breath loft, they x-rould ask you to spend it 
in telling them a story." (261) For Hawthorne, children exist in a 
state which it vrould be preferable for them to retain; thay d\Trell in 
what should rightfully bo rian's natural state. Yet the child is an 
uninitiate. That unavoidable initiation which lies ahead vdll almost 


invariably' acparate hij, fron ethereal ties. Thus the introdiiction of 
a cliild into adulthood echoes the necessary 'lovcment of a sensitive 
soul into society* Both entrances are equally painful. 

The love of one individual for another actuates on a lower 
plane the divLne love of God for n«n. Jx?ve is that ernotional actuality 
upon Which marriage and the hc-ne are based. It civcs meaning to the 
life of a woman. It is, in fact, the nost elevated positive force at 
work in man's universe. In an:,- of its fonns-in brotherhood or 
betrothal~it chides rian to the sumnit of earthly achievement. It 
brines to nan a ner insight in accordance xvitli iThich he r^iay better 
orient himself to life. 

Tliouch nan's propensity for sin is an abidinc one, love, even 
in its niortal form, is capable of effectively battling nan's grosser 
tendencies. Love is not selfisWy wcrsliiped by Hawthorne for its arm 
sako, but is thourM of, instead, in t.rms of the functional good Trtiich 
it richt inspire. If love should, in sone distant day, reach the 
ascendancy in nian's nature, then wuld life's conpound vrfiiten, then 
Y.'ould the clarin,: discrepancy bctirccn nan's heavcnlj' and Ms earthly 
estate apr-ear less insurmountable, 

"Ch, how stubbomOy docs love,— or even that cunninG semblance 
of love which flourishes in t!ic imcination, but strikes no depth of 
root into the heart,— how stubbornly does it hold its faith until the 
Roncnt coTnes ^-lien it is doomed to vanish into thin nistl"(262) l'?,e 
sheer unspeakable power of love, when given free reicn, is anxious to 


cosaSat evil's itialigniait forces^ Love'a magic chain is a fimctioral tsiei 

"love, -wheth-er neerly bom, or aroused fl*<y» a death-like sluniber, nmgrt 

alwajTS create a staishlnsj filline the heart so full of railffiuje,that it 

cwOTflcwa upcaa the (mtuaKi world* » (263) Itoder the spell of love, the 

BBid i^iout man> tlKJugh still presmt, is no longeac so darkly oce-u Sroh 

flickrarii^ of love's glow renmrn life fras the inside o«t« 

Love is wiioUy fro® the heart, fully as rnilettored as religion} 

and th'js tl^ waniinss "Lot roon treinble to win the hand of woiaan, xaileai 

tii€^ win alaig with it tlie utiaost paaadon of hrar h©arti"(261i) ^^^Thereas 

lofv© originates in tlie animal hoiart of inan, t«}^ seean in its laoare 

spiidtual fona it provides for the JntgraJngltng «f souls* It is this 

deeper aspect vrhich IfeRithcame stresses in his ixissicm for So|±da» 

kcid thus it vd.ll go onj tintil we shall be divetsted of these 
earthly forrs, -sshich are at once our aeditGn of cxpressi<xij and tJie 
irnpediEKsnts to full connunion* Then rm sliall aelt into f one] 
another, and all be expressed, caice wsA coRtinxally, witliout a 

■word-^Tithoirb an effort •^3 

Sine© the spiritiiality of love is a rtiatter of the soal rather toan the 
physical heart, Ben's body is ag^tin viewed as a stv^bling l^ock to 
finality. Although eartMy love radiates a bliss wiich glosses over 
all, the greater lairacle of spiidtiial love penetrates to the liawthccpnian 

In iihat is i)er}iaps his laost opbiraistic statenent on liunan 
natxare, liawthome soens to feel that love is more native to man than 
hate. This need not iaiply that good is ixjre native than evil* 

It is to the credit of huaan nature, that, except ishere its 

6 3Lgye Letters . IT, 7U. 


haJS um' id ^'^* ^oplBy, it loves more readily than it 

m.lfr.J^t\^ ^ ^f^^ ^'^ ^^^^ process, vdll oven be 

n^iSSSion ^t' ""^^'' ""r '^^^^^ "^ ^^'^^ ^ * continually 
new irritation of tae oricmal feeling or hostility. (26b') 

In a standard psycholoeical proposal the two enotiona are seen to be of 

one essence. 

V, 4. ^\ is a curioua subject of obsei-vatlon and inquiry, whether 
hatred and love be not the sane thine at botton.^SS S itf 
S^ I^^^l'iS^'^'' r^^'"' ^ "^^ ^^Srec of intiinacy aS 
?^o?hTj^^* . ''^*''' °"^ individual dependent for the 
food of his aifcctxons a:id spiritual life upon anotner: each 

forlo^l^^HT''?"?*" '°""^' °^ ''^ "° less'^.io^a^c'h^tS, 
mio^nM ?f °1^*^ 7 ''''^ ^vithdra^al of his subject. * 
^lnf^^,T^^ considered, therefor, the t^o passions seen 
essentially tne sane, except that one happens trbe seen in a 
celestial ra.iiance, and the oth.^r in a du£;T and lurid tlS. (266) 

There is an incessant insistence on the strength of love., and on the 
power for ^ood latent in tliat strencth. 

The one weakness of lovo is that it is a passion, and that as 
a passion it depends on a finite object; tlms Triiile it flames for the 
aooent it is quickly extinguished V time. True lovo reaches a more 
fixed state, but true love lies in God's domain, an infinite one. 
Ij^g^ennanent, thou^^h frequently celestial, eruptions of love are allotted 
to man's donanion, a depraved and finite one. Since the disease of the 
life compound is a latent one, however much whiteness love nanages to 
ndx therein, still, Ufe is expected to lapse into its original 

Both love and hatred have unfathomable depths. Each instance 
of a deeper love stcnds forth as the first cf its kind to its 
participators, and precltidcs penetration by other mortals. "One feels 
the fact, in an instant, trhcn he h^s intruded on those who love or 


tiioce xiho h&te, at sc^e aciae oi' their passion tiiat puts tnem into a 
spjiero oi tiielr owi, v/her-e no utner £3pirit can pretend to stand on 
equal orovLnd v.ith thorn. "(26?) 

vrnile God's love is permanent, and v/hile nian vfixen ho 
participates in spiritual love grasps soiJietliing of that same finality, 
men's love is nomially lindted in that it CL^nters on a physical object. 
It is, then, a passion at its roots. Although man may move from this 
earthly passion to a iTJore divine one, still he is liniited by the oririn 
of hifi desire. 

.an's love, as in tho aiarital state, has no claim to pernsanence, 
but must instead coiitinuallj"- renew itself* "Caresses, expressions of 
one sort or anotlxer, are necessary to the life of the affections, as 
leaves are to the life of a tree. If they are wliolly restrained, love 
will die at the roots." (268) Hawthorne, in his warm concern with the 
successful pei'petuation of narital love, reco{!:niaes unstintingly that 
the original force of nan's love is not a self -continuing one, that it 
is by nature transitorj^ "Caresses are the foliaco of affection j the 
plant dies at the root unless it has them." (269) 

In spite of the acknowledged limitations of earthly love, 
Havrthome wholeheartedly affirms the indestructible character of its 
spiritual counterpart; and in so affirninn recor^iizes that the actuality 
of love necessitates— in a brif^hter namier than tlie imperfect quality of 
!!ian's earthly state— the irraiortality cf jnan's soul. Thus the presence 
of love in life becomes an a-miranoe of God. In trutli, any and all of 
ilawthome's oft pondered opinions lead to this assiirance. love pit>vea 


its inssortality by sheer force. 

Each Warner and quicker tlirob of the heart >rears away so nruch 
of life. The passions, the affections, are a ;Tine not to be 
indulged in. Love, above all, bein- in its osrence an iiniaortal 
thmc, cannot be lonr contained in an earthly body, but would 
wear it out with its own secret jxwer, softly invigorating as it 

In general, liawthorne begins v.lth what he sees before hiia of 

man and his antics, with the actual ingredients of life, and with the 

institutional forces playing upon man and those ingredients. V/hen he 

idealises, as in fiis conception of womanhood, he is seeing what, in the 

light of the greater vrhole, actually should be. In the disparity 

between what should be and ^hat is, various JIawthorne problems arise— 

the problem of the sensitive soul, tue artificial social structure, the 

public woman. These are problems rising out of a condition, and thus 

they are of concern to Hawthorne. These problems are seen and lamented} 

but the conditions from ^vhich they arise—sin, the life compound, 

fortune—are taken as actualities dertined to remain unchanged by man's 

rather petty atterapts at self-reforn. It is aim s through the heart 

and soul, and thus through love, that life's prenatal con it ions arc to 

be most effectively coinbated—not that the conditions themselves will 

be substantially altered, but that man my rise somewhat above those 

conditions by directing his energies to divine channels. 

CliAPTffi VII 


An artist ascends above the earth's surface on the wings of his 
art; there he dwells in the land of the beautiful. Art is more than 
the clianneled outpouring of energies, more than a designed effeeb. Art, 
to KawthoiTie, is that vital outlet through which man my escape surface 
substances by lifting hiraaelf into a realm of created beauty. The 
artist, then, ciiscovers the beautiful, and creates — in one of the art 
forms—a representation of that discovery. Tliis tendency to idealize 
does not lead Hawthorne to recard the ai-t realm as one apart from or 
superior to ordinary life. On the contrary, art is a practical concern 
both in its period of creation and in its final fonn. The medium is a 
conscious one in which the artist picks up the raw rriatter of tliis 
world, fires and shapes it with iiis iraaeination, and returns it to 
earth for man's pleasure and edification. 

An acute characterization of the sundry types of art, and of 
the mediums, methods, and ideals of art, states a definite set of 
Ilavrthomian standards. Yet the commentary on art, while it tends to 
be complete within itself, is actxially but one more phase of the 
novelist's total orientation to life. A Icnovfledce of Hawthorne as 
artist, coupled with a Jcnowlcdf^e of those ideals which lie set for 
himself and for the entire art brotherhood, thouf^h essential in every 
wa;^^ to an understandinc of ffawthome, should not be allowed to 



represent the complete man. However much Hawthorne emphasizes art, 
however much potential he allows it, still it imist be remembered that 
he stresses sin, fortune, and society with equal vigor, ifawthome was 
not an "art for art's sake" addict. In truth, art, when kept in its 
proper perspective, my well be thouf^ht of, together women, as a 
second "good" institution, as a second partial escape fro^a v;hat 
remains — ^iiowever it may be turned about— a gray compound. 


Hawthorne did not confine his critique of art to the only 
phase which he himself practiced— fiction. se felt himself a member of 
a community in art, for which the standard mediums— arc lilt ecture, 
sculpture, poetry, prose, and painting— were but forms and not the 
thinr: itsolf . Lfusic alone failed to interest him. He had no ear for 
it,' he never troubled to reflect upon it. .\rt is of one essence no 
matter vrhat visible form it takes. The artist, in the plj/ing of his 
genius, is one of a brotherhood at v;ork upon the same spiritual 
substance. Thus it is that Hawthorne assumed a perfect freedom in 
commenting on art fields where his teclmical knowledge was undeniably 
limitedj and thus it is that he came to see art as a whole, and each of 
its parts and problems as a division of that creator being. 

The commentary on architecture centers upon a cong>arison of the 
relative merits of the classical and the Gothic styles. I-or iiawthorne 
the romancer, for one who saw life through a glass darkly, classicism 
suffers in the con^Mrison. 

I always see a great beauty and lightsomKiess in those classic 


and Grecian edifices, though they seen cold and intellectual, awi 
not to have their mortar moistened vdth human life-blood, nor to 
have the igystery of htaaan life in them, as Gothic structiores do. (271) 

The Gothic, in its irregular, W8t&ci.aas, and suggestive presence, has 

about it tiie spirit of hwaanity— for life does not flovsr in neat and 

readily discernible lines. Classical architecture with its regular 

features and siaoothly shaven face is necessarily vien«d as a iisanneqaiQ* 

"There is son^thing, I do not know ^rhat, but it is in the 

r^icai of the heart, rather than in the intellect, that Italian 

arcMtecture, of ishatever age or style, never seerts to reach." (272) 

Hasrthome brings his heart and head syjnbolisia into the realm of art. 

Classicism is of the irtellect^ thus coldj^ atat^ely, and artificial. 

The Gothic, tr<m the heart of laan^ is genuine sxiA vibraa*. 

Gothic architectux^ with its irregular disproportioned minutiae offwcs 

a hat rack for man's feelings, ishile the classical is so snsoothly 

constructed that there is little opportunity to fasten oneself to it. 

"Classical architectxire is nothing but an outline, and affords no 

little points, no interstices «toere huaan feelings may cling and 

overgrov/ it like ivy, "(273) s^en working up cei'tain classical tales 

for childr«i's stories, Hawthorne wrote Jlelda of his intontion to 

superirapose the Gotliic element. 

Unless I greatly nistake, these old fictions ?dll work up 
admirably for the purposej and I sliall ain at substituting a tone 
in sonc degree Gothic or romantic, or any such tone as may best 
please ncrself , instead of the classic coldness, i^ch is as 
repellent as the touch of marble. 6U 

^Fields, Yesterday with Authors, p. 59. 


The old principle of variety vdthin uniformity is fundamental 

to the nature of the Gothic. Gothic structures call to mind the 

inscrutable order of life, or the apparent machinations of fortune 

vdthin the greater framework of providential guidance. There is 

empathy on i^awtliorae's part for an art which is truly life-Uke, but 

apathy for those styles vrhich would refine away life's basic roiighness. 

In his finest stateir^nt of ■Gothic suprenjacj^, the author grows rhapsodic 

over vrhat he felt to be Gotliicism's overpowering richness. 

A Gothic cathedral is sure];,- the -jost wonderful work which 
mortal man has yet achieved, so vast, so intricate, and so 
S^nnn"^ '' ""^"^^^'^t^^ ^^^^ strange, delightful recesses in its 
grand fi,^e, so difficult to comprehend within one idea, and yet 
all so consonant that it ultimately draws the beholder a.nd his 
universe into its harinony. It is the only thinf^ in the world" that 
is vast enough and rich enough. (27i4) ^ .. e worxa tnat 

There is jnuch to be learned from HatTthome's appraisal of the 
Gothic. Although he continues to employ the Gotiiic-classical 
distUiction in the several fields of art, his Judgment is sui'ficiently 
established in his pronouncements en architecture. In siding with the 
Gothic, the romaaicer pledges allegiance to those elements which are 
grandiose, ^^sterious, and suggestive in life. Me reacts against taat 
which is superficially ordered by man's intellect. Me reacts, too, 
against what he feels to be the coldness and sterility of the classical 
form. Ro elects the iinagination over the reason, intuition over 
intellective kno^rledge. In accepting the Gothic standards, l^awthorne 
makes the inevitable choice to which .us philosophy of life predestines 
him. for one who wrote, and in a sense thought and lived, in a 
preternatural realm, no other choice v/as possible. 



ilrctdtectiirc, sculpture, and painting fell under the cidtical 
eye of iawthor-ne during x,he last ben years of his life. Having airived 
late, and having perfeci-ed certain theories of art in his fiction, the 
observations vrhich the novelist offers are of one starap, and nowise 
constitute a learned criticism of the subject at iiand. iiow and again 
they evidence, as litight v/ell be expected, unfeigned Puritan prejudices. 
All of these criticisms are sicnificant, however, in that they help 
clarify Hawthorne's v.rarraij' held art theory, 

"l doubt whether sculptors do not err, in point of taste, try 

making all their statues models of physical perfection, instead of 

expressing by them the individual cliaracter and iiabits of the r!raru"(275) 

Here, wnen dealing with a nev/ species of art, tiie t^.-pical distinction 

between the Gothic and the classical is extended. Blemished 

individuality, sinf^arity and uniqueness, are cherished above 

uniformity and perfection, Tj^Dical, too, is the gentle irony with 

which Hawthorne defends his prejudices. 

It seems to me time to leave off sculpturing men and women 
nakedj they mean nothing, and mi(>ht as vfell be one nane as another, 
and belong to the same category as the ideal portraits in Books of 
oeauty, or in the aandows of print-shops. The art does not 
naturally belong to this agej and the exercise of it, I think, had 
better be confined to the laanufacturo of marble fireplaces. (276) 

In one Instance, ilawthorne is led to heap praise on ancient 

sculpture. "In short, I do really believe that there v/as an excellence 

in ancient sculpture, and that it has yet a potency to educate and 

refine the minds of those vfho look at it, even so carelessly and 

casually as I do." (277) J-'he immense dream of perfectibility impressed 


in each piece of ancient sculpture is not without its sicnificance. 
Yet as a matter of conmon <?ecency, the sculpturing of nude figures is 
inexcusable in modem tines. 

I do not altogether see the ncces'sltj of ever scnlpturinf- 
another nakedness. Man is no longer a naked animal; his clothes 
are as natural to hln as iiis sldn, and sculptora have no more rirht 
to undress hin than to flay him. (278) 

It is difficult to separate a person's ideas concerning art from his 

emotional response to art objects, for the tvro elenents are 

inextricably fused in nonprofessiona.1 art criticisn, 

?iarble's atresorie coldness, if it fails to strike the proper 

chord, leaves the spectator wholly uninoved. 

It is also strange that, unless ^y^.en one feels the ideal charm 
of a statue, it becomes one cf the .lost tedious and irksonc thin-s 
in tne world, rdther it rnust be a celestial thinn- or an old lump 
o^ stone, dusty emd time-soiled, and tilling out your patience v-dth 
eternally looking Just the same. (279) 

"It seems to me, however, that old sculpt-uro affects the spirits even 

more dolefull;/ than old painting; it strikes colder to the heart, and 

lies heavier upon it, being marble, than if it Trero nierely canvas." (280) 

The sheer physical weight of the sculptor's raw material often lends 

itself to a heavy and uninspiring flatness In the finished art piece. 

Since the durability of marble allows for a kind of permanence 

all its own, the sculptor r-ho vfould meddle vdth it has a sacred charge 

of finding and representing beauty and truth, fince the relative 

position of the sculptor as an artir^t is an elevated one, his spiritual 

duties are clearly defined. 

,A sculptor, indeed, to meet the demands v/hich our tireconceptions 
make upon him, should be even more indispensably a poet than those 
wJio deal in measured verse and rhyme. Kis material, or instrument. 


nMch serves hin in the stead of shifting and transitoiy lan^uagOj 
is a pure, wliite, undecaying substance* It insures immcarbality to 
whatever is -wrought in it, and therefore ranke:; it r. rclir;:iou3 
oblication to comndt no idea to its raighty suardianship, save such 
as may repay the siarble for itr? faj.thful care, its 7 ncoi-ruptlble 
fidelity, by wanning it with an ethereal life. ( 281 ), 

Finally, Hawthorne cones to reroai'k, and not vdthout some 

Justification, that the road to farae for the sculptor, or oven the road 

to survival, is a hotly contested one. "Ihile the notion of a penniless 

poet is traditional enough, the vision of a starving sculptor laboidng 

tlu'oughont a cold and thankless life is equally rornantic. 

Thus, success in art is apt to beconie partly an affair of 
intriguej and it is alinoat inevitable that even a gifted artist 
should look askance at his gifted brother's fasie, and bo chary of 
the good '.Tord that tais-j-it help hir.i to sell still another statue or 
picture. You scldorti hear a painter heap rcnerous praise on 
ani'thinc in his special lino of art; a sculptor never has a 
favorable eye for any marble but his ovm.(282) ' 

It is not so KBich out of Jealousy, but because of the limited worldly 

success open to the entire brotherhood, that the sculptor necessarily 

becomes vain about his ovm work. I.'hs niore liirdted the market, the less 

the trader is apt to love his brother competitor. 

Although sculptural tasks are difficult, and though popular 

success is extremely rare, Fiawthome docs not place the deserving 

sculptor on a pedestal equal to that of the painter and -po&tt In spite 

of the fact that pcylptors frequently succeed in caarvin^ ideals into 

their rnarble, the novelist does not look on the sculpturesque v.-ith a 

vrar'T! eye. The :;reat sliortcoainc of sculpture is that it fails too 

often to capture the v^hole of life— that it contents itself rrlth an 

ideal but often njeaningless fonn. 


If Hawthorne -was olten Jaded by the ai-t Galleries of Italy, it 
was not due to any lack of teciinical raerit in the displayed paintinca, 
but to the poverty of his technical knovrledro. Yet, though irawthome 
admtfcedli^ had little cultivated taste for paintinc, his criticism is 
far frorc an unpc-rceiAive one. Jfe najiages to go beliind the picture 
itself and quer^- the true nature of the mcdiun. 

The obser\'aticns en painting tend to be repetitious, but the 
very presence of tliat repetition advances in irrevocable terns 
liasrtihorne's conviction that painting has limitless art potential,* that 
tlie spectator's reaction to painting is a relative one; tiiat pictorial 
genius is quite rare; and that paintings should be studied individually 
rather than in niass. From tlio point of vie?/ of an interested onlooker, 
the heaping together of paintings is an insufferable aifront to human 

-hat an absurdity it would seem, to pretend to read two or 
tluree hundred poems, of all Ocgrees betv.'cen on emc and a ballad, 
in an hour or twol And a picture is a poem, onl^- requiring the 
creater study to be felt end conprchended, because the spectator 
must necessarily do much for himself towards that end. (233) 

Since each worthwhile picture necessitates a long and deliberate 

perusal, art galleries are viewed as blatant raonstrosities. 

There should never be more tJian one picture in a room, nor 
more than one lacture to be studi^.d in a daj'j -alleries of pictures 
are surely the greatest absujr'dities that ever were contrivedt there 
being no excuse for then, except t'lat it i.^ the only way in which 
pictures can be made generally available and accessible". (28Jb) 

"".ith the most lifelike reproduction, there is no illusion. I 

think if a semi -obscurity were t.arown over the picture, after finishing 


it to tills nicety, it might brinii it nearer to Uature." (2C5) 

Hawthorne insists, and lie pz^actices the precept in ^lis ovm xiction, 

tiiat a veil is necessary to give i.ian the feel ol the suggestive and 

Ei&^sterious quality of life, ajid that a fliere photographing of tlie 

plienoiaenal in no way suffices. Since the true nature of life is opaque, 

except in rare raoineiits of contact vilth "reality," tliat aiii vfhich would 

allot an;^' de.'ree of finality to the merely- visual deludes itself. A 

picture should embody soriething "raoro i-eal than man can see rdth the 

eye aiid tcucii tlie finger"; it siiould never content itself vdth a 

repi'oduction of the apparent. 

One proverbial dicturi no variously piu'ased and so often 

repeated that it ^rows Y/earieonie wai-ns that talent is not genius. 

"flctorial talent seenis to be abundant enough, up to a certain point j 

pictorial genius, I shoulu judge, is araong the rexest of gilts." (286) 

'i'alent for painting, like the oil which is employed, is but an 

ingredient of the finished product, .vhile talent is undeniably 

necessary, it is genius r/Jiich instills a spiritual life into art 


I am of the opinion that good pictures are quite as larc as 
good ix>ctsj and I do not see vAr/ v/e should pique oui-sclves on 
admiring any but the very best. One in a thousand, perhaps, ou^t 
to live in the applause of liien frow £;encratiwp to :>ineaation, till 
its colors fade or blacken out of sight, and its canvas rots avay; 
the lest should bo put in j^,aiTets, or p£ilnted over by nov^er 
artists, just as tolerable jjoets are shelved v;hen their little day 
is over.(2r;7) 

Hawthorne's bewailing: of the lack of genius among the painting 

brotherhood is but a paiticularisation of a laj^^er idea. 'le felt, and 

often gives e:<pression to this feeling, that the nunibei- of true 

Geniuses tiarou^hout ucrld iiistory night v.-ell be counted on onc'c 
fincera axul toes. Mediocrity and ncrc talent arc abundant cnou^'h, but 
that \'±tal perceptive sparl: wldch r,»ves toward inraortallty is a rarity, 

"It doprcsscs the spirits to go f^om picture to picture, 
leaving c portian of your vital syrj^athy at cverj- one, so that you come, 
with a kind of half-torpid desperation, to the end." (238) r>ach great 
picture pulls iiiternally on its observer. Tiic nature of paintinc is 
seen to be a powerful one; its effect is not unlike the cathai'sis so 
well defined by Aristotle. On occasion, liawtiiorne was tenjpted to rank 
paintinc as first among the arts. "It is my present opinion t^iat the 
pictoral art is capable of something more like .-aacic, more wonderful 
and inscrutable in its snethods tiian poetrj-, or any other mode of 
dcvelopinh" the beautiful," (239) }.iore frequentl;!^, he hands the laurel 
to the poet. 

It is this that all the ai-ts have in com ion j it is the striving 
toward the beautiful wiiich tics the bond of brotherhood. It should be 
rencmbered tliat Hantiiome's conception of "beauty" elevates it above 
mere surface prcttiness—that beauty in this world is but a iiarbinser 
of a "reality" or spirituality which is yet to cone. A statue, a poem, 
or a paintinc ^«^ch does not ncvc toward the beautiful has no worth, 
and were better left undone. 

An observer needs to be alone with an art object in order to 
communicate Tdth it on its own terms. "It is a terrible business, 
this looking at pictures, whether good or bad, in tlie presence of the 
artists w;io paint the.-n; it is as c^^eat a bore as to hear a poet read 


his ovm verses," (290) It may be reraembered, too, thnt lla^vfchorae does 

not attribute intrinsic raerit to the antique, T&da generation lias its 

ov/n life to lead — ^its own problems and aspirations to express, forms 

which spoke forcibly to past ages rnay well have lost their ability to 

stir the present. 

In painting, as in lit erat lire, I suspect there is sometiiing in 
the productions of the day that takes the fancy i-nore than the works 
of any past age, -—not greater merit, nor nearly so great, but 
better siiited to this very present tlJTie. . • .(291) 

"But as regards the interpretation of this, or of any other 

profound picture, there are likely to be as Eiany interpretations as 

there are spectators. "(292) Hawthorne sets forth relativistic tenets 

in his criticisms on the several arts. Spectator opinion is held to 

be relative in regard to each art object. A work of art cannot demand 

one standard opinion from its audience. Yet to say that Hasrthome was 

a relativist in the Anatole France sense of the word would be to leap 

to unwarranted conclusions. It is difficiilt to see hovr one who 

believed in a "reality" wliich was the san® for all memkind could 

countenance relativism. It may be that Hawthorne was too aware of his 

imtutored critical sense. If he did not see in a great painting or a 

famous piece of sculpture what others had seen, what was accepted as 

being there, relativistic coirroents might provide an easy outlet for the 

feeling of uncertainty fostered 1^/ that lack of teclmical knowledge. 

It is more probable tiiat art is seen to bo relative only in that it is 

profoundly rich. Thus a magnificent piece of art work, by virtue of 

the depth which makes its greatness, may evoke a multitude of 

individual responses. 


Cnce raore the raonotonous proclamation of the scarcity of true 

ganius is presented. 

One picture in ten thousand, perhaps, ought to live in the 
applause of mankind, from generation to gwieration, until the 
colors fade and blacken out of sight, or the canvas rot entirely 
away* For the rest, let them be piled in garrets, ;}ust as the 
tolerable poets are shelved, whtai their little day is over. Is a 
painter more sacred than a poet? (293) / 

Aa a final statement on painting, the novelist advances a theory not 

unlike one later held by Croce. It is scarcely a new idea even in 

i860, but Hawthorne gives it a remarkably fresli phraseology. 

, A picture, however adntirable the painter's art, and wonderful 
his power, requires of tlie spectator a surrKider of hiinself , in due 
proportion with the ndracle which has been wrou£;ht. Let the 
canvas glow as it may, you must look rdth tiie eye of faith, or its 
highest excellence escapes you. There is always tlie necessity of 
helping; out the painter's art with your own resources of sensibility 
and imagination. Ijot tliat these qualities shall really add anything 
to Trtiat the master has ef fectedj but they must be put so entirely 
imder his control, and work along vath him to such an extent, that, 
in a different mood, when you are cold and critical, instead of 
sympathetic, you will be apt to fancy that the loftier merits of 
the picture were of your own dreaminc, not of liis creating. (291;} 

The audience, then, must fully unloose its sympathy and its imaginatiwi 

if it is to derive full benefit from an art work. In each instance of 

observation, the artist's experience is hannoniously re-careated in the 

capable observer. It is at this moment that the pictux^ lives. 

There is little evidence to indicate that Hawthorne ever 

developed a learned critical sense. -le continued in his aim way, 

likinc that which appealed to him personally, and paying scant regard 

to the critical opinions of other men or of time itself. In whatever 

manner Hawthorne's art criticisms fail, they succeed in their very 

honesty. There was no felcned apj^oval of that which failed to stir 


him individually, oven tiiough he realized toat a laclc of approval lairJht 
vrell be interpreted as a lack of taste. i.Thile the coPKjentary on art 
plays but one tune, and it a rather siToplo one, it plays with the 
utrrffist sincerity. 


Among the creators of the artistic, it is the poet who is most 

keenly in tune Trith a universal beauty. Re, above all the rest of 

mankind, is capable of perceiving beauty and of givinc form to his 

perception. It is lie vriio delves beneath life's marble and mud to 

arrive at a stable and spiritual substance. Biose men who are limited 

by their natures froa seeing beyond the apparent, in no ??ay negate the 

validity of the poet's vision. 

Some, indeed, there vj-ere, wiio thought to shoiT the soundness of 
their judginent by affirmins that all the beauty and dignity of the 
natural vrarld existed only in the poet's fancy. Let such men 
speak for themselver, r/ho undoubtedly appear to loave been spawned 
forth by nature \Tith a contemptuous bitterness | c^he having 
plastered them up of her refuse stuff, after all the svdno v/erc 
made, /^s respects all things else, the poet's ideal v^-as the truest 
truth. (295) 

In life's liierarchy, the poet is placed by Hairthorne only a 

little bclo-57 the angels. 

Vihy are poets so apt to choose their nates, not for any 
similarity of poetic endoviTient, but for ciualities v;4iich iriight make 
the happiness of the rudest liandicraftsnan as well as that of the 
ideal craftsraan of the spirit? recause, probably, at his highest 
elevation, the poet needs no human intercoursej but he finds it 
dreary to descend, and be a stranger. (296) 

In liis function as a seer, a revealer of internal truths, a prophet, 

the poet is above contact with mere mortals. His heights are celestial 

ones, the task which he assumes the most noble open to mankind. Yet 


each man in to some desree a poet; especiariy is this true of the 
imaginative but uninitiated youth. 

hpphS;^^^' ^T*^ ^'"^^ °- ^^""^ ^ y°^2 nan may, indeed, be rather 
bashful aoout saovrlnc his poetry and his prose but for all thaf 

hi. It'the ti^t'^o ^f'f^ '^' ''r '^' P-<^-t-ns woSJ p^c^ 
mm at the tiptop of literature, if once they could be known.(297) 

Great art cannot spring— ar^ more than true virtue— froT a cloistered 
state. It groTfs instead out of a mature acceptance of life-not from 
an acceptance ^ich stops with passiveness, but out of one >.hich pushes 
to the limits of hunan potential the search for those hidden beauties 
T^hich lie just beneath man's fingertips and just beyond iiis vision. 
"Our pale, thin, Yankee aspect is the fitter garniture for 
poets."(298) Hawthorne gives credence to the romantic notion of a 
starry^yed poetic priesthood. Fat and robust people I^ve no claim to 
poesy. The novelist has a genuine reverence for his romantically 
imagined, uniquely appearing poet. Poetry should take up the whole of 
a man's being. It is inconceivable that suave, sophisticated people 
could To-ite decent verse as a hobby. Poetiy is .more than mere craft, 
more than the mechanical action of stringing words togetherj it is a 
spiritually- consecrated way of life with a sanctified odor all its own. 
"A poet has a fragrance about him, such as no other human being is 
gifted ^vithal; it is indestructible, and clings for evermore to 
everything he has touched." (2?9) 

A truly accomplished poet reaches a form of immortality to 
which lesser artists may aspire, through the veiy ,:randeur of his work. 

mnrH-fir^^!.! ^''?^ f"" "^'''^ °"^^ ^^^^ ^^^^ SUTViVCS for his fellOW- 

ch^fihi "r^ ^T^^ ^^ ^" ^^^ dust,-and he not ghostly, but 
cherishing many hearts with his own warmth in the chillest 


atmosphere of Life. ..hat other fame is v/orth aspir-inc for? Cr, 
let me speak it raore boldly, what other long-endurinr, fame can 

exist? (300) 

Although liaTrthorne makes fev,' extravagant claims for the dabblor in 
prose, for the coraposcr of ficticais, he gives effusive praise to the 
melodious beauty of great poetic niastcrpieces. He holds the poet's 
ideal to be loftier tlian all others '• 

"It is far easier to I<now and honor a poet when Ms fame I'las 
taken shape in the spotlessness of marble than when the actual man 
comes staggering before you, besmeared v/ith the sordid ftains of iiis 
daily life. "(301) When the poet is seen in tlda life—wiiere he is 
necessarily caught up in t}ie tarnished actualities of the physical— 
liis divinity is seldora apparent. Yet his eventual inraortality, whether 
or not the earthly observer sttiy recognize it, is assia:ed. "It would be 
a poor coinpliaient to a dead poet to fancy riin leaning,; out of the sky 
and snuff inn up the impure breath of earthly praise." (302) It is 
indeed a form of insult to bestow a perverted worldly praise on the 
poet, for Iiis nature is essentially a divine one. 

Hawthorne apparently supports all that the most optimistic 
theorizers on the function of the poet have had to say. Taken as a 
whole, his running coT.iifientary on the poetic art leaves much to be 
desireci. Me is too caught in the romantic I'^'th of a poetic divinity, 
to speak vdthcut prejudice of the art. His Idealizations are so 
extravagant tliat they tend to slip into sentimentality. Perhaps the 
fact that he himself could not vrrite verse caused the novelist to pass 
the laurel to the poet. 


Yet there is a healthy di-scrLidnatory pav/er at woi-k in 
'lawthorne's critical pronouncements. If he never failed to praise 
great poetry, he never forgot to ridicule the mediocre verse of ids 
day. V.hile his taste in poetiy aeeias to have been a reasonably soimd 
one, liis excesGive idealization of the poetic art defies logical 
explanation. Let it suffice to say that Havrthome, for his oim part, 
found more beauty in poetry than in any other of the art forms. 

In a consideration of fiction as an art, forsa, the new fa.Td.liar 
critical pattern is a^ain present. Ilarthorne speaks of proper subjects, 
nethods, and ains, but lias little to say in a truly critical sense. 
Indeed, the novelist never clainied critical abiUty for himself, and 
he rarely coinnented in liis letters and Journals on the nierit of 
literary productions ai^ising during his Ufetiiae. .^If he was deeply 
aioved by a '.7ork— as in his reading of Lfobjjj^ick— he might choose to 
congratulate its author, -iovfthome was not hoirevor, as vrere ?oe and 
Margaret Puller, a litorar;/ critic in the formal sanse of the word. 

Fiction—the one art at which lie was truly accomplished— failed 
to stir a critical spirit in Ilawthorne. It was one of his precepts 
that each nian is his own best critic, and if he, ilawthorne, failed to 
appreciate a work he frequently chose to rer/iain silent. Althou^-h 
fiction had cone to be respected in England by 1800, it was first put 
on its feet in toerlca by Iri-ing, Cooper, and, njore especially, by 
•iawthorne hinself . Ilction, by conparison ^ other art forms, v/as 
still in a state of infancj'j it was not to be accepted on the same 


level vdth poeti-^r. 

Yet the problems snd the chitieo of the novelist ore essentially 
those of the poet. "Poor authori Han will ho despise vfhat he can 
crasp, for the sake of the dira glory that eludes himi"(303) The 
TJTiter eternally sacrifices hiiaself to his ainj strives to capture that 
wliich stays always one nonent ahead of him. "Vilaen vre see how little we 
can express, it is a wonder that any man ever takes up a p<ai a second 
tine."(30ij) Although strangers in their laediuras, all artists are 
brothers in their purpose and in their probleias. They are equally 
humbled by the fact that what t?iey feel j.s so mucli more than what they 
can express. 

"Bees are sometiuies droKned in the honey which they collect- 
so sojue 'rvriters lost in their collected leaminc." (30^) In up 
the "bee" syiibol made familiar by Swift's The Battle of the Books , 
lia«rthomo places hitaself with those who spin from an inner fiber. 
Since his genius was an original one, he rnust have looked ^th disfavor 
on those ririters who scKJther the fire of their own mind by becoming 
parasites to other inen's learning. If a vTiter vrill but develop Ms 
oTOi ideas to the best of his capabilities, then nay he jud^e his own 
work froc the subjective certainty of an organic insight rather than 
from externally applied criteria, "Manuscript is as delusive as 
noonshinc. Print is like cosranon daylieht, and enables an author to 
comprehend Mmself as no dictum of another man ever T?jill."(306) Each 
vrritor, if he be keen enouch to turn out worthtriiile manuscript, is 
fu].ly qualified to evaluate his 0T.-n ^7ork. 


Hawthorne never t.tto g nis serious pieces rath ceneral 
popularity as a coal, /in author must wite ior those who will 
understand hira, not for the great multitude. All else is but liack work, 
"The truth seems to be, however, tnat, when he cus.s ids leaves forth 
upon the wind, the author addresses, not tiie many who v;lll fling aside 
his volume, or never take it up, but the fev; ;ti,o vdll understand him, 
better than most of his schoolmates or lifematos,"(307) 

A pretexnatural realm just be.ond the phenomenal oiie is suited 
to romance writini^, 

Moonliciit, in a famliar room, falling so v/hite u en the 
carpet, and saovriiiri all its liguros so distinc-l-,— r.iaking every 
object so minutely visible, yet so unlike a mominc or noontide 
vxsxbilaty,— is a medium the most suitable for a i-oiaanco-va-itov to 
get acquainted rdth liis elusive guests. (308) 

This is not to say that the romantic realm is b any token of the 

inanination an unreal one, for it is here that trutn o;)erates in a 

select and condensed medium. ;i, re, objects and facts cue not allowed 

to get in the way of "reality." uero, one :^iay give artistically 

satisfyinc form to vdaat is knovji or suspectod about life. 

I'rutli, once discovered and er.i^ecsod, remains absolute and 

fixed. "A 1-iich truth, indeed, fairly, finely, and sldlfully v/roucht 

out, brichtening at every stop, and crov.Tiing tlie final development of 

a -vork of fiction, may add an artistic glory, but is never any truer, 

and seldom any more evident, at the last page than at the first." (30?) 

Once a truth is arrived at there is no need for additional elaboration— 

the tin:th about sin, for inctanco, ranains unchanged from ilrst to last; 

but the aims of art-beauty and "reality "-lead the mind ever onward. 


Since truths rer?p±n eternally the sane, a viroroug and ima;':;inative 

ironth my prophet icaU;:.'- voice the loiowledce wliLch are cones to taow 

more fuller, 

Tn yo-!jt.hj inen are apt to vrrite more winclv thnn thop-r reclly 
'-enow or feel; and the rejaaindcr of life may bo not idly spent in 
realizln,^ and con-/incinc thcnselven of the wisdon v/hich they 
uttered long a-to, Tne truth that was only in the fancy then laay 
have since become a substance in the ro.nd and heart, (310) 

Romance was of special concern. ("Romance and poetrj--. Ivy, 

lichens, and wall-flowers, need ruin to make them grow," (311)) The 

past, with its accorpanyins decay, is necessary- to cast a spell over 

the materials of life. A ron^nce should not be set in a present tims 

azaid new and unte-^ted surroundings. It is necessary for the novelist 

to move into the past in order to cain that detachraont which nives 

perspecti^'c. Although IlaTiTthorne offers little foiTial criticism of 

fiction as an art form, he is not silent concerning his personal 

relationship with it, 

Hawthorne and FUction 
Even though the novelist left no full record of his literary 
aims and methods, he frequently broke through his native reticence in 
letters to intimate friends. Cn other occasions, he sjo'inkled the 
prefaces to his books with bits of critical opinion. In his preface 
*o The house of the Seven Gables , for oxanple, the novelist states his 
conception of romance writing, i-ecause Hav-iihorne had labored so lone 
and bitterly for success in writinc, his sometimes sensitive reaction 
to outside criticism was partially Justified, "If I doubt the sincerity 
and correctness of any of my critics, it shall be of those yfho censure 


me." (312) He continued to feel throughout his lifetime that an artist 
was his own most competent critic. 

In his own novels and tales, he was sorely pressed by the 
difficulty of maintaining a balance bet>Te«i the realm of everyday life 
and that more concentrated and shadovrjr realm in which he had chosen to 
work, .hen that balance fails, as it sometimes does, the story suffers 

absurdxty from begxnnmc to end; but the fact is, in v/ritin- a 
romance, a man is always, or always oucht to be, careoriii- on the 
utmost verge of precipitous absurdity, and the skill lics^in cominp 
as close as possible, without actually tumblinc over. (313) 

For this and other reasons, writins never ceased to be hard work for 
Hawthorne. At times the compositional chore became almost too 
difficult. "The fact is, I lave a natural abhorrence of pen and ink, 
and nothinc short of absolute neces^itv drives me to them." (3U) 

That "abhorrence of pen and ink," referred to so unhesitatingly, 
was probably a feigned one. The sense of having created something 
beautiful and sicnificant was undoubtedly satisfying to F.-iwthorne. A 
-.vriter does not give a twelve-year apprenticeship to a profession wlrLch 
he detests. In unguarded moments, flawthorne was vdlling to admit that 
the bitter toil of writing was not without its sweetness. "The only 
sensible ^ds of literature are, first, the pleasurable toil of writing,- 
second, the gratification of one's family and friends; and, lastly, the 
solid cash." (315) The sense of achievement and satisfaction 
accompanying the writing of the novels and tales, along v.lth a love for 
Sopliia and the children, very probably constituted Hawthorne's greatest 


Although Hawthorne was not in t!ie least asliamed of the nroney 

hia writings earned, he renjained true to his artistic creed whenever 

it conflicted with cash. Friendships were not to bo bartered in print. 

In the controversy with his piblishers over the prefatory remarks to 

Our Old ilome j the writer flatly refused to delete his dedication to the 

no loncer popular, as far as the American people were concerned, 

I-Yanklin Pierce, 

I cannot, merely on accotint of pecxiniary profit or literary 
reputation, z° back frora v-tiat I have deliberately felt and thought 
it richt to doj and if I were to tear out the dedication I should 
never look at the volume acain Tdthout remorse and shame. As for 
the literary public, it rous-b accept niy book precisely as I tliink 
fit to give it, or let it alone, 65 

If the book did not sell because of the dedication, then well enou^, 

but the dedication was a deserved one. It stayed. 

"'When once a man is thorou:;5hly imbued with ink, he can never 

wash out the stain." (316) Hawthorne readily adMts his fate, his 

peculiar destiny to £:o on writing so lonr; as he is chysical3y and 

ffliKitally able. Yet he never claimed creat Jiierit for his publications, 

for he was too keen and detached a critic of his writings, too aware 

of his own limitations and of the conditions vmder which he could 

create, to grow rhapsodic over his successes. °6 in a letter to Fields 

written in l85i}, Hawthorne pokes fun at himself. "Upon my honor, I an 

not quite sure that I coroprehend n^'- own meaning, in some of these 

blasted allegories j but I reraenber tliat I always had a meaning, or at 

^^flelds, Yesterday -.vith Authors , p. 108. 


Austin .ai-ren, "iiawthome's Reading," New 5nf:land Quarterly , 

VIII (December 1935), 1*30. 


least tlioucht I had. "67 j^^ ^j^^h is that a Hawthornlan allegory 
begins and ends in a preternatural realm, and that it is perraanently 
fixed in a state of suggestibility, Ihere is no need for a cor^slete 
and cold nieanini?. 

The aversion to public nomen who "display tiieir natal ndnds" 
is niore linderstandable trhen related to Planrthome's own reserve. 

So far as I am a man of really individual attributes I veil nnr 
face; nor ara I, nor have I over been, one of those supremelv 
hospitable people TTho serve up their c;^ hearts, delicately' fried, 
Tdth brain sauce, as a tidbit for their beloved public. (31?) 

Even though the author docs not reveal hiaiself in a sentimental y,'ay, 

or write of his life in the nanner of a iiyron, this much is certain: 

he does make his personal thought the fabric of all that he writes, and, 

in addition to the subtle ways in which he cloaks his thought in 

fiction, he frequently reveals his mental and emotional being in a 

series of personal obsei-i^ations and affimations. 

It has been noted that Ifawthorne did not r^trive for popularity— 

that lie was little concerned with it, and that he was frequently 

unimpressed by those who had achieved it. »l^ ov.n opinion is, that I 

am not really a popular writer, and that what popularity I have gained 

is chJ-efly accidental, and owing to other causes than v^ own kind of 

degree of merit." (313) Ue Imevr well enough that his own works were 

too soriber to ever be popular? that they t«jded to voice truths 

wliich raanJcLnd was not fond of hearing, "If I were to meet ^rlth such 

books as rnine, br,- another writer, I don't believe I should be able to 

67pields, Yesterday ?/ith Authors , p. 75, 


get through then." (319) 

Hawthorne ■vTrote fron compulsion j but read for relaxation* He 
preferred, for his ovx. pleasure, to pick np the wholesome novels of a 
Scott or a Trollope* It is not estrange that one who vrrote so heavily 
should «aijoy comparatively lighter readino; in his free moments* When 
■vTriting to Fields fron Ehgland, as late as 1860, Ha^home still 
cherinhcd the dcliision that he might someday strike a cheerful note* 
"iVhen I £et hone, I viill trj to ivrite a r.ore genial bookj but the 
Devil himself alisrays seeroc to get into rsj inkstand, and I can only 
exorcise him by p^isftil at a time»''°^ The plain truth of the matter 
is that Hawthorne could write only T^at he knesr* If he recognised, sin 
as an actuality, then he coiild not write about it as if it did not 
exist* The locale of the story itself, or the place of composition 
made no appreciable difference? for, be it Salem, London, or Ron»| 
life was everywhere the saae* Problems that Haisthome had begun to 
toy vdth in his earliest stories, he continued to turn grimly over and 
over in his later writings. His cry was that "I wish ("iod had given me 
the faculty of writinf; a sunshiny book." (320) It was a cry 
predestined to remain unanswered* If ho sometimes 'vrished that he could 
write other^se than he did, he v/as quite convinced that this was not 
to be. 65* 

True pathos ic found in the novelist's reco(inition tliat the 

^ Ibid. , p. 89. 

°°T3ertha I-'aust, i 'airbhorne ' s Contemporaneous Repi.itation 
(Fniladelpl-da, 193?), ■p*~T!IT. 


abiUty to iTrite had at Ion- lart desei-ted hln. "Yet it is not quite 
pleasant for an author to announce hiasclf , or to be announced, as 
finally broken down as to his literar-/ faculty. "(321) In the last year 
of his life, 1061;, Harrthome vainl^r' labored over The Dolliver j-ioaance. 
but he seens to have suspected nonths before liis death that he would 
never live to complete it. 

"Subtlety, truth and beauty are noble ains ;7hich Hajsthome 
shared v.lth other ^.Titers of fiction; cut in aspirinc to niake an art 
more beautil^ul than nature, an art rmich sugcestod another reaDjn of 
values, Hawthorne stood alnost alone in his time. "70 jt is indeed 
true that Matrthome in his relationship to art struggled toward aL-nost 
unattainable coals. It is true that he quietly accepted the task for 
himself ^vhich he !iad assi-ned to the poet. It is also happily true 
that he went further than laost artiste in realizing those seemingly 
unreac;iable objectives. 

In addition to the coranientary on the enumerated inedia of art 
and to the personal unfolding of the author's relationship to his own 
nediu.^, irarrthorne reflected with no little acuteness on subjects 
tancential to the arts— taste, talent, genius, methods, media, and 
aims. At tines lie praises, at other times ho finds fault, but he 
always remains true to tliat spiritual standard which first began to 
reveal itself in his preference for Gothic architecture. 

70charles U, Foster, "Hawthorne's Uterary Theory, •♦ F.^!LA, LVII 
(IJarch 19h2), 2l3. ' 



Just as society was attacked for its superficiality, even so 
is taste condGinned for the same failing. Taste is cultivated, 
lettered, man-created, iljnyone can acquire taste — provided he exert the 
proper ainount of effort — in much the same way that one learns table 
manners, j^et the acquisition seems iiardly worthtirhile to one with 
Hawthorne's tinpretentious approach to life. Hawthorne was a siirple 
person in vaanj ways — at heart a fartlly man| he was scarcely a 
connoisseur. If ho did not like something— opera, for instance— he 
resented the irrrplication that he was deficient in ^ood taste. 

"Doubtless, I shall be able to pass for a luan of taste, by the 
tine I return to Anierica, It is an acquired taste, like that for 
winesj and I question whether a man is really any truer, wiser, or 
better, for possessing it," (322) The sheer labor involved in 
cultivating one's taste, causes ^Ia^Tthorne to qucction whether or not 
the end result is worth the effort. If the acquisition is difficult, 
it is somewhat rewarding in that it opens the way to a perception of 
hi-hly refined beauties, "ffounting a few steps Iiigher, one sees 
beauties, nut how inuch stu^y, how many opportunities, are requisite, 
to form and cultivate a taste I "(323) 

After soT« deliberation, the moralist cones to the conclusion 
that taste is not necessarily relate<l to morality. "Taste secras to be 
a department of moral sense j and yet it is so little identical vrith it, 
and so little implies conscience, that some of the worst men in the 
world have been the most refined. "(32lt) The artificial or 


Intellectual tone of taste sufficiently explains the apparent anorality. 

A geniiine love of painting and sculpture, and perhaps of misic, 
seems ofteii to l^ave distinguished men capable of every social crime 
and to have forned a fine and hard enamel over their characters. 
Perhaps it is because such tastes are artificial, the product of 
cultivation, and, rfaen iiighOy developed, iii^Dly a Great remove fnxa 
natural sxiiiplicity,(325) 

Thus it is, as with tlie social order, tliat the fm-ther man removea 
hiraself fron the sinple whispering of liis heart, the more corrupt his 

There is a distinct possibility that Ha^?thome felt himself 
lacking in yAiat was cosmonly thought of as "good taste." Perhaps he 
first cognizant of tliis shortcoming during his years in England 
and Italy. Thus, a Mawthoroe deficient in refined or cultivated taste 
ni^it choose to dismiss both the social order and the standards of 
taste as highly artificial, man-made contrivances. It is veiy probable, 
however, that this was not the case. HaHrthome was iiis own best critic j 
he knew his shortcoiaincs and was the first to admit them. It would be 
decidedly unlike hini to deceive iiis reading public or himself on any 
score. If Haarrthorne's evaluation of taste and society is to be 
interpreted as the outcrowth of a feeling of social inferiority, then 
it assuredly irorked itself out on a subcwiscious level. 

The diatribe on taste is better understood in its relationship 
to the total ilav/thomian thou-ht world. Taste, as the novelist saw it, 
was a superficial, learned accomplisliment possible to all men. It was 
not moral; neither was it intulUve. It operated, instead, under man's 
law of the head. It had none of the matter of the heart about it; it 
had no spiritual value. 


Talent and Ooiius 

When dealing id-th the various arts, Hawthorne lamented the 

scarcity of genius and the superfluity of talent present in this world. 

The fjreat danger is that the inept, the mediocre, and the competent 

are apt to tiiink that they have talent, and that each talented person 

is prone to believe iiiroself a genius. A man never really knovra his own 

roeaaureaent, for although he may Jiave the £ood sense to realize that he 

has some talent, he never taiows its quantity or its quality. 

But, after all, a lijan gifted 'Kith thought and expression 
wliatever his rank in life, and his raode of uttering-; Ixiiav'jelf, 
wietiier by pen or tongue, cannot be expected to ;^o through the 
world, without finding luraself out—and as all such self- 
discoveries are partial and imperfect, they do raore harm tiian 
good to the character. (326) 

Since the individual's self -discovery is so pitifiaiy incon^lete, the 

arts are plagued with unfortunate ci-eatures who would waste others' 

time and their ovm lives in an attempt to further that -wliicli does not 

exist in the first place. 

"Perhaps, moreover, he wiiose genius appears deepest and truest 

excels i:xis fellows in nothing save the knack of expression; he throws 

out occasionally a lucky hint at truths of which every human soul is 

profoundly, though unutterably, conscious." (327) It would appear in 

this instance tliat ilawthome is giving too much credit either to human 

nature or to man's intelli,';;:ence. In truth, thouf^, he is only 

reinarking that genius mist have a recipient — that it caiuiot operate in 

a vacuum— that to function as genius it raust goaehow coimnunicate. 

ffevrtihorne iiirnself felt tliat the truths wMch he perceived and 

artistically expressai were coaimon to all nanlcind rather than 


individual in thoir nature. A truth is not a fact to be learned as 
much as it is the revelation of that v^r^ich the perceiver previously 
knew but was incapaM- of erprefisin^. ^Tcnce, genius in its pririarj' 
form naj' be thou^^ht of as the knack of giving form in some wortlirMle 
raediun tc imivcrsal laiovrled^e, 

Hajfthome's appraisal of genius repeats, for the most part, the 
saie refraLn irhJch he played over and over when criticizing painting. 
"There is verj.- little talent in this world, and -.-.-hat there ir, it soerrs 
to me, is pretty well knojjn and acknowlodsed. :Ve don't often stusible 
upon rreniuses in obscure corners.«(328) "^^estmnster Abbey makes me 
feel—not horr nany creat, irtse, witty, and bright men there are—but 
how very few in any age, and ho?,- small a .harvest of then for all t]ie 
ages. "(329) V.Tiat little genius nay be tridy said to exist in this 
world is, in a final analysis, epheneral. ?fuch of the great genius of 
r^st ages lias been lost in transit. That which should by rights endure 
forever as the heritage of civilized nan is eventually swallowed up by 

Genius, indeed, melts many ages into one, and thus effects 
sometliing permanent, yet still vrLth a sindlarity of office to that 
of the more e-jhemeral writer. A v/orlc of genius is but the 
newspaper of a century, or perchance of a hundred centuries. (330) 

Only God is i.eyond tine. The greatest of mn's acconplishments in art 

are eventually lost into tlniej the great ii.riortal nancs, even the 

poet's saci-ed naine, are no longer sounded. 

Tlie Audience 
i^rt has no e>d.stence apart fror. its audience. A painting, a 


poem, a novel aclii-ves no finality in its printed form, nor is it 
limited hy the intentions of the p.rbist -.«lio created it» Art comes 
alive onl;'- when it is perceived, eT.(i reaches its potential to varying 
ciesrees in the ndnd and heart of its perceiver. 

"It seems to me that a vrork of art is entitled to credit for 
all that it inalces us feel in our best noncnts; snd we mxst $adge of its 
merits by the iiirpression it then raakes, aiid not by the coldness and 
insensibility of our loss z^nlrl raoods«"(33l) The ber>t that one may 
discover at highest moments is p>otential in and belon.<:^s to the 
piece of art under consideration. It is not so mich, then, vrhat the 
artist has consciously put into his creation that liralts its 
possibilities, but rather what the audience is able to find therein. 
Tliis is not to imply that inferior \7ork has a claim to genius. All 
excellence >vixich is to be found in art comes oricinally from the 
artist hinself, but the limit of fdiat is to be found is fixed by the 
audience. A rich piece of art throrwi open to a highly iraaginative 
audience is almost infinite in its potential. 

Since art work is dependent on audience response, tlie richer 

the artist's creation, the greater the variety of that response. 

There is no doubt that the public is, to a certain extent, 
right and siur-e of its ground, \vhen it declares, through a series 
of ages, that a certain picture is a great -prork. It is so; a 
:^ea.t symbol, proceedinc out of a i-reat inindj but if it means one 
thing, it seeras to nean a tliousand, and, often, opposite things. (332) 

Because of its very depths, {?-eat art is relative. It contains a 

variety of raessages for each and all raankind. If the truth and beauty 

embedded in a nasterpiece be absolute — that in, in existence for all 


iiicr.Id.nd~-the siar^ncx' and the dc^ce to -..iiich these qualities register 

on the interpreter is a relative ^ne» 

Althozigh audicacQs are hard precrxd to find beauty in the 

saallar art objects, size has nothing to do vdth the excellence of a 

eiven piece of art. 

Greater [l^c;er| tiiin^c can be reasonably well appreciated 
with a less scrupulous though broader attention; but in order to 
estimte the brillianc^^ of the diaracnd e:,^cs of a little ajate bust, 
for instance, you have to screw your niind dovm to them and nothing 
else, iou nrust siiarpen your faculties of observation tc a point, 
and touch the object exactly on the ri-ht spot, or -cu do not 
appreciate it at all. (333) 

If the observer does not succeed in sharneninc liis mind dov.-n to the 

minutiae, he is apt to udss completely all that is present in the work. 

It is difficult to api^reciate the beauties of a single piece of 

sculpture v,-hen it is placed alone side the massive outlines of a 

cathedral. Yet the beauty and the truth to be found in the sculpture, 

if properlj- understood, might well surpass the ar/osome grandeur of the 

surrounding structure. 

Art audiences are frequently as fickle as first loves. 

The "Gentle Iveader," in the case of any individual author, is 
apt to be ertremeOy short-lived; he seldo:n outlasts a literarj- 
fasiiion, and, except iri very rare instances, closes his reary^eyes 
Defore the writer has half done with him. If I find liia at all, 
it will probably be under some mossy-cTavestone, inscribed vdth a 
half obliterated name which I ghall never reccnnize, (33l|}; 

There v;ac no avrarcness on "lav/thcme's part that Ms ovm artistic 

productions migh-. command readers in future a^-cs. Neither did he seem 

to realize the timeless qxxality of the truths which he phrased. 

Perhaps the knor/led^e that audiences demand a certain catering from 

their novelist, and that "thought grows mouldy from one generation to 


the nejdi" dampened Ms snthusiasra for literary i^Eiortality. 

' ''lake all revelations of the bettor life, the adequate; 
perception of a -rest v/ork of art demands a gifted siiiiplicitir of 
vision. "(335}) :.fedi'ams of art revelation are eleaental ones. Art 
moves from its canvas, stone, or printed page into its a-udience 
primaril^^ tbrousli the heart. The process is both sinrple and -onaffected, 
for art reveals itself in the manner of religion and love. I^o amount; 
of audience intellectuality 7d.ll hurry itc course. Lntelligence, ^liile 
it deterndnes the range of one's conprehension, affects but little the 
quality of it. Thus it is that an unlettered soul srdsi'it find as laich 
or more in a given masterpiece as the ^sost widely publicized art 
criticj even though he could not ©js^iress in words what had been felt 
and soon, the perception of the urdcarned observer is equally valid. 

ilrt's audience is not to bo li:i;htly disBisssd, V.iiereas the 
ai-tist need not cater to tiie lov/ taste of the general public, he uiust 
recogniae that Iiis art has existence only in the minds and hearts of 
its perceivers. In striving to ferret out and formulate that \7hich 
lies beneath the dross, the artist elects for himself the noblest 
profession— tliat of brincing truth and beauty to lils fellovv nian. An 
artist vmo contents himself vdth the ar-t creation slone, rather tiian 
vrith the bonded duty of conrjunication, desecrates ills entire 


Havrthome's ideas on tmm nay have been partially determined 
by his own lack of literarj' success before 1850. Prior to then, durinf^ 


tlic tine when he felt himself to be the ;'iost unlsiovm rjiEr. of letters in 

/aerica, farae vras looked upon conte3:ii;uous3y. "The neciirest fa^ic is 

that which cones after a nan's death." (336) In tnith, fane ttqc but 

incidental to a [^avTt.horne pledged to and :;}Aded \tj his own set of ideal 

standards. ".Is for fa.-ije, it is but little matter whether vre acquire it 

or nrt."(337) If .laTrthorno ever nia-ture<! a derire to become famous in 

the <syec of the populace, he never let it be ::nov.T». like ai;/ author he 

wanted people to read liis boykc, wanted those books to sell, but fane 

itself vras looked upon as tlie nost superficial of literary goals. 

After fame found its wa^- to the novelist in 1350, he ceean to 

paj- nore attention to it, but never actually changed his opinion of its 

holloy.'ncGS, "A nan—poet, prophet, or whatever he nay be — readily 

persuades hinself of his right to all the worship that is vol'mtarily 

tendered." (333) T.Tiatever fane incidentally cones, the artist nay 

willingly accept, but it the sanie tine he should realize that the 

acquisition of fane is not in his power, and that whether or not 

popularity ever cones is of little consequence. 

'..liat nonsense it is, this care of ours for ijood fane or bad 
fane after death I If it v/ere of the slichtest real nonent, our 
reputations rfould have been placed by Providence riore in our ovm 
power, and less in other people's tlian they now are. (33:?) 

No matter hov; nan naj' court fane, she nay deny her hand; yet if he 

turn hio back on her, she is apt to seek him out. 

To Horatio bridge, Itofthome disparager; the popular acclaim 

which he had begun to receive by 18?1, 

The bubble reputation is as niuch a buWlc 5^ literature as it 
is in -Tar, and I should not bo one whit the happier if wore 
world-wide and long-time than I was when nobody but yourself had 


faith in tnc.71 
Ptill, tho vacof^tfAon civen to an author Vol^stors his tired spirits. 
As a^e increases, af3 the ranf^e of pleasitre is narrowed, words of 
cornraendation he^n to CBTt^r e greater warTrrth, "Toy cannot imafrine 
hor? a little praise Jollifiee ns poor awthors to the raarrow of our 
bones. "(3ltO) 

I;on.r^fellow the poet, a )3owdoin clspsniete, had lonn enjoyed his 
allotnent of fane, Harrthome, in the yenr of his death, poses the 
issue of fa?ne to the companion of his college days. "Xou can tell, 
far better than I, wiiether there is anything worth having in literary 
reputation J and vfhether tJie best achieverientg seem to have any 
stjbstanco after the." ra^a^f cold. "72 There is nothing durable about 
fame, no solidity beneath itn ,'::litter. Of all the flicterin,?; shadows 
of nan's phGnoraenal iTorld, fanie is felt to be the most elusive, and, 
were it ."oinehoTf to be f^a.^ped, by far the rrwst imsatisfactorj'. 

The Artist's Ideal 
/irtists are not confined within the sordid coiipass of daily 
life, but follow an ethereal spark -which nnxst eventually lead them 
upward to t)ie beautiful. Strangely enotigli, the artist hovers both 
rd-thin and vrlthout the circle of hJimanity, As one of the m^^^ers of 
that circle he lifts froTi humanity those elements which are most 
abiding and nost beautiful, shapes them in a sem-divine Ptrcara of 

7lBidd{;;e, Recollections , p. 175« 

72r>amuel lonefellow. Life of H. v/. lonnfellow . III, 29. 


thmicht, and rottimr then to mn? ir^ the forn of -rt. .'s ono r^ho 
dwells outside and above the circle, he adndnister^ to hunmity from 
his divino priepthoor^ 

3ut ^p.t, HKO-e rpecifically, is the ideal of art? •^■'hen the 
artist rose hich onouch to achieve tho bcautifirl, the STnibol by which 
ho made it perceptible to nortcl senses becane of little value in his 
eyes vMlc hXa spirit possessed itself in the enjoj/raent of the 
reality."(3M) Tf the percept-ion of hoautv is a "reality, « if it is 
the suprerie destiny of art to fashion beauty^ then beauty is iindeniably 
spiritual. Ha^■rthome's universe is thickly peopled vdth spiritual 
essences which often pass under different labels. ••Reality," for 
instance, is Icho-to as a s^-^iritual p^jb«rbance embedded in deceptively 
concrete exteriors. -Taen reflectinc on beauty, 'lawthome thinks acain 
-^ a spiritual stream florin- beliind the apparent one. The actual, 
the spiritual, tho beautiful are ine^ftricably confu.sed, for they are, 
-in fact, identical in their fiber. It is only in conterct that they 
-ome to have different sisnifications-.^a.fferent shades and tones. 
Clustered abstractions, thou,^i adMttcdly ill-de.fined, are central to 
all fiat 'Hawthorne thou-ht and fnlt. "Tdke Sophocles, Hawthorne aimed 
at an idealization v.-iiich was not a beautiful realm of cscaix; fron 
actuality but was actuality shaped so that it ras universal truth."73 

Should an artist accept the chaU-ence of his ideal, he Trill 
soon find himself in continual conflict with the rude practicalities 
of daily oxictence. 


73charlQs :i. Foster, "ilaTrthome's Literary Theory," RVXA , LVII, 


Thus it is that ideas, wriich grow up -vvithin the imagination and 
appear so lovely to it and of a value beyond whatever men call 
valuable, are exposed_^to be shattered and annihilated by contact 
with the practical. It is requisite for the ideal artist to 
possess a force of character that seams Iiardly compatible tvith its 
delicacy^ he must keep his faith in himself nhile the incredulous 
world assails hira vdth its utter disbelief j he must stand up 
against mankind and be his sole disciple, both as respects liis 
genius and the objects to which it is directed. (3 1^2 ) 

The necessity of holding faith in the face of tsrorldly rebuff is a 

grueling one. Adiieronce to the ideal, however, gives a satisfaction 

nwre divinely perraanent than any the outer world can offer. 

ConsequCTitly, the artist pursues Ids ideal; he inoves beyond the 

depiction of surface phenoiaena and into the complex realia of great art. 

"The beautiful idea has no relation to size, and may be as 

perfectly developed in a space too nlnute for any but microscopic 

investigations as vdth the ample verge that is measured by the arc of 

the rainbow," (3ii3) That beauty which is shape^i from the con^jlex 

tickings of human life itself surpasses all other artistic achievements, 

"It is not well to be so perfect in the inanimate, unless the artist 

can likevrlse make man and rroman as lifelike — and to as great a depth 

too~as the Creator does,"(3iji{} Yet even the inanimate, if properly 

dedicated, remains permanently beautiful in its decadence. 

But a castle does not make nearly so interesting and 
impressive a ruin as an abbeyj because the latter was built for 
beauty, and on a plan in vfhich deep tliought and feelinr were 
involved? and having once been a crand and beautiful work, it 
continues c^and and beautiful throunh all the successive stages 
of its decay. (3i»5) 

Beauty is eulogized so frequently by Hawthorne, is played with so 

untiringly in his tales, that were it not for the knowledge of that 


total orientation to Hfo, of ^.ich beauty is but a shining conponent, 
the novelist n-a-ht vrcll bo rdsunderstood as bein- far niore of a 
disciple to beauty than he actually was. 

Certain liiglish critics of the l3th Century had eagerly 
accepted "nature" as a law giver. Hawthorne, vdth liis Gotliic 
temperament, found the dictuns of the IJeo-Classicists to be rather 
cold and stilted. V.Tien speaking of nature, he uses the tern in a 
ronantic application. Nature, and that wliich is congruent to nature, 
is unaffected, unartificial, and uncodified. Nature is both a physical 
presence and a primal spirit. "But I do not think I can be driven out 
of the idea tliat a picture ought to have something in common with what 
the spectator sees in Nature. »(3ii6) Tlie methodized nature of the 
neo-classical poets is of little concern. 

ilrtists, since they breathe a nobler air, are entitled to 
ireave tlieir art work fl'on those rarified Insigiits which become their 
special prerogative. 

(Artists, indeed, are lifted by the ideality of their pursuits 
a little way off tne eai-th, and are therefore able to catch the 
evanescent fragrajice tlmt floats in the atmosphere of life above 
the heads of the ordinary crowd. Even if they seem endowed with 
little imagination individually, yet there is a property, a gift, 
a talisman, conmon to their class, entitling them to partake 
somewhat more bountifully than other people in the thin delights 
of moonsliine and romance. (3l;7)) 

If an artist may not find sympathy and ffiendship among men of 

identical ideals, where then ma^y he look. "If anywise interested in 

art, a man must be difficult to please who cannot find fit 

con^janionship among a cro?/d of persons, whose ideas and pursuits all 

tend towards the general purpose of enlarging the world's stock of 


beautiful product! C3ns«"(3i!.8} i 

Although Hawthorne did not choose Ms warmest friends from 
araonc the art fold— men like Bridg© and Herce were raore to liis liking- 
still he took delight in defending the sanctity of an artistic 
brotherhood. In 181^9, Just after the novelist liad been unjustly- 
accused of writing political articles for The Salon Advertiser « he had 
written in spirited letter to Jongfellow: 

If they succeed in getting me out of office, I will surely 
iimnolate sorae of th(m» • • . This I ^11 do, not as an act of 

individual vencoance, Imt in your belialf as vrell as mine, because 
they will have violated the sanctity of the priesthood to ■which we 
both, in differsit degrees, belong.'^ 

The pursuit of the artist's ideal is never an empty <xie» No 

matter how far short of his goal a rmn rmy fall, it is better to have 

laade the effort. In rising far above tlie aninial state of existence, 

in rising s?-ightly above that of the hu.'iian state, the artist derives 

far more from living, hovrever brief and soeirdngly futile his life may 

be, than the average citizen. 

^This svxirr/f shadovsry, breesy, wandering life, in rmich he 
for beauty as his treasure, and gathers for Ms winter's honey 
what is but a passinp fragrance to all other men, is worth living 
for, come afterwards what way. Even if he die unrecognised, the 
artist has had his share of enjoyraent and success. (3li9) 

Ideals iirere actualities to Hawthorne. "Indeed, it is evident 

on almost every page of Ms works that not simply beauty, but a beauty 

tJiat was truth was the goal of his art. "75 it is the ultimate aim of 

art to give truth and to be beautiful. In order to accomplish this aim 

7l4Saffluel Longfellow, Life of H. v/. Longfellow , II, 152. 

75Charles H. Foster, "Havjthome's Literary Theory," P!.ILA. , LVII, 


to any degree, the artist mist deal vriLth that which is spiritual, 
V.-hen he Ufts himself to work on the hi-her planes, the artist ray 
experience more in a monent than nost mn in a lifetime; for it is in 
lopsing himself into spiritual substances tliat a T!ian finds hinself . 
The vision or kncorledne of an inner actuality, coupled trtth the 
substantial ability to fornulate this knowledge into a beautiful and 
neaninsful art, encoT^passes the ultiraate of human potential. 

Methods and ftroblenis of Art 
When an ideal is seen in terns of the utilitarian considerations 
necessary for its application to phenoraenal life, it growe infinitely 
more complex. What then are the problems which the working artist 
must face, and what are the methods and riedia through which he nay 
surmount those difficulties? In carrying out his ethereal ideas an 
artist is forced to work with worldly materials. That effort 
required to polish a scarred subject matter to an unblemished closs 
is tediously painstaking. 

Fancy servos ohe artist as an indispensable instrument of his 

A license must be assiuned in briolitoning the materials which 
tL-iie has rusted, and in tracing out half-obliterated inscriptions 
on the columns of antiquity: Fancy must throw her revivin'- lipht 
on tne faded incidents t^iat indicate character, whence a ray ^vlll 
be reflected, more or less vividly, on the per.-jon to be 
described, (350) 

The writer is fiilly Justified in conjurinc up the past and presenting 
it well filtered through the imagination and the fancy. Art is not to 
stop vdth mere facts, nor in it to be hindered by a lack of them. It 


owes its allegiance only to the higher truths, "v^lmtever procedures the 
artist Kiay eeploy to reach those tx-uths are justifiable in the light of 
the end result, 

"i\n innate perception and reflection of truth gives the only 
sort of originality that does not finally grew intolerable." (351) 
Genuine originality, on vrfiich art thrives, has its roots in man's 
heart. It It intuitive rather than learnedj like religion and love, it 
is unaffected. It is limited only in tiiat nan, a limted creature, is 
forced to express in words that wliich often lies beyond words. 
"Language— human language— after all, is but little better tlian the 
croak and cackle of fowls, and otiier utterances of brute naturej 
soraetinies not so adequate." (3^2) The artist is bounded, then, by the 
potential of the tools with which he works— marble, oil, words— and is, 
therefore, riot always al)le to perfect the deepest and the r,iOBt 
beautiful of liis thoughts. There is no true finality, as fai' as the 
artist is concerned, for Ms aspirations are pa-one to roam aliead of his 
practical ability. 

Perhaps the major problem which all artists face is the nature 
of the life compoxuid itself. The ariiist's chore, that of seekins out 
a marble so thoroughly encased in mud, appeal's, at first {.:lance, an 
impossible one. iSinute strands of dross clinc to the noblest creations 
of raaiu "It is a heavy annoyance to a vrriter, rrho endeavors to 
represent nature, its various attitudes and circumstances, in a 
reasonably correct outline and true coloring, that so much of the mean 
and ludicrous should be hopelessly mixed up with the purest pathos 


which life anjT.-here supplies to xiiru."(3?3) ^ince the compound ig sc 

pervasive, nnd since the ordinary fncts of daily relationship my escape it, the artist in forced to select and idealize certain 

elements in order to crystallize that v/liich is best in life. Earthly 

facts are b«t the outer breath cf "reality" 5 thoy reoain meaningless 

until secured in a deeper relationship. "There is no ham, but, on the 

contrary, coed, in arraying cone of the ordinary facts of life in a 

slinhtly idealized and artistic ^uiso." (35ii) The artisrt does not 

violate the intecrity of the life ccT^und by idealizing selected 

incredients of it; nor docs he alter the nature cf tliat unchangeable 

compound in offering up through an artistic mediun that ^vhich is most 

teneficial to raan's spiritual welfare. Romance, as Ilairthome knew it 

and TTTote it, stems fror a higher tnrth rather than from pure fancy. 

"Impressions, states of raind, produced by noble spectacles of 

TTh-atever kind, are all that it seems worth while to attcnpt reproducing 

TTlth the pen," (355) Just as Hawthorne appeared to be somethinc of a 

relativist in his conracntary upon art's audience, he appears as an 

irqjressionist when dircussinr: tlic methods of art. A mere recording of 

dail;.' events—surface dor^cription— has no value. The novelist had 

warned his intir^tc friend, Horatio 'bridge, that he should not let 

himself be llriited by r^at appears as factual. 

I would advise you not to stick too accurately to the bare 
fact, either in your descriptions or your narrative; else your hand 
will bfi cramped, and the result will be a want of freedom tiiat rrlH 
deprive you of a higher truth than that which you strive to obtain.76 

^^Bridge, Recollections, p. 92, 


In one sense of tlie trord Vlavrthorne is an irapresBionist} yet '.id seetns 

to have identified impressions Tvith inttiitions. 

Correct outlines avail 3J.ttlc cr not'iln(^, tho^ij^- truth of 
coloring may be somewhat more efficacious. Irapressicns, however, 
states of 'nind produced by interestfji.'^ and remarkable objects, 
these, if trutlifully and vividly recorded, may trork a genuine 
effect, and, though but the result of Yjliat vre soc, ro furthar 
towards representing the actual sceae than ai^ direct effort to 
paint it. (356) 

It is the abfTbraction, the intangible, t?hlch has substance for 

Hawthcxrne. Visible objects are but shadotTs. Although Hawthome 

reconsnoids a form of iitrpressionisrr, ho trould tend to define the 

iitppession as an intuition of trath and "reality," 

Cne means of acquiring a freedorn to create comes in removing 

the chosen subject from the confusion of the conteniporaiy scene. 

In truth, the artist (unless there be a divine efficacy in his 
touch, making evident a heretofore hidden dignity in the actual 

form) feclr it an i^TOoriour? Imr to rornove his subject as far from 
the aspect of ordinaiy life as may be possible vdthout sacrificing 
every trace of rese37ft>larK5©.(357) 

The sxibjoct is first perceived in, and then extracted frora, the 

materials of ordinars"- life. Second, it is moved through the 

imagination rrhere it is placed in its proper perspective -with certain 

knoT^Ti "realities." Tinally, it is artistically reassembled, without 

once havinc violated its Integrity, in a new and finer unit. This is 

the metiiod yihlch Hawthorne recomsnends} and although it is romantic in 

its process, it is ultimately related to actual life. 

Certain conclusions may be dravm from Hawthorne's rather 

elaborate commentary on art. iirst of all, a complete fidelity to the 

spiritual nature of the universe is mandatory. Second, the aim of all 


art is the crc£.tion and ccnamjoicatiori oi beauty and truth. Tliircl, the 
size ol an art i.ieco lias notiiing to co vdth the qualitv of the art 
therein contained, i'ourth, a preference for the Gothic i-aanifosts an 
interest in tliat ishich is lifelike, rugged, and suggestive rather than 
tliat wliich attecipts perfection and finality in sciootlicr lines. I'lfth, 
art spi'ings fto«i the heart} it is intuitive in its oricin. fixth, and 
finally, art, alcng v.lth love and r elision, affords man ills finest 
o^^rtunity for expressing the best v/hich is latent iii his nature. 

/irt has its function in ilavithorne • s universe, but it tloes not 
supersede his conception of life's darker essences. To neglect the 
perspective in T-iiich art vfas seen by liawthome is to distort t}ic 
Itoirthomian philosophy. Kavd:horne was an artist, yes, but he tos many 
other nen at the sane tL-ic. /i-t— thou^;!! it played a lead?Jic role in 
t}ie novelist 'c life— is viewed, in a last {miQ^rsis, eg a partial but 
afiirnative retreat, along rdth rclisicn and love, from the rock-ribbed, 
eternal thunderinc of the sin-cloud. 


imm MTDEE 

Since people are curiosities, llsssthome njade a profession of 
observing them, "No individuals were sufficiently humble to merit his 
indifference or sufficiently courajnplace to escape his analysis. "^7 
i^though what he saw in hxamn nature is intm:'eBting enough, what he 
could not coiaprehend— t!iat Tufliich he never wrote about—is equally 
absorbing in its absence. Jfuiaan nature is shaped at first Td-thin the 
shadow of the unknowable life conditions preceding birth, and then "by 
the lights and shadows of institutionalized forces at play upon the 
emerging individual. It is, in fact, a jroduct of unchangeable 
contingencies rather than a distinct, self-sustaining entity. 
Hanldnd's nature is moiaded by all that it is forced to participate inj 
it does not fashion its orni destiny. Finally, the apparait variety of 
human nature is exceeded onl;>- by its raonotoi^. 

Reactions to the fixed conditions of life— individual actions, 
thoughts, feelings— provide an unfolding panorama v^ich the observer of 
destiny's "arorkshop assuraed it his charge to record. fOien recordin.^: 
group or individual responses to conditions or to other individuals, 
he sayf as uppermost the infinitely varied aspect of huraan nature. Vihen 
reflecting on and interpreting these same responses fron a distance, he 

'^hlsvrton /urvin, ed.. The K'eart of lia-vrthorne's Journals (i^oston, 
1929), p. xl. 



reduced human nature to its predominant cl^acteristic-saraeness . The 
story of human nature, if held up to the light in its sii^plesrt form, 
presents its reader vdth what is perhaps the darkest one novel that 
Hawthorne -.Trote. Yet human nature, however separate it may appear at 
first Glance, is inextricably mixed with and derived fl-om the dark 
pattern of prenatal "realities," ft-om the domestic-reli.^ious partial 
release from that pattern, and from the crushing necessity for social 

Human nature is limited in that man is a sinful creature. 
Hairt>horne«s inquiiy into human nature rests upon the assumption that 
mankind always has been and always will be in a state of depravity. - 
In brief, his inquiry would determine the degree of tliat depravity. 
Hawthorne would not, like Jonattian Swift, condemn man for a lack of 
reason,- he would instead cliastise man for a ndsdirected reliance on 
the intellect. If human nature is ever to improve— and the novelist 
saw little indication that improvement was forthcoming—it must cease 
to depend on mere intellect. I,fankind's nature is selfish, animal, 
short-3i^:hted, and vain, yet it iias within it a spark which nay and 
frequently does cause it to momentarily rise above its characteristic 

Although the human potential is thoroughly bounded by the 
immense forces under which it must subsist, it is at the same time 
limited in much more subtle ways. J^sical life's con^ilex imperfection 
imposes barriers at the end of eveiy pathway. In dealing rdth life, 
and in dealing Kith fellow human beings, the individual is at constant 


odds vTith these barriers. 

Liinitations on ?JanId.nd 

Life permits no erasures. Uixmsnlty is unduly restricted in 

that each of its mistaken actions carries it a harsh finality. 

It is a truth (and it ^^ould be a vory sad one but for the 
hir;her hopes wiich it sugcests) that no groat inintake, vfhether 
acted or endured, in our rrortal sphere, is ever realOy set right. 
Tinie, the continuiQ. vicissitude of circumstances, and the 
invariable Inopportunity of death, render it impossible. If, after 
long lapse of years, the right seems to be in our -pcmeTf vre find no 
niche to set it in. The better renedy is for the sufferer to pass 
on, and leave vrhat ho once thougiit his irreparable ruin far behind 
him. (353) 

Once an action has talcen place, man is sentenced to live forever with 

its consequences. Ihxman nature is fatally limited In that it cannot, 

like God, create nm life, lian is forced to live, and invariably, 

during the course of his lifetime, forced, to err. Since man is forced 

to nove imperfectly, and since he has no means of avoiding the ordained 

errancies of his physical self, he is eternally' doomed to linp along 

his barrier-encrusted patlwray. At each crossroad, once the virong path 

is chosen, there is no backtracking, liaivthome does not speak 

optina-sticaUy of a good life; for, v^hile there are possible degrees of 

goodness, there is scant possibility of a wholly good and pure 


"How different is the spontaneous play of the intellect from 

the trained diligence of maturer years, v;hen toil has perhaps erovm 

easy by long habit, and the day's work may have become essential to the 

day's corafor*t, although the rest of the matter has bubbled mayl"0S9) 


Mwldnd's period of full activity is unbelievably brief. In youth, as 
a neopnyte, it cannot be truly .aid that he has begun to live with the 
actualities of Ufe. In his later period he is forced to ad.1ust to a 
routine which no longer has substance. It is only in the ndddle years 
tlxat tl^ total energies for life are unloosed. Hut here, in the period 
Of f^ll activity, that which is original and spontaneous in the species 
is rapidly squeezed by greater th:^ hum.nn forces into the rnere 
nothingness of an on,pty pattern. Here, too, the mightiest effor^. of 
Hian pi-ove ineffectual, for an inscrutable pn>vidence moves with a 
swifter and a surer hand. "And the forms and appUances of 
hunan life are never fit to nake people happy, until they cease to be 
used for the purposes for which they were directly 3i.tended, and are 
taken, as it were, in a sidelong application." (360) 

In addition to the physical and mental consequences-whether 
for cood or for evil-present in the rrK>st seendngly trivial of nan's 
actions, there is a greater law of condensation at .ork. The principle 
of a balanced .miverse-^thouch the compound is deeply gr^, rather 
than an equal blending of the dark and the light-n^ not be violated. 
Any effort, however nobly conceived, is apt to bear evil fruit. The 
destruction of an individual evil leaves roon, for the developnK^t of a 
newer and possibly greater one. Even though man is iVee to act-though 
it is obUratory that he remain active-he must recognize that all 
actions fall within the workings of a fixed, balancing principle. A 
roature individual-one thoroughly and brutally initiated to living-is 
frilly aware of this limitation. 


It is only one-ejed people who love to advise, or have BXtj 
spontjsneous pronptitude of action. hen a man opens both his ej^es, 
he generally sees about as nany reasons for acting in aqy one way 
as in any other, and quite as x^^sxxy for acting in neither, and is 
therefore likely to leave his friends to regn^late their orm 
conduct, and also to remain quiet as regards his especial affairs 
tin necessity shall prick hira onward, (361) 

"How strange it is,— the way in which we are siimrxmed from all 

high purposes by these little honely necessitiesj all symbolising the 

great fact tlmt the earthly part ox us, ^th its demands, takes up the 

greater portion of all our available force, "(362) liumanity is 

con?>letely and thorou^Oy limited. Its spiritual imirmurings are feeble 

and infrequent. Inescapable mortal duties squeeze out daily the 

nobilities of existence. Tims mankind, determinedly strivlnc for 

advancement, succeeds only in standing still. Even though a certain 

materialistic bettering of mn's external state is possible, the 

internal core of huioan nature reiaains unaltered, 

Hansan nattrre, *.ile it is a conwsito of the natures of both 

se3!»s, is at no time to be identified ^rith either of theia. Woman was 

allotted a unique natuxe and function j the nature of the aale, though 

less joyous, is equally distinct. Of the two natures, that of the male 

is closer to what Ilavrbhome meant l?y the term "human nature," '«Voraan is 

of a softer texture, more sheltered, more spiritual fcian her mate. 

Iran's very nature stands as the antithesis of all that is best in 

v/oman • 

Man's Nature 
Man's nature has little in common with that of woman, for he is 


at heart both vicious and brutisij. The male, if isolated from tho 

tardnP- charnis of his laate, frcquontl^jr reverts to an inborn savageness. 

V/ere it not for the restraining influence of centurr^-old habits and 

customs, and were it not for the vritten and cocraon laws, nan might 

well give greater vent to liis aniinal appetite. 

It is soaetiines, though less frequently the case, that this 
disposition to mke a "joy of grief" extends to individuals of ths 
otner sex. Lut in us it is even less e:a;usable and nore disgustinr, 
because it is our nature to shun the sick and afflicted j and, 
unless restrained by principles other than we brin^ into the world 
with us, men might folloiy tho example of many animals in destro^dng 
the infirm of their crm species. Indecsd, instances of this nature 
niight be adduced among savage nations. (363) 

lian^a depravity exceeds that of animals because his cruelties are nuch 

tnore refined. A prioordlal appetite for evil, combined with an 

aptitude for subtly formulating and satisfying it, makes nan, at times, 

tne most odious of beasts. He is perpetually capable of contriving 

newer and coarser cruelties. "A singular fact, that, when roan is a 

brute, he is the nost sensual and loathsone of all brutes." (36ii) 

"Nevertheless, eitiier Manhood .nust converse with Age, or 

^.omanhood must soothe him with gentle cai'es, or Infancy must sport him 

around his cl^air, or his thoughts t»111 stra;/ into the misty region of 

the past, and the old nan be chill and sad." (365) J.5an must have 

companionship if he is to control ids indelicate urges. There is a 

continual need for the warn and seriL-spiritual comforts found in the 

society of women and children, llore especially do old men need a 

wholesome companionsliip if they are to prevent tiienselves from becoming 

phantom-like dv;cllers in the past, Llan exists as a complete being only 

when he «iteM into partnership with the opposite aex. 


V.Mle certain traits are in varj'lng degrees cororoon to the 

general natvire of all roales, nvmjerous others are clxaracteristic of only 

a liirdtcd niaaber. Although the "public Vr'oraan," for instance, was seen 

in sliarp contrast to the true nature of womanhood, various oddities of 

the male nature are not set against a shining standard, Hawthorne 

proposes no single ennoblinc function to wJiich the loale of the sf)ecies 

raay fasten himself. I:Iac]i observatiOTj on jnan's nature is a criticism of 

soiTK failinc ijecullar to the inalo. Thus t^rpes, traits, abionaalities 

swim before the eye vdthout the benefit of a functional standard 

against ^^'hich to view them, Insinceritj^, for exanple, is characteristic 

of some itien, but not necessarily of al3. men. 

Insincerity in a man's cwn heart wust maice all his Gnjo^nnents, 
all that concerns hia, murealj so that Iiis whole life must seem 
like a nerelj'" dr anntic representation, /md this would be the case, 
even though he were surrounded by trae-heartod relatives and 
friends. (3-66) 

The insincere rnan is doubly unfortunate in that his deceit places him 

out of contact wit-i his fellow hunsan beings and therein prevents any 

possible salvation which irdght c<xne to him. 

IHrpicallj'-, nan is a weak-willed creatiare of the mnds. "In 

truth, there is no such thing in man's nature as a settled and full 

resolve, either for good or evil, except at the very moment of 

execution." (367) A mature rrem acts only when necessity de?nands it, 

and even then his deedn are often hasty and iU-tined. In the moment 

of action man is most fully alive, yet the determination irfiich forces 

that action is but a temporary elation. The consequence is permanent. 

Long-suffering participation in life, and the mistaken blunderings 


which are a:i integral pait of that suffering, find surcease only in 
death, ".-hen a inan's eyes ha^/e cro^m old gazing at the trays of 
the TTorld, it does not seen such a terrible ndsfortune to Jiave them 
bandaged. "(368) 

Those rare individuals who xrould attempt to aid nan are looked 
upon v/ith sizspicion. 

f fen who att«:55t to do the irorld nore good than the ^-orld i s 
able entirely to coraprehmd are aL'xsst invariably held in bad~odor. 
Buo 7ct, If the end ,;;ood nan can wait arfhilc, either the 
present ceneration or posterity Yd.ll do him justice. (369) 

In the lone or providential view, an inscrutable one, noble efforts 
are cocqpensated for. It is in the long look, also, that huinan nature 
takes on its distinctive saneness; for, indeed, when observed eye to 
eye and noaent by moment the male nature exceeds that of Cleopatra in 
its infinite variety. Vhen male nature is viewed fi«ora a distance, 
vriien it is seen in terns of ir&Tiad experiences, surface differences 
vanish and the true raw nature of nan comes into focus. 

"But who can estimate the po-.rer of rontle influences, wiiether 
anid material desolation or tlie norcO. vfinter of a nan's heart?" (370) 
A partial inprovement of that wiiich is inherent Ij^ vicious in man's 
nature may come through domestic modificatlcns. As a partner in the 
domestic institution, man finds in his mate those qualities which 
temper liis hardness. 

Certain men, in spite of the gentle influence of womanhood, are 
so fundamentally mean in tlaeir oxm right that thej' violate the dignity 
of the natural order bj^ aspiring for greatness. "Some men have no 
right to perform great deeds, or think high thoughts—and when they do 


80, it is a kind of humbug. Tti&y had better keep within their own 
propriety." (371) Each individual has a realm of activity to which he 
ie especially suited and to ^hidi he ehoold restrict hiiaself . The 
aisse and significance of wie's |xLace in an ordejred universe vaades 
•^ith fortune and tdth the capacity of the individual, but the necessity 
for working within the liudtations of caie's specific nature is quite 
clear. Indignatioja-— sucJi as that ntdch the eBcaerg^we of the "public 
woran" aroused— ds felt wheo any individual attests to awe beyiaid 
the boundaries of his peculiar ftsnction. viMl© the ml® sj^ere ia aot 
specifically defined by Hawthorne, nevertheless, it does exist only 
within limits. 

It is cliaracteilstic of laan tl^t he laoves by a series of 
caruptions ratlier than at a continuous pace. "Men of uncojnmon intellect, 
tiho have growi laoarbid, possess this occasiwial pow*^' of ndghty effcrt, 
into which they throw the life of aany days, ajsd then are lifeless for 
as aany aDre.'*<372) There is a reserve strength whi^ enables a 
person to cast Ixis total energy into a period of intense activity; but 
wiiile the consequence rankles ever afterward, the power of the initial 
resolution inmediately departs. 

Although certain actions taa^ have favorable effects, man's 
goodness renains always in a theoretical realra. Evil traits are nuch 
more evid^t in daily experiaace. "There are few uglier traits of 
huraan nature than this tendency— which I now witnessed in mro no worse 
than their neighbors— to grow cruel, merely because th^ possessed the 
power of inflicting harm." (373) Hawthorne witnessed ugliness and 


iffiperfection wiienever he observed aan in action; caa's nobility, 

however elicht it zsi^ht be, went relatively unnoticed. 

Ian»3 nature is oi^en harshly represented, for oan in his pride 

and vanity, llacrantly unairare of his irperfections, places too auch 

faith in Ms ov.-n intellect. There are, indeed, aany lacn nho create 

false beings of theaselves hj working through the intellect. 

There are ordinary raen to whoa forms are of paranount 
iaportance. ^heir field of action lies anjong the external 
phenonena of life, i'hey possess vact ability in craspine, and 
arransine, and appropriating to tlienselves, the big heavy, solid 
unrealities, such as gold, landed estate, offices of trust and 
emolument, and public honors. v:ith tliese materials, and Tsdth 
deeds of goodly aspect, done In the public eye, an individual of 
this class builds up, as it were, a tall and stately edifice, 
yhich, in the view of other people, and ultimately in his own view, 
is no other than the aan »s character, or the man himself. (37I4) 

Unqualified reliance on the intellect leads man into ndstaking the 

phenomenal for the "real." In due time the heart's message becomes 

inaudible. It is shut off by an ever-increasing concern with the 

material side of life. Thus man— in the same manner that he constructs 

the social order— builds a human artificiaUty, which cones to replace 

his original self. It is this tendency, this pride, this vanity, this 

lust for materialistic possessions and faith in a materialistically 

measured success, which most frequently provides for man's undoing. 

"Man's own youth is the world's youth; at least, he feels as 

if it were, and imagrlnes tliat the earth's granite substance is 

something not yet hardened, and which he can mould into whatever shape 

he likes." (375) Before youth lias actually challenged the compound, 

he is confident of his ability to fashion life at Ms own discretion. 

In maturity he consents to Ms fate— accepts the fact that he is 


limited and that his dre&a of shaping the xmi verse was but a delusion. 

Death follcfwB the ndddle years iiirith great rapidity, and, in the very 

raaiffint of death, man ccBOtiniies to reveal his nature. 

But thei'e is no one tiling which isen so rarely do, isihatever 
the provocation or inducement, as to bequeath patrimonial paroperty 
sway fi-om their own blood. They rssy love other individuals feu: 
better tlian their relatives,— they may even cherish dislike, or 
positive hatred, to the latter; bub yet, in view of death, the 
strong prejudice of propinquity revives, and impels the testator 
to send dam his estate in the line marked out by cus-bom so 
iiiBuejaorial that it looks like nature. (376) 

There is a distinction implied bet-ween man's nature and man's habits. 

Hawthorne hints that the maternal heart and the paternal head have 

little in conmxi. It is possible, even, that it is not nian's true 

natuare to provide for his young. Custoia and tradition laay have 

supj^ed a restraining influence vihlch is fsrequently mistaken for the 

aale nature itself. 

The favorable side of man's natxire, assuiaing that it exists, 

is rarely coscaented on. "It is oft©i instructive to take the -woman's, 

the private and domestic, view of a public laan; nor can ancrthing be 

more curious than the vast discrepancy betwe^i portraits intaided for 

engraving and the pencil-sketches that pasa £rcm hojd to hand behind 

the original's back." (377) A man seen in the intimate quarters of 

the domestic state laay be more or less of a man than the public sees, 

but the difference is always present, lim, functioning in both the 

social and the domestic iTorlds, may well have a different code of 

conduct for each. The outer action, the social acticHi, is the one on 

T*ich judgments are moat frequently formed. "Of most men you early 

know -the mental gauge and measurement, and do not subsequently have 


ouch occasion to change it. "(378) "^!on are so mch alike in tholr 
nature, that they grow intolerable unless varied by their 
circumstances." (379) Hawthorne never remarked on the nonotony of the 
ferdnine nature, for woman is distinfmishable by the richness of her 
divine depths, ^(an, on the other hand, ia consistently viewed with 
the animal appetite foresaiost. 

"But a man cannot always decide for himself whether his ovm 
heart is cold or warm. "(330) It is an intereffting corollary to the 
"head-lieart" distinction that coldness of heart is identified with a 
lack of love for humanity. A warn heart, throu^ love and through 
intuition, opens the way to religion and "reality." Considered on a 
lighter plane, man's love is a comic vanity, a pathetic expression of 
masculine e^o. "A bachelor always feels himself defl'auded, Tfhm he 
knows or suspects that any woman of his acquaintance has given herself 
«ray."(38l) There is present in the male lieart, however, a steady 
thirst for companionship, for brotiierhood. "And yet the natural man 
cries out against tlie p>iilcsophy that rejects beggars. It is a 
thousand to one that the:/ are imposters; but yet we do ourselves a 
wrong by hardening our hearts against them, "(302) In all but the 
most hardened of male natures, there is still some small syajpathy fw 

Hawthorne read widely in the writings of Swift and Voltaire.78 

78Marion L, Kesselring, ilawthome's IceadinR: 1823~18^ . pp. 62- 
63 (Index;, Durint; the period Au^just 23, 1^130 to Nove-iber 20, IS30, 
Hawthorne imde seventeen vdthdrawals at the 6alen Atlienaeum from an 
eighteen volume set of Swift's writings. From October 2, 1829 to 


The misanthropjr of gtd.ffc he found distasteful, yet it is not inprobatole 
that the roraoncer foiind an echo of his cm thoughts in Swift's caustic 
evaluation of huaan natiare. .Although Hsirbhorne reached some of the 
sami conclusions in regard to huiaqn nature which Swift and, to a lesser 
©xtont, Voltaire had entertained, he arrived at his conclusions through 
vastly diffisrent thou^t processes. "I see laany apeclmms of Hsankind, 
but come to the conclusion that there is but little varietur among thea, 
after all."(3S3) lian»s depravity was a moral and a religious fact| it 
■Has everywhere observable. The novelist never went as far as Voltaire 
in ridiculing mnj nor did he degrade lilm with a Swiftian lash. 
Hawthorne recognissed r®n's depravity, but he always Sield out a hope, 
even If it lisrere an abstract one, that man's nature aight someday 
wisely open itself to a brotherhood of the heart. Then, too, Hasrthome 
would allow a teiopering of laan's nature through doiaestieity and, in 
some instances, through art. Above all, he voxHd provide laan, in spite 
of Ills higlily imperfect pJ^rsical life, with an iiroortal hoaie. 

Like Swiit, liaiRthome adsdred individual raea— 4iis intimate 
fi-iendshlps were extremely Tiarm ones— but put Httle trust in the race. 
It is not that he detested tlie race, but rather that he was too aware 
of inan's tendency to err at ev&ry given opix>rtunity. Ivlan's mi^ty 
accoraplishiaents are satirically aK>lauded. "If/hat great things laan has 
contrived, and is continually perforialngt ".^liat a noble binite he 
isl»(33ii) It may be that the novelist takes some pride in aan's 
icaterial progress. liowever, the word "contrived" is often used in a 

January 7, I83I, he made fort:/Haine withdrawals from a ninety-two 
volume edition of tlie writings of Voltaire. 


derogatory eanae^-as in the phrase, "contrived by the perverted 
ingenuity of laan." A recognition of the unique ccmnotation which 
"contrived" held, coupled with the normal connotation of the irord 
"brute," would lead one to suspect that Hawthorne yms sometimes 
playful if not doT/nright satirical. 

Perhaps it is best that the populace is able to keep faith in 
a few elevated men who are actually little different from themselves. 

find?n^^!nf°*v,*?'-I^^^ interest of the world not to insist upon 
™^f?i ^ Its greatest men are, in a certain sense, vSv 

^^J.t ^'^ °^ ""^ ^ ^^^ ^^"* °^" ^' ^^ o^^^ a little 

worse? because a conimon mind cannot properly digest such a 

fr^TJ^' ?f ^en know the true proportion of the great man's 
good and evil, nor how snjall a part of hin, it was that tou^ 
our muddj' or dusty earth. (385) i>oucnea 

Ordered existence is necessary. Any severe interruption of life's 
daily sequence-whether it be war, panic, or a breach of trust-is apt 
to disorganize the not too solid citizemy. It is undeniable that even 
the loftiest of nortals must tread the same middy pathwc^r as the ragged 

tost Bjen, whatever their natures, are forced to lead a life of 
continual cor^o.-aise with society, witli thenaelves, and with their 
ideals. Earthly pressures are too demanding. Only a rare individual- 
the artist, for instance— can rise above the rankling necessities of 
physical existence. 

At any rate, it must be a remarkably true man who can keep his 

awn elevated conception of truth when the lower feeUnc of a 

;^^JiJ"^v/^f °^^\^^ ^^^ "^^"^^ sympathies, and «ho can speak 
out ftankly the best that there is in him, when by adulterator it 

L^i^^'.K^ \^°^? ^^^^! ^^ knowr. tl^t he may make it ten tim^s 
as acceptable to the audience. (386) 

"Methinks it is not good for old man to be much together. "(387) 


Old rmx have experienced nuch of Life, have dvflalt long in a brotherhood 

of sorrowi they are so thoroughly satiated that the v&rj presenca of 

one aged creaturo acts as a dopressant on another. Strangely enough, 

the aged irvale remains youthful in his o-sm ^©s. 

Youth, however eclipsed for a season, is undoubted3y the 
proper, permanent, and genuine condition of saanj and if w© look 
closely into this dreary delusion of growing old, we shall find 
that it never absolutely succeeds in laying hold of our inneanaost 
convictions. (388) 

Ulale nature, unless it is well-te^Dsared by the human 
affections, maintains its stubborn propensity for evil. Love's laro, 
arising as th^ do from the moral seaitiaent, are too frequently 
tranpled in the process of earning a livelihood. Man, in his atten^rt; 
to conquer life's unconquOTatole coiapound is pernanently and fatally 
hardened by the struggle. Tet •within th& male nature there resides 
the !3eans of iaprofveaent. Hawthoi-ne did not believe that mesa's nature 
had iniproved during the centuries, nor did he believe that a true 
bettering was probable in the near future? but he did believe that 
improvement, though ertreiaeay unlikely, was possible. 

The law of natter iiaposes rather severe liigitationa on the 
posfer of man's ndnd. Yet raan vaJjily p<ersist3 in working through his 
intellect, ifen goes farthest wrong in giving an easy credence to his 
arm raeager abilities. Pieman differs firom nson in that she is not so 
prone to make this rdstake. Tlien, too, roraan's priiaal nature—the 
purity of •wdiich Hawthorne would protect h\<- limiting woman's function-— 
is superior to that of man. Tlie unsheltered male, with his brutish 
legacies, is coarsened ty his daily engagements with life. Once 


restricted hy the binding social law, r^'s nature fcecornes sliehtly 
Bore admirable. Yet baneat!^. liis refined outer clothing man remains 
a Caliban. 

There is no true hatred on Ha»rthome»s part for the individual 
raan or for a croup of mon. Actual?^, there is much syapathy. The 
syrapathetic impulse loses force, however, ^¥hen placed beside an overly 
keen consciousness of nam's imperfection, or, in darker terms, of man»s 
depravity. This awareness led Hairthome into an instantaneous dlstruet 
of that -Bhich was created by man. 

Individual Natures 
In addition to his rather elaborate cliaracteriaation of the 
male and female natures, the novelist was tenpted to comment at random 
on certain traits of human nature which were applicable only to 
specific types of individuals. It is a general truth, for example, 
that most people are somewhat vain. "Nothing, in the whole circle of 
human vanities, takes strrager hold of the imagination than this affair 
of having a portrait painted." (389) But all humanity is not vain to 
a like degree. In his appraisal of individual characteristics as 
opposed to tjTpical ones, Hawthorne recogniaea the great variety of 
iTuman nature. 

"Strange that the finer and deeper nature, whether in man or 
woman, while possessed of evejy other deUcate instinct, should so 
often lack that most invaluable one of preserving itself from 
contamination with what is of a bp^er kindl«(390) The very presence 
of man's imperfect body mkes evantual contamination unavoidable. Ko 


Effltter hm pure the spirit of an individual irdj^t be, liis body is 
forced into daily ^counters T.lth vulgar substances. bVjfortunately, 
certain individuals ^th a high potential for a rich and good life find 
thoir natures tlwarted by ill-fated sarital or professiOTial alliances. 
"To chooso another figure, it is scd that hdarts i^ich have their 
woll-sprinG in the infinite, and contain inec^baustible i^T5»athies, 
should ever be dooined to pour theiaselves into shalJoar vessels, and 
thus lavish their rich affections on the ground.** (391) 

An aesthetic intolerance of all that is not beautiful fuHy 
revealed itself in the Hawthoraian deification of womanhood. Beauty 
was seized as the siiprerae ideal. Individuals bom without beauty are 
to bo heartlessly eondeaned. "in u^ly person, vdth tact, aay mke a 
bad face and fi£itt>e pass very tolerably, and Eore than tolerably. 
Ugliness without tact is horriblej--it ought to be lawful to extirpate 
such -sketches." (392) there is no humane gjnj^jathy for the ugly. 
There is, instead, an extreEssly s^isitive if not atawrinal revulsion. 

Ti7ith a cood bit of p^chological insight, Harthom* speculates 
en humanity* s tiiaid creatures. Pec^e T/ho are quite vigorous in vocal 
proclamations often grew passive when action is required. "It is 
renarlcable that persons w5\o speculate the nrost boldly often conform 
Tfith the Kiost perfect quietude to the external rejiUlations of society. 
The thought suffices then, without investing itself in the flesh and 
blood of action." (393) The physical appearance of tinddity may 
sometimes cloak a forceful nature, "But these transparent natures are 
often deceptive in their deptli| those pebbles at the bottom of the 


foimtain are farther from ns thpji we t?dnk.''(39lj) riot vrjtil a crisis 
arises, not until action is obligator:.', may an individual's true 
raeasvrenent be taken. 

It is tr-pical of certain natwes that under cxtrcnie 
circTinstances they r^.otad find solace in a daydrean. 

Individuals rhoce affairs havo reached an utterly desperate 
crisis almost invariably keep theasselves alive with hopes, so nmch 
the rx^re airily magnificent as they have the less of solid natter 
within their grasp whereof to mould any judicious and moderate 
expectation of cood.(395) 

In contrast to the drearaer, other people-<uj wag the case with the 

poet and the novelist— are destined to move on to nore nunerous and 

more difficult trials. Success stays one Junp ahead, yet each neirer 

and hirjher effort brings it an intancible but higjily valuable 

compensation. "But thus it al-ways is with per8<3ns r!io arc destined to 

perforn great things, T-Tiat they have alreex^ done seenc less than 

nothj-n^-, Vfhat they have taken in hand to do seenis Trorth toil, dancer, 

and life itself. "(396) 

,Aaong mankind's nass there are strangely constituted natures 

for whon the divine obli<-ations of parenthood are a fostering thorn. 

But there are rr.ld, forcible, unrestricted cliaracters, on whoa 
the necessity and even duty of loving their own child is a sort of 
barrier to love. They periiapn do not love their ovm traits, which 
they recognise in their childr«i| th^ slurink from their am 
features in the reflection presented by these little sdrrors. A 
certain strangeness and unlikeness (such as gives poignancy to the 
love bct'-reen the sorca) yroxad e:rcite a livelier affection, (397) 

Taken tcget'ier, tlie observations on individual aspects of human nature 

do not provide a stimulating thought pattern. They present no 

standard, no unique then». In a sxibtle wgy, ther/ do iLlustrate th« 


novelist's ability to single oirb and effnctivoljr eliaractoriae peculier 
q^lirks of hmssn natisre, lli^ iHmstrate, too, on ability to hovq 
behind a fiiT3 c^ctei'nality and grasp those internal truths Trhich are 
aeldoiii foresliadowed in sta*face forms. 


Adjustnients betvreen pcrsonalitiss are ffequontly but not always 
predictable. From his knowledge of laankind's inner ccaistitution, 
I^awthorne was aMe to forecast with some accurate those immtn 
interactions wliich occiir in everyday life. A breach of the affections, 
for example, is seen to be tragic, for "It is perilous to make a chasm 
in huiaan affections| not that they gape so long and wid©«— but so 
quickly close again I "(398) Saoh heartbreak ia joore tragic in that it 
is so readily healed* It is difficult to realise that time laaJses such 
rapid adjustcaants. Peoptle ia diatress^-those unforttmates who &re 
continually fronted \>j barriers and ciiasras— «ill instantly ijlve way 
before a sincere eapressicn of sycif)atlQr. "Peoptle in difficulty and 
distress, or in ajify laanner at odds ^th the world, em endure a vast 
amount of harsh treatment, and perJmps be only the stronger for itj 
whereas they give way at once before the aiiiplest expression of what 
they perceive to be g©iuin© syHtpati:^.«(399) 

Hawthorne constantly ran the dangers of one who CMJC^itrates 

too coldly on a study of fellow huinans. 

It is not, I apprehend, a healthy Idnd of mental occupation, 
to devote ourselves too exclusively to tho studj^ of ijidi.vidu,il raen 
arid worsen. If the person under examination be one's self, the 
result is pretty certain to be diseased action of the heart, almost 
before we can snatch a second glance. Or, if we talce th© freedom 

to pot a p-iend under r/or ricrcficopo, ve thereby i:i-.-J^to M- froa 
many of his tnie relaticms, aagnify his poculiaritiea, inevltablT 
* ^u"^ ~" ^' ^^^^' "■^'^' °^^ cc.:.rse, pater, hin "ei- clunrAl^^ 
together again. What wonder, then, should yre be brightened Inr the 
asi^ct or. a r»n^.er, „-l.ich, after a:.:,,-.-thou::h ttg can point to 
every feature of his deforinLty in the real personage,-^ be said 
to iiave been created hy ovjsclves.(iiOO) >—"^ ^ oaiu 

I'he novelist feared the probable distortian -M^ch a calculated and 

alnost dicintcrested eaanination of humanity adght KeU present. He 

%va3 alno ar;arc an action, a reaction, or an interaction can be 

fully understood only in terns of tlie total beingj and that an oiTtside 

obaer^^er's best efforts at c^iaracterization are always partial. 

Serious thouehts norraariy call for indirect expression. 

wi e?2 ^^yi^'^^s approach one another with deep purposes on 
both sides, they seldom come at once to the matter which they have 
nost at heart. They dread the electric shod: of too sudden 
contact with it. A natural iiapulse leads them to steal graduaUy 
onrvard, Mdin^ thcin^elves, as it were, behind a closer, Sd still 

oVS?S.s?!(&ir'' '""^ ''"' ''" '° "'^^ '"""^ ^'^ ^' "^ 

Man tends to build GraduaU^^ to Ids chief topic of interests he is 

rcrely open and imediate in expressing his deeper concerns. Then, too, 

there is a fornid^ble barrier separatinc all indj.vidrias. Society's 

law often helps to formlate «ind intensify that barrier— helps to 

prevent a free interplay bctryeen persOTialitica— especially vrfien one or 

the other of the pei-sons concerned is a reputable wortly. "There is a 

decorur, wliich restrains you (unless you happen to be a police-constaM^) 

froia breakinc throuch a crust of plausible respectabiUty, even when 

you are certaj.n that there is a l-siave beneath it,*'{h02) 

Interactions betv;een indi-dduala do not aD.wajrs follow a set 

pattern. An analysis of the huEian personality requires that certain 


psychological conjectia'es be proposed, yet tlieso genex-alitiea forecast 

only the probable nattiro of a given interaction. Even though such 

stateaients cannot provide for the htiman variable, they n^ still 

contain typical or Jgrpothatical truths. 

It is the liardeat thing in the world for a noble nature — the 
hardest and the most shocking — to be convinced that a follow-being 
is going to do a wong thing, and the consciousness of one's ami 
inviolability renders it still more difficult to believe that one's 
self is to be the object of the wrong. (1^3) 

Human interactions are frequently sys^lized in a materialistic 

cloaking # "*There are really, if you stop to think about it, few sadder 

spectacles in the world than a ragged coat, or a soiled and shabby 

gown, at a festival, "(IjOii) let one thing is certains two individxials 

cannot be brought together without an ensuing reaction of acme kind. 

"Nothing is starer, horever, than that, if we suffer ourselves to be 

drawn into too close proximity with pec^le, if we over-estimate the 

degree of our proper taidency towards thera, or theirs towards us, a 

reaction is sure to follow. '*(lt05) 

The commentary on people as they relate to one another 

is quite at randoin and at tintes erven superficialj yet on nuiaeroua 

occasions it rnoven deeper into the human r^stery than the Arserican 

writers parlor to Hawthorne had dared to go. If it teaches little 

of Hawthorne's ideas, it teaches tmich of his ability to ferret oitt 

those pj^chological relationships which play such a major role 

in haaian life. In studying out the reactions of sensitive and 

solitary people, tloe novelist had gone a long vray toward understanding 

that one type of personality. It is high3y iasaracticable that 

one writer attentat to conprehend in one lifetime the infinite 


types of personalities which do exist. Marry of Hatrfchome's 
observations on humn nature are essentially miscellaneous in that 
the- are occasioned by particular people in particular circumstances. 
mile they have con5)aratively Uttle adhesion, i^le they do not fall 
neatlv into a systematized and fully developed thought field, they are 
of Intrinsic interest in that they evidence the writer's talent for 
successfully delving into the human personality at aliJiost any one 
given point. 

The Nature of the Public 
A Democrat of the first half of the nineteenth century 
reportedly put his trust in the people. Harrthome, a peculiar sort of 
an aristocratic-democrat, held the public in low regard. "The ideas 
of people in general are not raised higher than the roofs of the 
houses. All their interests extend over tlie earth's surface in a 
layer of that thickness. Tlio meeting-house steeple reaches out of 
their sphere. "(1^06) In general, the public contents itself with that 
which lies upon life's external crust. It is so accustomed to the 
artificial, that a message from "reality" would come as a distinct 
shock. To Hawthorne, who lacked the faith of a good Jacksonian 
democrat, the public is little better than a herd of unthinking brutes. 

Althou^ human nature itself is unchangeable, the outer 
conditions of a people frequently undergo a movement toward 
conservatism. In developing frcan its raw state, the public 
occasionally learns a lesson from history. A leveling or stabilising 
process takes place within the external aspect of living. There is no 


Internal change. 

The raore a people thin!«!, and the rcarc it learns, the lens will 
it be acted upcai by frenzied inipulsos} as knowledge is difl'used, 
populcrity xrill becone 'iiore a matter of ^udgnent than feelijigj a'-nJ 
the great men of futurity will seldors rise so high, or fall so low, 
as the creat nen of the past.{li07) 

/is is the cane tJith anything husaan, the public has a heart 

rhich nay be arotised to j^Tipathetic action. "Tlie pablic is despotic 

in it«5 tesperj it is caprJ^le of denying coaaou justice, T;hen too 

strenuously d^aanded as a right 5 but quite as freqpiently it ssmrds acjre 

than Juarbice, lah&i the appeal is laede, an despots love to have it ina«lo, 

entirely to its generosity. "(ij08) In this instance, "generosity^ 

stands as a synJ>ol for the "heart*' in ttie fsaidliar head-^eart 

distinction. Usually, the heart — ^the supreme Hasrthomi«tn synfeol for 

all that goes bc^^-ond mere intellect—is mentioned outri.ght. 

I%€Si an uninstracted nsultitude attempts to see -with its ayes, 
it is excoedLngly apt tc be deceived. »ihen, hosrever, it fomm its 
judgmrarfc, as it usually does, en the intuitions of its great and 
Tirana heaiii, tb.e conclusicais thus attained are often so profouiKi 
and so unerrinc, as to possess the character of truths 
supematurally revealed. (Ii09) 

"Beality" can never be photographed by the eye, nor intellectual];^ 

arrived at by the mind of mn. It is only through an exercise of the 

intuition that the artificial naj be pushed aside. 

"So let each centuiy set up the raonustents of those vham it 

admires and loves; and there is no harn, but, on tii© whole, much 

pleasure in having such a reward before the world's ey&9»"iliX.O) It 

is the gullible nature of -Wi© public that it should believe 

Tirtioleheartedly in the jaoment and in the nien and the events of tlmt 

BKaaent. The public at any given instance considers itself the crowning 


achleveoent of all that haa preceded it in hiatoiy. In a natural but 
rather pathetic display of egotiaa it yields its superiority to no 
one. W»en conmonting upon talent and genius, liawthome 'lad repeatedly 
dwiied a plenitude of true greatness. Yot the naive mareier in which 
each generation deludes itself hy eelebratins its apparently g>^crt laen 
has no real harm in it. "It is wonderful how few nai^es there .-^ that 
csne cares anything about, a hundred years after their departure; but 
perhaps each g^^ration acts Ln good faith, in canonizLng its o«n 

"I wonder -.Then ^n will bosin to erect inonuEients to humn 
errarj Idtherto, tlieir pillars and statues have been on2y for the sake 
of -lorific-xtion. liut after all, the ptrosent fashion nay be tiie best 
and T?hol[e]sor!o3t.''(U2) It is the nature of the nublic that it 
■hould erect monuments to its noble accc-iplishnents. Since inan goes 
wrong TTcre often than ho cocs right, since error always has been and 
always will be in the aacKjdancy, any atteiapt to dedicate njonanjcnts to 
error would soon exliaust tlie available sculptural mterials. 

^a^vthome never had tlie faith wdch a "good Deiaocrat" should 
have had 5ji the populace. Public nature is seen as the caTiposite of 
the ilD.g of individual natures. It is but grouped depo-avity. Granted 
tliat the public lias the saiae abstract potentdLa.1 <-or goodness preset in 
man's nature, it stubbomlj^ insists, like nan liiinself, on contriving 
by Tneans of Its intellect. Thcai, too, ilaarthome r/as iguch raore of an 
aristocrat, especially in his prejudices, than is coi^Eraily supposed. 
The novelist did not write with the populace in niind| in his political 


life ho scarcely regarded the opportunity of serving the public as a 
noble ciiallent;e. *U.t hough llawthome neither hated nor feared the 
groat mass of the people, he was overly conscioiis of the public's 
insensitive and imttdnldjis nature, and quits pessiiaistic conccarning 
its general caliber and ability. 

The Nature of the Sick 

Sickness, whilQ it is sonerally thought of as a teiaporary 

condition in man's total journ<j^, can becoias in rare cases the 

predondnant force in an individual's being, ^i^peoially is this time 

of those persons t/Iio are chronically ill or disai.'led. 

All persons chronically diseased are egotists, wliether the 
disease be of tiie mind or body; v^ether it be sin, sorrow, or 
merely the more tolerable calamity of soiae eaidless pain, or 
Hiischief ajxing the cords of Eoiiial life. Such individuals are 
made acutely conscious of a self, by the torture in Ydiich it 
dwells. Self, therefore, crows to be so pa^irdnent an object vjlth 
them that they cannot imt pros ant it to the face of every castial 
passer-by. Hiere is a pleasure— perliaps the greatest of v/laich the 
siifferer is susceptible--in displaying the wasted or ulcerated 
liaft), or the cancer in the l^reasti and the fouler the criitK, with 
so raich the more difficulty does the perpetrator prevent it from 
thrusting up its snake-like head to fri^ten the world; for it is 
tliat cancer, or that crime, tihich constitutes th«dr respective 
indi-viduality . (1A3 ) 

A man under these rath^ extreaie conditions no longer retains his 

natiJire as sn artist, politician, or farmer; for the presence of the 

illness is allowed to direct Iiia vshole personality— -to becoros, in fact, 

his individual nature. 

""•ITherever there is a heart and an intellect, the diseases of 

the pi^sical frame are tinged with the peculiarities of these." (IPLI4) 

A phjrsical illness may have laOTtal origins. The notion that a person's 


aental and emotional constitution may influence if not determine 
actual bodily health is a widely accepted one. Acquaintances may 
reflect the horror of an illness and thereby cause the paUent greater 
discomfort. "The sick in mind, and perhaps, in body, are rendered 
laore darkly and hopelessly so by the manifold reflection of their 
disease, mirrored back from all quarters in the deportment of those 
about theai they are coi^lled to inhale the poison of their om 
breath, in infinite repetition." (Ia5) V/hen a sick psrson finda 
hinself the center of attraction he is apt to grow nsorose. '^e are 
apt to make sickly people more aorbid, and unfortunate people more 
miserable, by endeavoring to adapt our deportmsnt to their especial 
and individual needs. »(Ia6) 

Hawthorne was amaeingly al«rt to the psychological nature of 
illness. .Vhile his analysis is scarcely minute, it should be 
remembered that the psychology of the day was in an extremely crude 
state. In one instance, the novelist goes b^ond the actual 
vicissitudes of illness itself and poses a deeper inquiry. ^Whan the 
machinery of human life has once been stopped by sickness or other 
impediment, it often needs an inpulse to set it going again, evm 
after it is nearly wound up."(2a7) In the consnentaiy on society, the 
fact that an individual vftio has once lost his place may have difficulty 
in re-entering the marching ranks of humanity was stated ^rith force and 
certainty. Illness, then, can be viewed as a condition which brings 
man to a temporary standstill, and allows an ever-noving hunanity to 
go on ahead. In this perspective, the aftermath of an illness is 


haaaai^oun in that th© individual concerned taa^ have diffictHty in 
regaining his proper plac« in society, especially i£ he has been long 
abeent from it. 

Yhe Twilij^ht Zone 

lion^s rdnd is caught up under obtain conditions into a 
subconscioua or twilight zone Tejiim-e the basic truths of life are aj* 
to break through unhangjered try jasterialistic barriers ♦ IMs passive 
preternatural state, ^©th«r tarou^t on by fatigue, sleep, extrerae 
anxiety, or corporeal imsting, betokens a new and separate ssode of 
existence. Its nature is of two worlds— a conssscious and a subeonsciotis 
one. Here in a state of guprciae passivity, the individual may receive 
direct cormminioation from that "reality" Tshich remains hidden from his 
conscious ^e. Hra?e the extraneous weight of aaterial peresences is 
saelted away; here spiritual energies are at work. 

The sleeping mind is habitually receptive to Btessages from a 
"reality" which is normally lost beneath the seeEdug solidity of 
phenoiaenal substances. "Truth often finds its way to the mind close 
inuffled in robes of sleep, and then speaks with unconiproaising 
directness of matt^j's in regard to vhlch we practise an unconscious 
self-deception during our waking iisoraents.»(ijl8) That deeper and 
truer life which flows beneath the grosser currents of the ordinary 
one finds in the twilight acme its opportunity for ^twing the heart 
of man. "The mind is in a sad state rAi&n Sleep, the all-involving, 
cannot confine her spectres within the dim region of her sway, but 
suffers them to break forth, affrighting this actual life with secrets 


that perchance belong to a deeper one. "(1^19) 

"kiOien the heart is full of care^ or the mind nucn occupied, 

the summar, and the sunshine, and the moonlight, are tnit a gleam and 

a glinraer — a vanue dream, which does not coine -within us, but only 

Hiakec itself i^iperfectly perceptible witiiout."(]i20) At tines the 

continually present physical form, man's body, is so depressed by 

troubles tliat externality no longer registers on the inmost inan. 

Life's outer procession continues, but the inner being is oblivious 

to it. On other occasions, man's spirit deserts his body. 

There is sad coniXision, indeed, ^en the spirit thus flits 
airay into the past, or into t!ie nore awful future, or, in any 
manner, steps across ohc spaceless boundary betwixt its ovn region 
and the actual world; where the body i-emains to {iuide itself as 
best it may, with little more than the mechanism of animal life. 
It is like death, without death's quiet privilege, — its freedom 
from mortal care.(l;21) 

Man exists — for the time, at least— in a state of supreme iaelplessnese. 

Life's cares remain ^Yith iiim, gall him, but death's freedom is denied. 

If a man is reduced to a twilight state of being, he often 

finds tliat he can no longer function efficiently as a member of 

society, lie is not able to keep the necessary foothold which it is so 

perilous to lose. 

Notliing gives a sadder s«ise of decay tiian this loss or 
suspension of the povTor to deal v/ith unaccustoined thinfts, and to 
keep up vn-th the swiftness of the passing moment. It can mei^ly 
be a suspended animation; for, were the power actually to perish, 
tliere would be little use of immortality. tVe ajre less than 
giiosts, for the time being, whenever tl-iis calamity befalls us.(I;22) 

A person so subdued b:f mcmtal, emotional or physical circumstance that 

he can no longer keep up with the endless onward movement of life, 

"shivers'* in his private solitude of separation. 

Hawthorne's twilight zone is soTaewhat coraparable to a hypnotic 


Put there ie a species of intuition,— eith^ a spiritual He, 
or the subtile recogniticm of a fact,— which comes to us in a 
reduced state of the coiisoreal system. The soul gete the better 
of the body, after wasting illness, or ^m a vegetable diet may 
have nrijiEled too nsich ether in the blood. Vapors then rise up to 
the brain, end take shapes that often image falsehood, but 
scfflieti'fies truth* The spheres of our cosipanions have, at such 
periods, a vastly greater influence upon our own than isiien robust 
health gives us a repellent and self-defensive ^iergy«(ii23) 

Here the individual is perilously open to various external influences. 

The suggestions of hia fri^ida are as pillars to h±8 weakened isdnd, 

SinoB h& has no -will, he ie ea^ pr<^ to the will of others. 

No raatter hem outmoded the Hairthorniffla noaffiwlaturo— ■vegetable 

diet, ethOT in the taood, vapor»*-4he situation tihloh he describes^— 

that unique state of being in whieh an indivi^al dwells in two worlds 

yet in neither-4ias paychologlcal validity. ISsdem p^chiatrists often 

attempt to reduce their patiants by hypnotics, or Ir/ soae other less 

spectacular Htethod, into the same twilight aone of isiiich Hafflrthorne 

wrote. Here, with his pati®st in a relas^ passiveness, the 

psycJiiatrist atteir^jts to &rm out tho»e truths which Me beneath the 

surface of individual lives. Hawthorne watt concerned with the natup© 

of this inysterio\is zme. Perhaps he felt thnt the reliction of 

physical actuality, cJiaracteristic of the twilight aone, miglit provide 

spiritual insights by a partial reiaoval of the fcaremost barrier to 


Fvc tpoBe and Power 
The twilight acne is but a taaporary state in an individual's 


nature. There are, ty contrast, zore pcmanent and equally poc^Jlar 
states of existence T»hlch arise fron pl^sical beginnlr.jg. In the 
ttrLlicht zone, tlae mterialistic is minimzcd. In the nature which 
centers itself upon power or a guiding purpose, the aaterlallstic is 
emphasized to the utaost. Ihus it is that an individual's desire, or 
the stren-th and rarJc achieved in the fXilfiLnent of that desire, nay 
bccone that person. Tlie individual no longer functions :vith the 
xmiquo nature Tvhich was once his birthright, but becomes rather the 
embodinent of ranlc, power, or purpose. Instead of the individual's 
achieving his soal and naking it a part of himself, he is svmllowed try 
and lost inside his own objective. 

Cnce the apparantl^y- solid presence of rank has thoroughly 
evidenced itself, it bocones its own excuse for being. 

^«^«^?'^^^^f°'^^'^'^' ^° massive, stable, and ali-iost irresistibly 
in?)osing in tne exterior presentment of established rank and great 
possessions, that their vei-/ existence seeas to give then a ri-ht 
to exLstj at least, so excellent a counterfeit of right, tliat few 
poor and humble nen have pcral force enough to question it, even 
in their secret minds. (l:2li) 

Strength defies all challengers. "Strength is incoroprehensible by 

weakness, and, therefore, the more terrible. There is no greater 

bugbear than a fftrong-^filled relaUve in the circle, of his own 

connoctions.'»(U5) The strong-wiUed parson, the rnn of rank and 

prestige, Kawthome saw as a rather definite personality type. 

Needless to say, the novelist Uttle adadred him. 

It is unfortunate that the male intellect often consecrates 

itself to one supren^ purpose and in so doing forfeits its 

individuality. However noble an avowed aim laaj' be, the process of its 

achievensDnt is ctrevm ivith accornpanyl:^ evils. Those evils v^JLch the 

pro.'^rcssian tcrerard a purpose thmsts onto the innocent tcratandor are 

not nearl;,' so .fatal as tiiat ijinalterable evil ^lich a nan srorn to a 

sliigle purpose brings upon hiiaself . 

This is alwaj's true of those msn xfho have surrendered. 
thenjselves to an overruling purpose. It does not so lauch in^iel 
them from rdthout, nor even operate as a laotivo pov/er> but 
grovrs incorporate mth all tliat they think and feel, eaid finally 
converts thesj into little else save that one principle. (li?6) 

"iniis sense of fixedness— storo' intractability— seer?® to belong to 

people nho, instead of hope, "Bhich exalts everything into an aity, 

caseous eaMl oration, have a fixed and dogged purpose, around vMch 

everything congeals and crj-&-t.ini?.e8,"(li27) In pledgins biinself to a 

purpose, mn t?huts hinsolf off fron the partial comforts i^hich life 

ns^- afford. In effect, he chooses his own fom of isolaticm, and 

makes his aia a barrier between hiniself and huaanity. Perhaps 

Hawthorne ovcrstresses Ms point, perhaps he isakes taonsters of his 

observed subjects by speaking in too firra a generalization, yet he is 

but conmenting to the best of his ability oa the sundry aspects of 

hunmn nature i^nich fell before his eyes* 

The Nature of a Hero 
In his youth, Ilawthome clierished sosie grand and noble ideas 
concerning heroes, although lie had never personally met one. Later in 
life, he carae to doubt the possibility of heroism. He grew 
increasingly aware of the scattered handful of great mm which histoiy 
could offer. At age sixteen, the youth had noted vsith anticipation 
that: "Perhaps the noblest species of courage is in a cood cause, to 


brave the bad opinion of the irorld,«(1^8) Thirty years later, the 
novelist had settled into a Ilrni recoenition of the fact that society 
makes the man, and that the individual does not laajestically shape hia 
cnvn fortune* 

Great men have to be lifted upon the shoulders of the whole 
world, in order to conceive their great ideas, or perform their 
great deeds. That is, there nust be an atmosphere of greatness 

f!'^^ ??o)S *^°^i— a ^e^ cannot be a hero, unless in a heroic 
world. (ii2y> 

"The greatest obstacle to being heroic is the doubt whether one may 
not be going to prove one»a self a fool; the truest heroism is to 
resist the doubt| and the profoundest wisdom to know when it ought to 
be resisted, and when to be obeyed ."(1130) 

Hawthorne was reluctant to admit—and necessarily so, in the 
light of his total pliilosophy— that any man could accomplish much 
good, could function nobly, without producing much evil at the same 
time. Heroism is looked upon with suspicion, for it is unlikely that 
man's basic nature would permit his rise to such heights. "How 
singular it is, that the personal courage of famous warriors should 
be so often called in questionl"(i,3l) The supposed chivaliy of 
antique days is vigorously questioned, 

I doubt Aether there ever was any age of chivalry: it 
certainly was no chivalric sentiment that mad© men case themselves 
in inqpenetrable iron, and ride about in iron prisons, fearfully 
peeping at their enendes through little sUts and gimlet-Jioles. 
The unprotected breast of a private soldier must Iiave shamed his 
leaders, in those days.(li32) 

Although Hawthorne had little to say about the true nature of 
heroism, his reaction to the heroic is provocative. The novelist 
seemingly had little heroism in his own bosom. He never warmly 


espoused a cause j he locked wilii dlsfcrust upcai those Individufil'e nrho 
did. Although he would defend his ideals and firiendships under 
pressure, as instanced in his stand for the unpopular BYanklin Pierce, 
he never spoke of ideals which were worth fighting for* If Hawthorne's 
pM:'8caiality lacked any c«ie ccaDpcaient, it was enthusiasm. A hero is a 
p&taon capable of ehaping the universe* The tmivarse '^ilch Hawthorne 
knew was not that nalleable. 

Bpoverbe on Ifaiaan Nature 

Approxiiaately twenty of Hawthorne's observatitms on huBian 

nature are proverbial. They are short and to the j^intj imfortunately, 

they have little depth. Yet their peculiar quality, their strange 

limitation is of interest far beyond the laerit of the stateaents 


l!he shorter time we have to enjc^^ our riches, the mo3?e we 
wish to asiass then»ih33) 

flappy is it| and strange, that the lighter sorrows are those 
from ^ich dreaias are chi©f3y fabricated. (i43li) 

Is not the kindred of a cosiasn fate a closer tie than that of 
birth? (I435) 

All really educated men, Aether they have studied in the halls 
of a University, or in a cottage or a workshop, are essentially 
self -©ducated <,ih3^) 

Nobody will use other people's experience, nor have any of his 
own till it is too late to use it,(li37) 

Nothing is so intolerable as a little wit and a great desire 
of showing it. (1*38) 

Yes, old friend} and a quiet heart wiU make a dog-day 


It is strance what sensaUono of aublindty nay spring from a 
very huinble source.(iiiO) o » « « 

It is scarcel^r decorous, however, to speak an, even when we 
speak inporsonally.dilil) 

Kie moment when a man's head drops off is seldom or never, I 
am inclined to think, precisely the most agreeable of his Ufe.(iai2) 

, ^f^? ^^® ^Si^test heart, the heaviest is apt to be most 

For, one of the hardest things in the world is to see the 
difference between real dangers and imaginary ones.Uiiij) 

The moral effect of being without & settled abode is very 
wearisome. ( I4U5) 

No man who needs a monument, ever ought to have one.(ljli6) 

ihliif^ ^^^'J*^^^ ^s apt to spoil the objects that interest him. 

ChhsT^ * ^°^^ traveller can have patience to write his travels. 

For nobody has any conscience about adding to the 
improbabilities of a marvellous tale. (liit9) 

There is no estimating or believing, till we come to know it, 
what foolery lurks latent in the breasts of veiy sensible 
people. (150) 

The nomadic life has great jKivantages, if we can find tents 
rea47 pitched for us at evoiy stage. (1^51) 

Nathaniel Hawthorne had little in connon with the recognized 
proverb stylists, Franklin and liner son. Franklin specialized in 
giving practical advice to an industrious and crafty Yankee populace. 
Hawthorne had noted that "onlj^ one-eyed people give advice"; he was 
content with reporting the true state of life as he saw it, Hawthorne's 
observations are descriptive rather than prescriptive. Sin, for 
example, is defined through active instances; or in tern» of the 


conditions Tshich it larovokes. Tla^horne could not prescribe, for he 
knew no preacriptione which trould work. Bm Franklin, to txhe contrary, 
wag quite practical in his c«m proverbs; he spoke in terns of 
mterialistic sitcoegs, Hawthorne wyl^' conaients cm huaan foibles and 
singularities. He was incapable of the Franklinian pictorial proverb. 

Emerson inrote blithel;^^ of the God in laan. He haiamered out 
gem-incrusted proverba suffieleffit to drive an individual aa to greatw 
self-reliance. Ifejerson thought mn aore significant than llf« itself. 
Life is shaped by the hands of a nsan who has found God in hiBsself • 
Haewthorne, in sharp contrast, felt that life itself was quite rigid, 
and that it moulded and controlled the individual. Forces, 
institutions, congwunds were infinitely stronger than the will of the 
individual. Ekaersonian proverbs contain an active and unrestricted 
declaration of faith in the power of the individual. Hawthorne's 
inmost convictions forbade a similar faith. 

Both Franklin and rjnerson areached large audiencec with their 
proverbial bits of wisdoa. The former instructed the American public 
in sjateriaHsaj the latter, in idealism. Both gave golden nuggets of 
wisdom toward which an individual inlsht strivei both gave maxiiQS for 
the proper of one's conduct. Both aesuiaed th«t life is 
pliable, flawthome felt that life is restricted by the very eleisents 
of which it is composed. Success is not the acquisiticai of 
materialistic goods nhich a Franklin ndght advocate, or the idealistic 
self-reliance which an Emerson would proposej but it is, in actuality, 
little more than a recognition of and acquiescence to the ooa^xjund of 


life. Success caniiot coae by accumulating narble, or by denying the 
existence of Eiud| it can come onl>' fi'oja a careful treading of life's 

Life is a coiDplex and solemn affair, but a superbly ooral one. 
Harthorne found no one proverb or group of proverbs onto wliich he 
could fasten his faith. Ke saar only partial exits, and even they were 
beset with numerous obstrucUons. Hairthome waa well qualified to 
observe lifej he excelled at steeping his observations in thought and 
pourinG them into rich literary moulds. He was not capable of writing 
proverbs in the American sense of the word, for he did not presume to 
give advice. The more general or the more practical a statement 
became, the nore enpty of true meaning it was likely to be. It is 
only when the novelist is reflecting on the underlying nature of the 
life around liim tiiat he is in his element. 

"Hawthorne was always very tender of the feelings of othersj 
and thougli he could not help perceiving the oddities and frailties of 
those about hia, the percepticm in^xLied no uncharitablKiess on Ms 
part, and was recorded only for his jarivate satisfaction. "75* 
Hawthorne's observations on human nature are unduly limited| he was 
unable to take the practical approach of a Pranklin, or the optindatic 
approach of an Emerson. In essence, Hawthorne realivsed that humanity 
was so constituted by its nature that it raust be continually chastened 
by life, tfunan nature makes a truly successful life difficult if not 

oo, N ^^'^^^an Hawthorne, Nathaniel flawthome and His ;ife (Piston, 


impossible} for the inctaiit a ma:: begins to r.ove about, he is apt to 
meet tdth disaster. 

hlavrbhome wrote about failures. 3oth the depraved nature of 
hiamanity itself and the graynesa of the cois^oimd in v;hich EanVdnd must 
live forbid success. The raajcrity of hianan errors rasQ'- be attributed 
to the inte3J.ect; they are brought on by pride. If nan woiild but 
llst&n to his heart, he saight then find his way cleared} at least, th© 
human situation vovUji be vastjy improved. This is the one bit of 
advice which Fjorthorn© felt free to give. It is not much i«dth which 
to challenge a universe, but it is better than no hope at all. 



In the settiiig forth of those features which distinguish 
various nationaliUes, certain fandliar liawthomian principles find 
additional development in a nore concrete Jjwt frequently prejudiced 
thought area, /^ereaa hum»i nature maintains a deep and constant 
quality regardless of the race, creed, or political subdivision Tiithin 
which it nay fall, national natures are to be deterrdned on the basis 
of their surface uniqueness. The for^nalized depiction of a national 
nature—that croup of characteristics raarlcedly confined within given 
bordcxs—is, -^am contrasted to a probing of huaan nature, qiute 
superficial. Although huaan nature is the same for all nankind, an 
iiiiglishman, a Frenclraian, or an Italian does possess a peculiar national 
nature by which he may be set apart fron the remainini: body of 
humanity, Wliile the inner nature of an individual is fixed, his 
external oi- api arent nature as a member of a national group furnishes 
a new and sepai-ate field of inquirj-. 

:Ven though his rdnd normally functioned on deep and abstract 
levels-~as reflected 1^ the "sin to society" thought pattern— 
Ilairthome found time to record surface distinctions. On occasion, the 
portrayal of r national nature is elevated by an especially keen 
insight. l!ore frequently, patriotism, provincialism, Puritanism and 



pre,1udice dictate ^?hat aw^ear as carefully ccmsidered ;JtjdgJtKmt?s. "Hho 
cormGntary on national natures affords a new and valuable InqiJiry into 
Hawthorne's developing philosojiiy. It springs from a different kind 
of thinkinc. ^%ile it adaittedly lacks depth, it is colorfully 
characterized by the 9d»ie sharjaiess of perception encotmt«r©d in more 
complex and shadowy thoi^ht fields. 

The Bnslisli 

People, places, and things Aiuerican are decidedly superior to 
the best which a visitor my encounter in Shgland. Of this, Bmthorne 
•ma certain. "Underlying his writings <ai Ihgland, it mght merely be 
pointed out, there is a solid sub-stratum of t^iat we iriay call, for 
lack of a better word, ikiericanisra."^® Ehglishnjen are less p}\Tsically 
attractive and less w©ll.-!i!sanered than Aiaericana. !:::specially does the 
English landscape and cliEiate suffer Mien oasspared to that of its 
former colony. 

In spite of the sever© criticisjtffi istdch he hurled at eveiything 
Ihglish, in spite of the frequ^tly bitter antagonism from -which he 
never freed himself, Hswthcarao was emotionally^ at^acted to aigland. 
In truth, the criticism of Qigland consists of two separate and 
ccaiflicting sets of ideas* The first and weaker of the t^w, an 
attraction, was bom of a cultural reverence for England's traditional 
grandettr. The second and stronger, a repiilsicai, was rooted in the 
patriotic pride wiiich an American felt for liio fledgling democracy. 

•^^iandall Stewart, "HOTsthome in thglandi The Patriotic ?^otive 
in the Note-Dooks," New Ehgland .juarterl^/ , VIIX (Lferch 1935), 13. 


The appeal TJhich Encland misht awakon in an Anerican iTas continually 
forced to give cround before a more deep-seated animosity. But then, 
on a longer visit, the Enslish crow wore palatable. The further along 
one goes in -laiffthame's acquaintanceship vdth lihgland, 1353 to 1360 
the less severe the criticisnis becorae. Yet, even after he had coiae to 
respect the English people, long after the heart had ^^rone out of his 
Anglophobia, Hawthorne continued to berate the English from time to 

But the decidedOy toned-down conrjents of i860 are a long way 

from the caustic criticisms of 1851, "I think the social rank of 

Englishnen (always conscious of sombody above them) prevents then 

fl-om having ary dignity in their manner. » (152) Kasrfchome, speaking 

as a patriot and a democrat, wuld der^y the aiglishman the one quality 

in w-iich he took the warmest pride—his dignity. The observations on 

ijiigland, even though they seem unnecessariOy prejudiced and harsh, are 

given in a straightforward endeavor to point out those significant 

peculiarities which mark the measure?r>ent of a people, ?iigland'a 

citizenry was repeatedly denied those attributes which were 

traditionally granted as a birthright— dignity and polish, 

aigllshjnen are not made of polishable substance— not of marble, 
but rather of red froe-stone. There is a kind of roupluiess and 
uncouthness in the raost cultivated of them. After some conversance 
with them as a people, you loam to distinguish true gentleraon 
among them; but at first it seems as if there were none, (1^53) 

Flun^) and pongjous matrons, so frequently encountered in English 

society, offend the ideal of womanhood. Beautiful and slender American 

maidens arc infinitely more pleasing to the senses, Hawthorne was 


seldom inpressed with Eo^fland'a vtmm* Althou^ an occasional 
eocception escaped ccasdefflnation, the great bulk of aiglish femininity 
he looked upon with a cold ^e. "I really and truly believe that the 
entire body of American washerwomen would preseaat raore grace than the 
entire hody of Baglish ladies, war© both to be ahown up together." (li^U) 

"An Englishuan's aspect and behavior aevesr shocks, and never 
fascinates •••(li55) The Siglish are accused of dallnessj thairs is tfe« 
laode of a weighty but laiddle-class respectability. Any aovenient beyond 
that prescribed aaode is inconipatible with the nature of the people. In 
indents of extremely vain patriotisaa. Hawthorn© was likely to suggest 
the annesaticai of atigland. "fhe truth is, I love Iceland so mch that 
I want to annex it, and it is l^ no mst&na beyond the scop© of 
possibility that w© may do so, thou^ hardly in jsy lifetime." (ii56) 
"I i^all be true to ray coimtry, and get 8l<mg ^th Jolm Bull as well as 
I can. The time will coaae, soc«j©r or later, when the old fellcsr will 
look to us for his salvation. "(liS?) Possibly, the novelist felt that 
the aigland of the 18^0 »s was ^tering a genuine period of decline. 
More probably, the ijunwdeat proposals st®o fro® a natural desire to 
stand up to and strike back at the &gland of which i^erice was so 
recently a colony. Youthful xaemories of the V^ar of 1812 aay have 
provided a background of hostility wiiich never quite subsided. 

"It is good for the laoral natxjre of an American to live in 
Bhgland, ainong a raore sin^jle and natural people than ourselves." (1^58) 
It is indeed strange that a comparison, opposite firom the one which is 
normally eocpected, should be made with such certainty. Hawthorne 


aasuned the existence of an American culture which assurecGy did not 

measure up to the high level of his published views. He delighted in 

turning back onto the aiglish those veiy criticisTus which Ehglish 

travelers alwst unanimously made of Araerica. iiairthome felt that 

aiglishmen disliked Americans, and like a little bpy he reciprocated. 

♦« i^ ^ SisHshman were individually acquainted with all our 
!«rSTf ''^'ti^^^"' ^^ Americans-ond liked eveiy n«n oTtS^, 
and ^lieved that each mn of those nillions was a Christian, 
honest, upright, and kind,~he would doubt, despise, and hati 

Allegiance to nobility is seriously questioned. "It is queer 
how the Qiglish uphold their nobility as an institution, yet ridicule 
and abuse the individual members." (1^60) Since nankind is leveled by 
sin and sorrow, since human nature is lindted and constant, it may be 
doubted whether the nobility-however naterialistically well off they 
may be~are actually any better, or for that natter apy different, 
from those lesser persons who would pay tribute. Yet the peculiar 
psychology of liiglish national pride, while it nay allow single 
attacks, ever protects its ingrained ties with royalty. The most 
typical aiglish trait, one found throughout the social hierarchy, has 
received such universal darning that there is little need for recording 
it. "This Ehglish narrowness is veiy queea-, and is just as much a 
characteristic of gentlemen of education and culture, as of cloim8."(li6l) 

If one symbolic institution may be permitted to stand for all 
that is most thoroughly Fjiglish, it is found in the formal and 
forbidding dinner. 


Tile aislish have not tho art or the nature of meting each 
other natijrally, and for the upperajost purpose of social enjqymewfc; 
and so thejr laalce the dinner, which ought to be a raere mobhod and 
jsjcdiura of bringing them together, the great and oversrhelming 
object, to Tshich all true intercourse is sacrificed. (1^62) 

Dinner partakes of the saiae artificiality tfiiich waa attribizted to 

taste Bxvi society, Jiawthome scarcely reached the point of 

sophistication vrhich one njust attain in order to enjoy an English 

dinner. »I have no pleasure in anything^-a oigar excepted. Eto« 

liquor does not enliven mej so I very seldoia drinSr my, except at 

some of these stupid English dinners ."^^ 

% 1858, the novelist had arrived at a more balanced and 

perhaps more pcsietrating analysis of the Shglish character. 

Nobo<fy but an aiglisliaan, it seems to me, has just this kind 
of vanity,— a feeling raised up with scorn md good-naturej self- 
complacency on his ovm raerits, and as an aiglishjian; pride at 
toeing in foreign parts? conbeiapt for everybody around i-iiiaj a 
rough kindliness towards peopl© in general, (I163) 

Still, the attraction-^repalsim inn^" conflict remined substantially 

unaltered. In a letter to Helda, the novelist succeeds in clarifying 

his personal feeling toirard the Sagllsh. 

The monstrosity of their s©lf»concelt is su<^ that anything 
short of unlimited admiration inpresses them as raalicious 
caricature. But they do sae a great injustice in supposing thai 
I hate thera. I would as soon hate ray am people. ^2 

As l«to as 1863# the familiar jibes at Kkjgland's dun, 

bullying, and belligerent nature continued to be expressed. "It is 

very sincular how kind an Enclishsnan will almost invariably be to an 

•^■Caroline Ticknor, Hawthorne and Uls Publisher , p. 162. 

* James T, Fields, Yesterday with Authors, p. 111. 


individual American, without ever bating a jot of his prejudice againot 

the American ciiaracter in the lvmp,*>(h$h) "If you make an Eiigliehnan 

smart (unless he be a very exceptional one, of whom I have seen a few), 

you Bake hla a monsterj his beat aspect is that of a ponderous 

respectability. ••(U65) "In fact, in a good-natured yisy, John Bull is 

always doubling his fist in a stranger's face, and though it be good 

natured, it does not always produce the most amiable feeling." (1|66) 

Since liairthome repeatedly censured the aiglish, ev®i though he had 

come to admire thea, it m^ be assumed ttiat his lengthy period of 

observation provided a ju»tificati<m for what were felt to be 

indisputable points of criticism. Unfortunately, the interpretation 

of a national nature, especially a foreign one, tends to evoke an 

endless succession of g.neralities. Ifany of the reactions which 

Hawthorne expressed had been voiced by other visitors to Lhgland, and 

would continue to be voiced for many generati<ms to come. 

"In fact, nobod}^ need fear to hold out half a crown to aqy 

person with whom he has occasion to speak a word in £hgland.''(l|67) 

The aiglish were reprimanded for wliat was felt to be a blatant 

materialism. They were delicately taunted for the superficiality of 

their favorite social institution. "It has often perplexed me to 

imagine how an aiglishraan will be able to reconcile himself to any 

future state of exLstwice from vrfiich the earthly institution of dinner 

shall be excluded. "(Ii68) finally, English womanhood receives her 

final insult. 

I desire above all things to be courteousj but, since the 
plain truth must be told, the soil and climate of liigland produce 


feminine beauty as rarely as they do delicate fruit i and though 
adiairable speciiaens of both are to be Eiet with, they are the 
hot-Iious© asieli orations of refined society, and apt, isoreover, to 
elapse into the coarseness of the original stock. {I469) 

England's gentle sex failed to inspire |a*aise, and there is little 

doubt that it was closely scrutiniaed. Hasfthorne took a constant 

delist in exercising the raale prerogative— discerning and judging 

f^dnine beauty. i%ould a coiaely maiden fall b^esth his gase, he was6 

not loath to admit her excellexice* 

At long l&st, the ^lis^ nature casie to be adtaired* 

l^imi an EngHshiaan is a ge^leraan, to be sure, it is as deep 
in hijT! as the laarrow of his bones, and the deeper you knew him, the 
more you are aware of it, and tixat g^iwation after generation has 
contributed to develop and perfect these unpretending tnanners, 
which, at first, imy have failed to in^ess you, tmder his plain, 
almost hoffloly exterior. (1^70) 

ISirestricted ja-aise for the Snglish character seldom flowed from the 

novelist's pen—in truth, it "isras not Ilasrthome'c wont to extol anyone, 

inothers and beaoitiful jsaidens excepted. For tiws inost part, the writ far 

proceeds by pointing out the flaws in humanity's armor. fl» leas 

harshly a person is criticized, th© better he is assuined to be. When 

a person or group is cosffluended, it is quite certain that praise 1« 

warranted. '•^Jhat otiier men ever got so smch out of life as the 

polished and wealthy Ehglishiaan of to-d^?"(li7l) A note of envy vsa^ 

be detected in Hawthorne's lauding of the English gentlemen. Yet 

hOB&wr fisush he might come to admire and envy tho Bhglli^t prejudice 

persisted in breaking through. 

"The conflict iii&% rag^ within him between the love of the 

beauties of an old aristocracy and the devotion to the ideals of 


young democracy preoccupied him during hie l«at years. "^3 Hairthome, 
in hia steadfast loyalty to America, saw England with a biased eye. 
Paradoxically, in light of his criticisn of the an-lish people, he 
searched lihgland's graveyards in the hope of discovering his ancestral 
name adorning some noss-growi tonbstone. Hawthorne longed for EhgUsh 
ties. The vacillation between Anglophobia and Anglomania adght well 
be identified with a more basic conflict—one between aristocratic and 
democratic coinponents of Ma»rthome's am nature. Theoretically, he 
was a thoroushgoing democrat. Aesthetically and einotionally, Hawthorne 
had aristocratic hankerings which were not easily dismissed. 

The Scots 
A single profound observation on the nature of t\\e Scots barely 
succeeds in fully characterising the people. "The Scotch seem to m 
to .Tst drunk at very unseasonable hours." (1|72) It is interesting to 
note an attempt at Ur^ness, especially when it falls within the 
inordinately heavy pattern in which the novelist usually wrote. 
Hawthomian humor is rarely if ever funny in a pure sensej frequently 
it cloaks a veiled moralism. Almost invariably it seems to be a grim 
laughing at human foibles— not out of malicious pleasure, not always 
for edification, but simply because they do exist. 

The French 
France proved itself a disappointment. The climate, the filth, 
and the rapid-speaking Jl-enchraen were disconcerting. Jlawthome had 

23sohneider, The History of American Philosophy, p. I]i2. 


naively hoped to coiwerse with the l^aichmen in tJ^ir OHn t(Migue— • 
French was the one fcareign language wiiich he could read with skill— 
but he soon realiaed tiiat this was not to be# He never tapped the 
spirit of Francej he did not claiia to imderatand her people. 

"But a Fr^chiaan is aa different from a Qegmffk, as quicksilver 
fron lead. It is ijapossible to HSke a saciiine of him." (1*73) If 
Bmiithxxme knew the French nature but poorly, he knew the Gwraan not at 
all. The ab\indance of art pieces i»*iich JP^rance had to offer was 
soia©«1iat intriguing* '^Tmily, I have no i^nspetliies towards the ftench 
^oplej their ^es do not win laine, nor do their glances laelt and 
ndngle with mine* But they do grand and beautiful things in the 
architectxiral wayj and I am grateful for it«*'(li7lt) Finally, the 
JTeochoan's nature is elevated far above tost of the drab St^lishnan. 
"Svery Frenchraan is probably nwre of an artist than one ianglishtnon in 
a thousand." (U75) The best that may be said for the spars© conaoBntary 
on the Fraich nature is that it is well-pliraa©d| at its worst it ie 
trivial, prejudiced, and extremely cursory. 

ThB Italiana 
"It is veiy singular, the sad eiTfcrace with -which Rome takes 
possession of the soul.*(h76) "Side by side with the massiveness of 
the R<»an Past, all matters tliat we handle or dream of nowad^s look 
evanescent and visionary alike." {ii77) Hawthorne Altered imperfectly 
into the spirit of Italy. He came to but a partial understandinp; of 
the Italian natiire. For the sost part, the coramentaiy on Italy is 
concerned with art objects and places of interest rather than with the 


people theraselvea. Then too, Hawthorne' a knoirledge of Italy waa 

llraited to a sort of vague feeling which was itaelf incapable of being 

auccinctly formOated. It is indeed difficult for a traveler in a 

foreicn land to comprehend any certainty the inner conatitution 

of his host peoples. At best, he nay iiope for the oatabllahmsnt of a 

aysipathetic bond between himself and the strangers about hiia, 

£>specially is this true when a person travels late in life, long alter 

the characteristics of his ovm national nature have firmly settled in 

his being. However mich the nature voyager may desire entrance into 

the hearts of a foreign people, he remains, tlirough the solidity of his 

past experifflice, a stranger. 

In light of the superficial but bulky barrier separating an 

observer from the nature under surveillance— regardless of the 

individual's lengtli of contact ^rith that nature— it is reaarkable that 

one nonages to characterize a nation to any true depth. Hawthorne 

succeeded in one or two instances. He became aware, for example, of 

the discrepancy between American and Italian piiilanthrojy, 

(An Italian, indeed, scldon dreane of being pirilantluropic, 
except in bestowing alms aiTJong the paupers, who appeal to his 
beneficence at every step; nor does it occur to hL^i that there art 
fitter modes of propitiating Heaven than by penances, pilsrlTages, 
and offerings at shrines. Periiaps, too, their system has its 
share of moral advantages; thenr, at all events, cannot iTell txride 
thexas elves, as our own more energetic benevolence is apt to do, 
upon sharing in the counsels of Providence and kindly haloing out 
its otherwise is^ii-acticable designs. (U7v/)) 

Perhaps the one raoat piercing observation deals with the fact that 

falsehood seeajs quite native to an Italian. 

i But Italian asseverations of any questionable fact, lum^ver 
true they may chance to be, >iave no ^/ritness of their triath in the 


faces of those w!>o ntter them. Their words nre spoken ivith strange 
earnestness, and yet do not vouch for themselves as condng from ainy 
depth, like roots drasm cut of the substance of the soul, with soaie 
of the soil clinging to thoa. There is always a something 
inscrutable, instead of frankness, in their eyes. In short, they 
lie so much like truth, and speak truth so rauch as if they were 
tellinn a lie, that their auditor suspects himself in the vrroag, 
whether he believes or disbelieves themi it being the one thing 
certain, that falsehood is seldOTn an intolerable burden in the 
tenderost of Italian consciences, (1*79)) 

Any attend to characterize a people on the basis of their 
uniqu©iess is doosjed to failure* Since huiaan nature is &v&xy9ttk&re 
alike at all times, those rojaax^s flfaich wotild establish subtle 
distinctions bcrti*^ various peoples are as disputable as a boundary 
line itself. National iiatures are invariably depicted in tersm of 
differences, btit the basic sirailaritlos -Rhich undmrlie these surface 
lineasrents are infinitely ajore eigjiificant. The life pattern of which 
Hawthame wrote aK>lied to all mankind. The natioaal traito granted 
to various peoples belcMog to a differeat and laaaer level of thought. 
Although the novelist succeeds reasonably well in msfcinc distinctiont 
on a national t®sis, he evidences a proficient talent rather than a 
profound one. He displaors his jaind at work on a laore prosaic level- 
on a level where raany other writers, Irving, Etoeraon, and Heiry Janes 
among them, have equaled or stirj»ssed him. Even ti^en he tujmed from 
foreign shores to his native laid, Hawthorne's ability to characteria© 
on a national basis wes not coraraensurate with his other talaits. 

The Americans 
There can be little doubt that Hawthorn* held a limited 
understanding of Ixis own nation. Svsn though he was proud of America 
at large— both in the principles wMch prescribed its va^ of life, and 


in thoir loss perfect social and political actualization—he .vas a 

regionalist in his thinking. The IVilted States was too xmlimited n 

piece of territory' for one person to eisbrace. ilawthome felt that the 

nation and the poopls had no tn;e unity, and tiiat sovereignty rishtOy 

belonged to the individual state or re-ion. Aiaerica's vastness, in 

.viiich Walt V/hitman found one heartbeat, abat^hod and composed Ilwrthonui. 

The TO-iter's oarly obsei^ations en i-oaerica sparkle with a 

strong flaw of pride in that 'aoral strength w!xLch was capable of 

absorbing and correcting the entering gush of forei£?i hmianity. 

^^J^^'^^ cheering, also, to reflect, that notliing short of 
rlf^l^ ?f*'^?'^f°'^ '"^"^^"^ *^ strengtli of moral influences, 
diffused throughout otit native landj-that tlae stock of home-br^ 
^tUG 18 large enough to absorb and neutralize so much of foreign 

yet by an almost inevitable necessity, proinoto the welfare of the 
countiy that receives tliem to its bosoia.(U8o) 

America is a land in which workable poUtical idoala sirring from a 

solid, uti.Utarian laorality. On ot.her occasions, a pei-verted 

patriotism was capable of provoking an aristocratic and bicoted 

declaration against foreigners, "Nothing is so absolutely abominable 

as the sense of freedom and equaUty, pertaining to an Aaerican, 

grafted on the laind of a native of any other countiy in the world. I 

do IlATo a naturalized citizenj nobody has a right to our ideaa, unless 

bom to thoni.»(|;3l) Taere aro portentous indications that Hawthorne 

was something of an "American Firster." He seldon leaped to the 

defense of racial or religious rnlnority groups. Notwithstanding the 

democratic principles to which he pledged hiiaaelf , a strange form of 

aristocratic prejudice continuously made itself known. 


"Wo Amoricans are t'.ie best people in the world j —'but it is a 
poor vcrld at that«"(i|02) There was no delusion that Amorica had 
achieved a Utopia 7dth her fom of govemnwrrt, but merely that she 
excelled ^hen cospared with other nations. Hesrthorn© did not believe, 
alcKig vdth Bnerson and "S^Mtaan, that Araerica rras destined to go wi to 
greater and greater heights* He foresaw that this nation, like all 
others which history hft» recorded, would reach a cliiaax and an 
inevitable decline. Perhaps h© feared t^at Aiaerica wiakl fall into 
decadeiwe before she had realised her fullest potential* There wan no 
denying that Arnerica was yet in a state of rawness— that her people 
were not yet fastened to her soil* '*0h, that we eould Imve ivy in 
^ffl©i^ical ^iiiat is there to beautify us, when our tinse of ruin eGra88."(li83) 

Regioaalisa, aecesitiiated by prospects of a civil war, beoeane 
a favorite theme* 

I wonder that -se Americans love our country at all, it Iiaving 
no limits and no caienessj and "Brihen joxi try to laake it a uiatt^r of 
the heart, everything falls array except one's native State] neither 
can you seiae hold of that unless you tear it out of the tMon, 
bleeding and qtdvering.diBit) 

In 1861, Maarthome wrote his publisher, Ticknor, the suprea^ ejcpression 

of ids regionalistic sentiment. "Perhaps, hcruperver, I shall have a new 

Roiaance ready, by the tiu^ Mea- ajgland becoaee a se^parate aetion— « 

consuiaraation I rather hope for than otheindse."'^'* In the same year. 

Hawthorn© informed Horatio Bridge of the delight which he felt in the 

dissolution of the Union* "Whatever happens next, I must sfiQT that I 

rejoice that tho old Unicai is saashed. V^e never were one people, and 

QiiCaroline Ticknor, Hasythomo and His Publisher , p* 256. 


never r««13y had a country since the Constitiition was fcrraGcT,"^^ The 

Civil war was interpreted as a natural occxirrence in a country which 

had tried to fona a union of heterogeneous ref^ona. Although he was a 

loyal Not aielander, iianthome respected the sovereign power of the 

several states be;-ond his region. 

In the vast e:ctGnt of our ccuntxv, — ^toc vast by far to be 
taken into one small huiaan heart, —^we inevitably lijidt to our 
State, or, at fartiiost, to our cm section, tnat Rontinent of 
physical love for the soil w5iich renders an Ehglishiaan, for 
exainple, so intenseli^ sensitive to the dicnity and i?ell->>cinG o{ 
his little island, that one hostile foot, treading anywhere upon 
it, would make a bruise on each individual breast. If a man Iwes 
his own State, therefore, axid is content to be ruined with her, 
let us siwot hin, ir vfn can, but alio-.? iiini an honorable burial in 
the soil he fights for.(li85) 

Fl-eedoms trtiich this country had come to take for granted were 
pointed to 7.1th pride. "But with wliom is an Araerican citizen entitled 
to talce a liberty, if not with his own chief njasistrate?"(U36) At 
the sarK time that the excellences of the A^jerican ss'starj wore called 
to the fi-ont, its deficiencies did not go unnoticed, "There never 
existo<l any other goveiTuaent against vihlch treason was so easy, and 
could defend itself by such plausible arguments, as against that of 
the United States." (1^87) In spite of the numerous weaknesses which 
democracy mi^b have, Hawthorne preferred it to all oth«r forms of 

The unthinking patriotism of earlier years was strongly 
modified by the unnatural adoption of a cosrwpolitan attitude. In 
cominc to admire Dngland, Hawthorne became increasingly aware of 

^^Horatio Bridge, Personal Recollections , p. I6p. 


Anjeric«'s orudeness. He deridecl, vrith some Justification, the American 
travelers with trlicn he was tfirown in contact # '*.An /^aorlcan, be it salA, 
soldoR turns Ids best side outormoat ahroad.} and an obs^irvor, who has 
liad much opporturdty of seeiiig the figta*o which the^ nalce, in a foreign 
ccuntr:,^, docs not so siaich •minder that thear*® shcwild be a severe 
criticisn on thoir manners as a 2X)ople."(li88) In a letter to Ticknor, 
ti^ pscudo-soj^isticated, European attitude I3 more pronotmced. "I 
wish I xfere a little nore patriotic { but to confess ihe truth I had 
rather be a sojourner to anor other country tlian return to acr own* The 
United States are fit for taany excellerrb purposes, but thc^ certainly 
are not fit to live in.'*^^ ^ lo^9$ llawthome had been so long in 
arigland that a strange cosiaopolitan d;>''Q Imd b^iai to color wliat were 
essentially provincial fibers* 

Froro an Araerican's viewpoint, a severely strained relationship 
exists between himself and the Shgliahraan. "Nevertheless, it is 
undeniable that an Anerican is continually thrown upon his national 
antagonism by some acrid quality in the moral atmosphere of 
aigland.**(ii8P) "/oi Aiaerican is not very apt to love the English 
people, as a whole, on whatever length of acquaintance." (l}90) 
riawthome held a low opinion of the general populace of any nation- 
America included, /iuierica's went of a culttiral hsritase had a 
chastening effect, and the realisation that America must still tvum to 
Bncland for elegance in art was sorely lamented. "But, alas I our 
philosophers have not yet taiight uo what is best, nor have our poets 

^^Caroline Ticlawr, Hawthorne and His Publisher , p. 21ii, 


aung us Tfhat is bcautirullcst, in the Icuid ol lilc that ..o 2U3t Icadj 
and tlxcrefora Tre atill read tli. old :Jngaa3ii ^rtsdor., and iaarp upon the 
ancient strines.«(!,5l) xIa«rthorne felt the n.ed for a strong native 
voice in America. Perhaps he in^uld have agreed with Si^son in 
demndins the apiDoaraiicc of a -.alt v;hitaan on the A.i,erican scene. 
At tlBies, IlaiTthornc evidenced a sho<3' apati^ foi- national 
concerns. This lack of interest in national affairs aay r^vc stemmed 
fro;n a deepljr set provincialism. ^ 7 Lbre probab:ijr, it should be 
credited tc subtler orxgii.3. liations are destined to evolve, under 
providential suidance, at a slou and stead;, rate ;«iich lacrtal aian w 
neither lessen nor accelerate. Then too, national natures and nations 
thenaelves are of relatively nxnor ii:gx>rtance in that tuey exist as 
entities orOy in terns of distinctions ^ch have no internal or 
spiritual depth. Though Ii«vthorne, as a traveler, was almost forced 
to recognize national natures, and thougli he recorded th^a with an 
aiaost mechanical skill, his heait was not in tho matter, for 
iiairthome's principal cancems had charted a different and deeper 
course, iihile man tho national being v«is of sorae interest, the 
individual ^-in :-ds relaticnsidp to hinsclf , his society, and his 
God— proved a much niore intricuinr; subject. 

The l^a-itans 
One group of peoples, distinrruished by religious rather than 

"jHenj^ j^yjj^g^ jigythornc (London, IC7?). Jacies' bioia^ao^rv 
ImoT '"" that Hairthorr^e was essentially ^nci^Stis 


national boundaries, ccoain-l^^ elicited cl qyii^jatliGtic ivapcnse Xroo 

Hawthorne. Tlie Frritan era xfc^ ono of siibctance and solidity. 

It was ST. a^e yrhcn v:hz.t T,-e call talent Aod far less 
consideration than now, but the laasslve aateriala which produce 
stability aivi di^^iit:- of character a crca^ deal :.Toro. Hie people 
poasessed, by hereditary right, the quality of reverence; which, 
in their doGCoi^.dontc, if it curvive at all, c:dGt3 in smaller 
proporticxi, md with a vastlj^ dindnished force, in the seaection 
and B3ti?note of i:ubllc ncn. The c':ianzc laay be for ^cod or evil, 
and is psrtly, perhaps, for both.(h92) 

Puritanisms helped to set the tone for America. Tiie bustling mergy of 

the Puritan in trar and eoiamerc© prepared the way for Ben;Jasn.n Franklin 

and the /bnorican ideal of success. Yet beneath the external vigor of 

the Rtritan fathers there .abided a settled raoraMty founded upon a 

sriffl recognitiMi of life's harshness.^ "Tlieir iiroediato posterity, 

the generation next to the early emigrants, wore the blacJcest shade of 

Puritanism, and so darkened the national viaaae with it, tliat all 

sub8©q»-T©nt years have not sufficed to clear it up. S© have y«t to 

learn again the forgotten art of gayety.''(ijS»3) 

Despite their ctemnoss, the Piiritans irore quite huraan at 


Had the;^- followed their }iereditarj' taste, the llm England 
settlors would Iiave illuetratecl all -ve^jtc cf public i::5>ortanco by 
bonfires, banquets, pageantries and processions. Nor ^"ould it iiave 
been irrpraoticable, in the observance of oajestic cerer»nies, to 
combine ndrthful recreation with, solermity, and givu, as it were, 
a grotesque end brilliant embroideiy to tnc great robe of state, 
which a nation, at such festivals, puts on.(Ii9U 

"But it is an error to suppose that our grave forefathers—though 

accustomed to speak and tMnk of h-imm existence as a state merely of 

'^^Porry iaXLer, The Mew .^-land lajid. p. 37, 


trial and yrarfare, and though unfeignodly prepared to sacrifice goods 
and life at the behest of duty-nade it a matter of conacience to 
reject such means of comfort, or even luxuiy, as lay fairly within 
their grasp.-d^^S) In religion, however, the Puritans displayed a 
strength-^hich Plawthome admired— in their preference for an austere 
siraplicity. "The Puritans showed their strength of ndnd and heart, by 
preferring a sermon of an hour and a half long, into which the 
preacher put his whole soul and spirit, and lopping away all these 
externals, into which religious life had first gushed and flowered, 
and then petrified." (1^) If a people may be elevated above the rest 
of humanity on the basis of outer or apparent characteristics of their 
group, the Puritans deserve such elevaticai. But in torms of human 
nature, the Puritans are seen to be susceptible to those same failings 
which have kept man a constant companionsliip whenever he night 

A few scattered reflections nowise represent the true nature 
of the Puritan people. Since the novelist had personified the very 
spirit of Puritanism in his art, there was little need for his 
reflecting on concepts so richly and fully presented in fiction. It 
is quite evident, moreover, that Hawthorne respected the Puritans. 
In their moral fixedness he discovered a strength for dealing directly 
with life rarely equaled in other peoples. 

Nwr Bagland 
However well Hawthorne may have understood his ancestral land, 
his observations on the New Ihgland people are quite shallow. "The 


New-Qiglandesrs, as a peojixle^ are not apt to retain a revengeful sense 
of injtiry, and nowhere, perhaps, coiad a politician, however odious in 
his power, live raore peacefully in Ids nakedness and disgrace. "(Ij??) 
A love for New England is obvious, but the reasons beliind that love 
are not clearly given. "New Englarwi is quite as large a Itiap of earth 
as w heart can really take in."(iiS>8) Noraally, the reflections on 
I-Jew laagland's quality are in a general and rath^ traditicmal manner, 
"lirhen a Yankee is coarse he is pretty stire to b© vulgar too." (1^99) 
"Yet there would be a less striking contrast between Southern and 
Hew-Bngland villages, if the fonrier were as much in the habit of using 
white paint as we are. It is prodigiously efficacious in patting a 
bright face upon a bad jaatter."(500) 

Similarity of KatiEreg 
Whatever llorbhorne purported to isrite about, he was of 
necessity writing within the fiwunswork of his p«:«stmal jMlosoplQr. An 
atter^ at characteilsjing naticmal x»txires was accordii^ly dooraed to 
failure. In truth, in li^t of the Hawthomian philosopher, a 
funda»Maital and final recognition in regard to all national natures 
was necessary. "Indeed, I doubt whether there be anything really 
worth recording in the little distinctions between one nation and 
anotherj at any rate, after the first novelty is over, new thlngg 
equally conBnonplace %lth the old." (501) 

All in all, the coirmentary on national natures is almost 
wliolly destitute of ideas. This is not to say that it is without 
value, or that Hawthorne is any less successful than many anothesr 


writer in portrnyinc national character. Indeed, the observations are 
significant in that the/ present a contrast to the more abstract 
workings of the riavfchome ndnd. They show, also, the liMtaUons 
i»hich provincialism and prejudice may i:npose. They delicately hint 
at Hawthorne's aristocratic hankerings. Finally, they convcry the fact 
that Rawfchome could be quite like other uriters at tiiaes, no better 
or no wrse, in skillfully presenting surface distinctions. ^Vhile the 
depiction of national natures is not unsuccessful, it stands priaarily 
as an interesting contraat to the n»re rneaninsful conception of huaan 
nature rather than as a vital portion of the Ha^homian thought 


eaDGRsss, dmom, kjotherrdod, ahd war 

Ihen the dominant concepts which Il3JTthome*s observations 
illustrate are considered as a unit—that is, the life coBpstmd into 
which nan is Iwrn, the iraraitigable forees pl^'-ing upon hia, and his 
own iinperfect nature— the novelist's conclusions regarding the 
lindtations or possibilities of aortal life are nsore readily understood* 
"Realities" preseait before birth— sin, providence, the lixysical 
compound— combine with perpetually functioning religious, social, and 
domestic forces to fix the course of manlcind within a binding patteirn* 
Hawthorne's opinion in the various thought fields-*»Ti^ch constitutes 
his personal philosophy— foreordains and necessitates whatever 
theorizing he nay offer concerning the possible attainaerrbs of earthly 
life. The Har,'thoniian specxdation on these attainments and on the 
limitations i^ich detez^Ttlne them tends to crystallise Ms philosophy, 

Thourjh the observaticas on each constituent clement of the 
thou;;ht >ittern are conclusions of a sort in that they clearly define 
Hawthorne's orientation to that specific subject, and though thej' are 
mutually dependent rather than exclusive, the meditative cornaentary on 
progress, reforn, brotherhood, and v/ar briiiga tiie seendr^gly divergent 
phases of thought into tiieir sharpest Eingle foctis. The exposition on 
these topics nay be understood only in terns of the pattern as it has 



been developed to this point. Once that pat.ei-n is accepted, 
liwrthome's stateaents appear both natural and inevitable. 


Ihe word "progress" evokes a variety of responses. It may 
call to ndnd the bettering of man's phcrsical environment-^re 
abundant food, shelter, and clothing, a greater choice of conveniences, 
a lonser life span^-in truth, all of the visible and measurable 
iioprovements irhich man's ndnd has effected since the beginning of ti«e. 
Second, progress inay be thought of in terms of man hi^elf : the men of 
the present are intrinsically superior as moral being, to the men of 
the past. Both man's pliysical welfare and his am nature are moving 
toward perfection. Too often, progress as measured in terms of a 
physical advancement is confused with a true or spiritual progress of 
humanity. If man now leads a longer and more refined life— one 
clustered with material conveniences-it is assumed that he leads a 
better one. Hawthorne was not confused on this score, for he refused 
to associate the material with the spiritual. In conformity with his 
expressed views on sin and human nature, he could not believe in a 
true progress-that man himself and the "realities" with which man 
must contend were anjirise improving. 

In 1836, Hawthorne held faith in progress in the first sense, 
the popularly accepted one. "It is not, we hope, irreverent to say, 
that the Creator gave us our world, in a certain sense, unfinished, 
and left it to the ingenuity of man to bring it to the highest 


perfection cf ^^iiich final end physical things are susceptible. "(5X)2) 
liiterial pi'ogress is possible, but the perfectibility of mortal life 
lies beyond Ean's jaeager ability. Vsn, as the instigator of his own 
advanceHcnt, betters his -worldly lot and thereby creates a form of 
progress. !niis does not is^" that human nature is as easily mended. 
It was not long, moreover, before Hav.'thomo v;as to lose his faith in 
the possibilities of material progress. 

"Rest, I'eat, thou weary worldl for to-!iK>rrow« s round of toil 
axKi pleasure v/iU be as wearisoiae as to-day's has beenj yet both shall 
bear thee ons'/ard a day's march of eternity." ( 503 ) lean's world is 
moving forward quite G^aduallyj each nev? da^' is better than its 
predecessor in that it adds its bit to the total heap of j^terial 
progresB* Advancerasnts are so slo's^^ln coming that they laay not be 
measured by the individual eye, 'Thus gradually, by silent and steady 
influences, are great changes wrought." (50U) Pfflrhaps in a lifetime a 
jaan raay observe no change, yet a steady and supposedly forward 
evolution of life is insisted upon. The eiror lies in anticipating 
that any one man or a:^ one age maj'' cither effect or vri-tness a 
T!(holesale repatching of life's fabric. 

Ifeiterial pai^gress, frequently identified with true advancMient, 
carries vdth it a cocgiensatory evil. '*It is a great revoluticm in 
social and domesrtic life, and no less so in the life of a secluded 
student, this almost universal exchange of the open fireplace for the 
cheerless and ungenlal stove. "(505) "In one way or another, here and 
there and all around us, the inventions of manlcind are fast blotting 


the plctureaque, tho poetic, and the beautiful out of humn life."(?06) 
A stove, taken as a sjTitool of nraterialistic and utilitarian values, 
crassly replaces that which my be nore aesthetically satioiying. The 
loss of the fireplace night ttqII be interpreted by a ron«ntic or 
sensitive person as a destruction of the beautiful. ?«ch new item, as 
a part of the totnl scho'ae of procrens, replaces an older itenj -vhich, 
despite its lack of irtilitarian norit, nay have a greater intrinsic 
value from a spiritual viesrpoint. Inventions, nechanical in?irovoraents, 
often offend aesthetic sensibilities by their very coarseness and 
nenness • 

Each age, in spite of tho debased qualities which it may 
evidence, has a right to a niche in the eventful stream of progress. 
Ilawbhome had coine to think of procress as consistinc of rnere 
"difference" rather than "iraproveraent." Vithin this special 
interpretation of the word, each age progresses beyond the preceding 
one in that it develops contrary characteristics. The fact that the 
newer age may be more sordid in many respects does not sitvnify that 
prccress has not taken place. "The earnest life of to-day, however 
petty and homely it rnay be, has a rirht to its place alongside of what 
is left of the life of other daysj and if it be vulgar itself, it does 
not vulgarize the scene." (50?) 

The heart, Hawthorne's favorite medium, provides the only 
entrance into spiritual truths. Since its inessaGO is constant for all 
men at all times, it acts as an agent of conservatism. Man's 
intellect, linked with coldness and pride, is extremely erratic and 


ingjeri'Qct in tiiat it laay Xead Imn ia de-wious Odrectioas. Tiie operation 

ox the iiUJid, since it has no claisa on spiritiulity, cfixuiot iiava 


If laaiiJciiid -ware all intellect, they v/ould bo coritjaiually 
changinf;, so that one ago would bo mitirely unlike another. The 
gi'Qat coiiservativo is the heart, v^iiich reaoins the sarao in all 
ages5 so that coinmon-places of a thousand years' standing are as 
effective as ever. (^03) 

ilawthorne, by iGi^S, had growii fond of raakiag th© rather 

conventional past-present coagjarison* If this tt;ndeiicy aa^- be takon 

as a liiark of increaaing age atid coiiservatisia, it m^ equally well be 

interpreted as a longer and tdser look at tiae's total program. 

It takes dosm one's overYieoninc opi:iion of tho present time, 
to see how wzny kinds of beaixfcy and raa^ificence have heretofore 
existed, and are now quite past away and xorgottsn; and to find 
tliat we— who suppose that, in all raatters of teste, our age is the 
very flower-reason of tia©— tmt we are poor and seagre as to many 
things in which they iirere rich. Taere is nothing gorgeous now. 
Vie live a very naked life, (i>09) 

The question is whether or not there 1ms been an^'' prepress at all. Is 

it not true that otlxer ages have reached greater iieights than the 

present one is capable of achieving? iilodera life, wJiich appeared to 

Kawthorn© as overly siechaniaed, led hiiti to laj^nt the decrease in 

beauty which seemed iaevitab3;5r to £ollm the wake of mechanical 


"Thought crov/3 mouldy, -.hat was good and nourisliing food for 

the spirits of one generation affords no sustenance for the next, "(510) 

The necessity for raoving onward, the noe<i for a continiial adoption of 

the new and discarding of the old is undeniable. Each age has a 

peculiar temper, and if it is to succeed in being itself it nust cast 


off outmoded parj^jhemiOia of the paat. Ifen must maintain a steacfy 
and incessantly changing fonrard motion ..ithout once glancing back. 
Failure to move, to change, to march into neir and different regions, 
invites stagnation and decay. In many ways, the concept of process 
necessitates self-deception on humanity's part. It is deiaanded of man 
that he participate in the illusion of progress, just as it is demanded 
that he participate in the artificiality of society. But it is not 
necessary that he blind himself to tho actual nature of those forces 
of wiiich he is a captive. 

"Vie soon perceive that the present day does not engross all 
the taste and ingenuity that has ever existed in the ndnd of man, that, 
in fact, we are a barren age in that respect." (511) In returning to 
the then-^-now theme, Ha-."thome elaborates the conviction that his 
age is a particularly arid one-that it lacks the rich and lavish 
qualities of past times. "The world has ceased to be so magnificent 
as it once was." (512) Yet in the same breath with which he affirms a 
lack of actual improvement in life, the novelist presents his supreme 
message of progress. 

«nH II;^Tf '/^ ^^ ""''^ ""^^ *° ^^ gathered from these petty 
S r^!i'?f circumstances, was, «Let the past alone: do nofseek 
t° ^^ iui ^^°^ °" ^° ^^-^^^ ^ ^^^^^ things,-at all events, 
that i^^Ln^^^^ ^^ t' r="^^ *^* *^^° ^^S^t W can ^eJS ' 
i2o i!^ LJ^*? ^^^ ^^""^^ *° ^^^ identical sliape7that you long 
ago left behind. OnTrard, onward, onwardl"(5l3r 

It is required that the new should replace tho old. There is no 

insistence tliat the new be superior to the old, but merely th«t an 

onward movement is mandatory. It is obUgatoiy for nan to keep moving, 

to delude himself that he is lii5>roving. Above all is newness 


indispensable if the individual is to escape being stifled by tradlticm 

vhlch passes on the evil of past societies wiiile losing the good in 


The cardinal piirpose of contonrporary lasmkind, as Hawthorne sar 

it, was the furthering of a false scheme of progress* 

It is the iron rule in our d^ to require asn object and 
pur:^.ose in life. It laakos us all parts of a complicated sch®Rie of 
progress, vrhich can only result in our arrival at a colder and 
drearier region than we were bom in. It insists upon everybody's 
adding soraewhat— a mite, perhaps, but earaed by incessant effort— 
to an accumulated pile of usefulness, of Miich the only use will 
be, to burdeai ovr posterity with even heavier thoughts and more 
inordinate labor than our own. No life now wanders like an 
unfettered stream; there is a raill-^^eel for the tiniest rivulet 
to turn, v/o go all wrong, hy too strenuous a resolution to go all 
right .(SHi^i 

Ifen has lost his sense of values in an egotistical effort to posh 

aliead at all cost. A|^)arent progression is often an actual decad«ice 

in that it is Ejerely the heaping up of new and different rubbish* 

Indeed, it laatters but little in the l<aig look whefchsr a laan shall 

contend for or c^ainst progress j for all efforts at interfering with 

matters bc^rond mortal control are ineffectual* 

In one instance, iiawthome poses— in teiias of the pljQrsical 

conditions of an individual life— Ms recurring distinction between 

actual and apparent progress. 

Republicffii as I am, I should still love to think that noblemen 
lead noble lives, and tliat all t'ois statG]y and beautiful 
environment nay serve to elevate them a little way above the rest 
of us. If it fail to do so, the disgrace falls equally upon the 
whole race of mortals as on theinselvesj because it proves that no 
raore favorable conditions of existence would eradicate our vices 
and weaknesses. How sad, if tfiis be sol (515) 

A favorable natural environment does not always create a better man. 


The Tfholo issue of progress U clouded ^th deceptions; for rianlcind is 
prone to accept mterialistic botterlngs as true progress, .vhile failing 
at the sane time to consider the moral aspects of the problem. \?ere all 
mankind somehow cranted the luxurious comforts :*ich a nobleiaan aay 
enjoy, there is no reason to believe that the intractable quality of 
human nature would bo substantially modified. ?o the contrary, this 
external rectification right well introduce coapensatoiy evils raore 
dreadful than the ones it has replaced. 

"As regards its Tlnor tastes, the ^rorld changes, but does not 
Improve,- it appears to me, indeed, that there .have been epochs of far 
more exquisite fancy than the present one, in natters of personal 
omai^t, and such dcUcate trifles as we put upon a drawlng-roon 
table, a inantel-piece, or a what-not. "(516) Repeatedly, Hawthorne 
claims that procross consists of chance rather than inproveisent. Each 
bit cf material gain trhich raanklnd earners unto himself maj- well be 
balanced by a corresponding loss in spiritual values. "Nevertheless, 
the world and indi^duals flourish upon a constant succession of 
blunders." (517) Procress— when it comes at all— seldom followB the 
desirrned schemes of mere mortals; it is fortuitous, lim is scarcely 
capable of conceivinc an aim and carrying it through to success. 
Providence takes pleasure in disrupting just such a project. Yet, 
somehow the world moves onward. 

In his most openly conservative statement, ilawtlwme admits 
that the drea"i of progress provides him little personal satisfaction. 
"Eveiybody can appreciate the advantages of going ahead; it might be 


Tsell, oofflet lines, to think whether there la not a word or two to be 
said ill favor of standing stiU or coing to sleep," (^8) In a letter 
to longfellow, the conservative viewpoint is mde doubly clear. "I 
have had enough of progress, Uow I want to stand stock still, or 
rather to go back twenty years or soj and that is what I seem to Jiave 
done in coiaing to £3xgljmd»^*^^ Havfbhomo never truly jsaintained faith 
in pro-re ss. Be could not see tiiat hunsan nature had iapfoved, or that 
it showed any indication of fxrturs isga-ovementi he did, however, 
cherish an abstract hope that in^aroveEient loLght soraeday coiae. 
Actually, all men and all ages have been very aiuch alilce, suad were it 
not for nan's need for diversity, he raight on$oy liimself equally well 
by standing still. 

Late in life, Hawthorne voiced the expectation that humanity 
night be gradually' evolvins to^rard a basic sijuplicity, ?/hich sugsests 
in turn a movement toward the heart—for the two are invariably linked 
in Ha\Ttho2irie's thought. "Those words, 'genteel* and 'lac^like,' are 
terrible ones, and do us infinite nsischief, bijit it is because (at 
least, I hope so) we are in a transition state, and sliall esaerge into 
a higher aode of simplicity than has ever been kno?m to past ages. "(519) 
Perhaps inan is on the laove army from an artificial order of life and 
into a ssore spiritual one, but as yet tJiere are no mnifest indicationa 
tliat tills is the case. 

liawthome Iiad returned shortly before tds death to a faith in 

Q^Saaaiel Longfellow, Life of H. W. Longfellow. II, 275, 


Itt-ogrees vastly different froa tlie one he had held in IO36. 

iiatuer tJum suc.i nonotopy of slug^isii ages, loitGrins on a 
village-sreen, toilinc in hereditary fields, listening t^ the 
parson 3 vrone lengthened through centuries in the i^raj- I.oman 
church, let us welcome whatever change my cc«ne,-<;haSe of place, 
sociaa. cui3tc2ae, polxtxc^ institutions, modes of worship,- 
trusting that, if all present things sliall vanish, they iill but 
'f'tJ^'i'^ lor bottor systeias, aiid for a Iiigher t.^e of aan to 
clothe his life in them, and flin^ them off in turn. (520) 

It is not so much that God gave man a '.vorld to perfect, but merely 

that man raust keep moving about in that world. .«hen man progresses, 

he must act on the assumption that the now is better than the old, 

Althourrh such faith will not alwaj-s bo Justified, the necessity of 

movement and difference, the necessity of escape from the aoldly 

weight of the past, mandates an effort in its behalf, 

Hawthorne's conception of "reality" forbade an optimiotic 

belief in the perfectibility of mortal life. "He was too much of a 

realist to change fashion in creeds. Time, experience— he is always 

remembering—have created men as we find thaa, and very likely only 

time and e:-T>erience can make them over into something different.»5>0 

Indeed, the period of time in which a man lives is not necessarily 

superior to a given past moment in history. Still, the Hawthomian 

message is not one of retrogression. It does not propose that a man 

should content himself with reveling in the glory of antique days. 

It insists, instead, on the absolute necessity of forward movement. 

It warns that change is the most that can be expected in the wa;^- of 

progress, and that all chianges are not for the better. Nevertheless, 

^Parrington, liain Currents. II, 14142. 


ffiffii mist continue Ms rprandlose atteiapt, at irnprovcanent. IlnaHy, 
ilawthorae laments the shortslshted association of natsrisl progres.<5 
with actual prof^ress, for in this confusod identification 3aan deludes 
no one but hl-aself , By ne0l« the spirit^jial aspects of prccress, 
man is apt to arrive in a region more dolefia tlian tlut fron which he 


Hawthorn© was not easil;?- swept off his feetj h© wag ncyt one to 
rebound to the bugle call nor follow the banner of sealous refonaers. 
Active participation in reforsi aiov^ents novw tei^pted hia, for he mm 
essesntially a conte^jrplatlve laan* Soiae j«ople, soasible ones at that, 
slirink from any attai^od laedklling with life's well aet balance, for 
the;' fear that such ejqjerimentation frequently brings aboxit a greatei* 
destruction of good than supfai^ssion of evil* Hfflrfchorne waa auspicious 
of narrow men, of fanatics, ^th their long petitions and unique 
scheines for salving the world 'a sore spots. The naivete of those raen 
Wao proposed to erase the earth's bl©raishes with swift fiaid war© 
strokes, who planned to chance the life cospound, both ajiwsed and 
frightened hirn. 

Much of this disinterest, in refona jnay be credited to a general 
lack of concern for the political activ3.ties of the day. "Nor does it 
follow that his afcepticisra toivard reform resulted any raoro fi-oia apathy 
or a imnt of humanitarian iuroulses thon fron ignorance."^ The daily 


events of contor^porary life T7C3a:a iagjortant to Ilajrthorne mirOi' as th^ 
BjrTabolized ideas. Reform oovements, as they developed, saeiaed ovei-ly 
concomed with rectiiying the outer or phenomenal situation, jliile 
leavins tiie basic cause of the evil untouched— not tJiat aaii 7^:3 
capable of chan^inc tiiat cause. Individual atta-apts at cont^ding 
^Ith providential forces v. ere to be pitied i.i pz-oportion to their 
sincerity. Reforu, than, is a vain, conTused, and nlsguided stragcle 
c£ ran '3 intelloct to rcctif^r conditions which are whoUli' beyond man's 

"Cn the whole, I find inyself rather laore of an a!x>nt:loni5t In 
fcelin- tlian in principle. ''(l>'21) ;a.tliou-h Ilatfthome was not a traitor 
to trie Union cause, he could not keep rroa feeling that too much fuss 
was being nade over a defect isliich only ti: >e could erase—in ti-uth, he 
v^as not aroused by the slaveiy issue, Tho fervor -.rith which liis 
sister-in-law, FJ.izabeth Peabody, pushed the cause of th^ abolitionistt 
pro^/ed a constant irritant. In comentins on the abolitionist cause, 
'lavrthome had written to LonjifelloTf that "There are a hundred !.iodes of 
philanthropy in which I could blaze with intensor aeal."^ :<Tien 
Longfellow took up slavery as a t2ieiae, liis novelist friend was not 
iB5)re3sed with t2i€ poet's taste in subject natter. "I vaa never nore 
surprised than at your writing poena about Slavery. I liave not seen 
thien, biit have faith j.n their oxcollence; though I cannot conjecture 

91\rlin i\trnor, "Jlavrthomo and Refonn," New Hhrq and iuarterlv. 
XV (December 19h2), 702. * ^ 

^Sanuel Longfellow, life of H. W. Lonnfollow . H, 208. 


.:;at sp<2CieG of excGlleiice it will bo# lou have never poetised & 

practical subject liitherto."'^^ Slavery was looked upon as an evil 

v.: -.carcely to be reiaedied by laaii's Teebl© eXXorts-, in due 

'^'■"'-j V:.-xger useful, slavoiy woidd crusa^le beaeatii its oxm 

weight. -vil tlicn, it is not ^rell for roan to laaddle in 

prcvidesitial affairs. 

One t^eakaess in all i-efor?a njoveEients appeara in the narromiess 

of the rofoi'iaer biaself . 

Then, again, though the heart be large, yet tlie ndnd is often 
of such moderate dimensions as to be exclusively filled up with 
one idea, .ai&a s. good raan lias lon^ devoted hlaself to a particular 
kind of beneficence— to one species of refona— sia is apt to 
becosne narrowed into tlio liraits of the ijetii virnerein lie treads, and 
to fancy thsi^ is no other good to be done on earth but that 
solfsacie good to ifnich he has put his hand, arid in the ve3:y juode 
that best suits his cmi conc©ptions»(522) 

A fanatical and single-^pairpofled reforriier becomes so wroui:;ht up over 

the one that he fails to aee the saany. If a jnan m>u3.d aim at true 

reform, he ratst listen to Ms heart and atteaipt a liiaitlecs good, 

ratJier tlian content hiiHself vrith a special benefit. Reformers ere to 

be identified with the aan of purpose who, in sacrificing his ^ole to 

one aim, becoiaes a solitary and cold being. In effect, a reformer, in 

liftinc up his banner, too frequ^itly steps beyond tlie circle of 

huruonity and ttereby cuts iiiinself off from those w!ioa he would aid, 

"But, alasi if reforriers r/ould midorcrtand tite spiiere in which 

their lot is east thej/- must cease to look tiirou^^ pictured windows. 

^3 lMd. , I, 2.50. 


Tet the:r not only nso this medlwn, hvt rni-taJcc It frr the ?*ltest 
s;mshine.''(.^23) A refomer seldom. If c-/er Icokr vpon "reality"? J-c 
contents himself vdth rearranjinc the sisrface mnifestatlons of evil 
rlthoirt dlstwbinf: 5.ts Internal roots. He makes the same rdrtalre as 
those nen w'lo irovld r.osrarf pronress only in terms of tanclblos. In 
11-ht of the optiTrdstic, Torfectibilitarian, ner-thoughtist, and 
rcforrtlst environment Into rhlch Itewthcme novcd so warily, egpoclally 
c'-xtrir- his residence at Concord, he felt It necessary to reconsider 
rhat he beUeved, and. to state in iin-lstakable terms ho*r v;ronE the 
contemporaiy r^orld ^s in his mderstandinc.^^ Reformers, thou-h tlioy 
actue^lly effect but little, -.^ork upon a danceroua delusion in assurAng 
that a inDlleeble Torld mra5.ts th.eir hand. »No sagacious inan ttIII long 
retain his sagacity, if he live excl'.-sively amon- reformers and 
procresslve people, Trfthout periodicallly rstrmj.xs into the settled 
s7,^eTn of thirrs, tc correct hinself b./ a new observation from that 
old stand-point," (5?2ij) 

If one evil is removed, another rapidly fills the vacancy. 
Any man-made drea-n of altering that rrhich is by its vory nature 
unalterable hartois toward failure. 

• + "^^ l"" "" *"^^"c^i i" a^-1 historj^, of the hv^j^ ttlll and 
7? i !f ;f' ^"- perfected any great rnoral reform by nethods which 
it QdarTfccti to t.'iat end; but the pronrosfi of tho r-orld, at cve-r^r 
step, leaves some evil or Twon^ on tho nath behind it, which the 
wisest of TTjinkind, of their own set wirpose, couAd never have 
found the TTsy to rectify. (?25) 

p. U22, 

^«Mark Van Doren, ed., Tlie li^st ci iiatrthome (New York, 1951}, 


Life's eoapoimd retains its original f^a^osz in thv face of m;:3's 
i!M>st violc-nt designs at renovation. It is for this roascn tlmt 
L_ ■ -. ..TvS arc better iGft -ondone* Since ti^ne roform 

B-jfiesi's lii^hl^' ii„ii:3rol)a:-'le, c:sn's insufficient cxearticKs arc apt to 
a, ■•■-:■ 'R'^^ly worsen the situation r/nich he lias chosen to remedy. 

-: idea of total reTorra or eradication strongly appealed to 
.-:.., . . .ii -.'.'e quit a housoj, v?e are c^qjoct-Gcl to r£il':c it clears 

for t; . : -upantj— Mi;-' ouglit we not to leave a cleai vjoi-ld for 

tlic conin/^ rcnei'atiDn*"(>26) Ic^aj-2^'-, each genoration should be 
aU.ov^ed to move fomYard unencumbered* Actuallj', hovcevcr, this 1': not 
to ■> . ■-,■■-: .--...-iQ foarod the as® and crowbar of the reformer} he 
...:.„ ■ . - "L-intonded renovations were r.ot only ineffectual, but 

dangerous* "I>at the liaud that re-ncvdlec Ij always r^re seen" , .- 
t-i...:. u;;c..t ,.■ ;.c.i destto^Si^iSZl) 

.1\: :-..-;, ^... an over-all ref orsaaticn of Iruaan natui ^ v/'^iild bo 
welcomed, woi'o it possible, ap«3cific crusades dealing orOy -vdth the 
outsr 5j]-iado\vs ox evil are ridiculous xton the outset* "Tlie 
teir^Jcrance-riforiJiera unquestional-l;/ dci^dv© their cossidssion from tlie 
-Ivinc 'oueIic..i:cc, but Jiavo a-./. - -ake:\ fuUy into its 

counsels*" (523) llavrfchome coiild find no juati^cation for a gonial 
optist;'.:: " joiild ass.ino roan to be perfectible* He found no 
comfort in the sux-erficial md narrow projects of th© refonaersj in 
fact, he cringed from tiiem* Reform can be effective only wiien it 
blots out tlio old ■svil} wh«n it becomes eradication or paalficaticffl 
rather than a mere rearranging* Only deatli, firo, and flood can vfork 

8uoh a miracle. 

.^x^*T °^ ®° wretched a state of things, ve accept the 
ancient Deluge not merely aa an insulated phenonenon, but aa a 
periodical necessity, and actoowledge that nothing less than such 
a g^eral washing-day could suffice to cleanse the slovenly old 
world of its n»ral and material dirt. (52?) 

Hawthorne was scarcely warmed by the fiery spirit of reform consumed the literary- folk of New Jhgland. "Profoundly 

skeptical about all social reforms, convinced of the innate sinfulness 

of the human heart, he seems to regard almost any form of unusual 

ambition or achievement as a syn^jtom of pride and lack of love. "^5 

It is not so much that nan should remain passive, should dread action, 

but rather that he need awaken to the dangers involved when, in 

relying too heavily on his intellect, he oversteps mortal prerogatives. 

Visionazy delights, cloud wanderings, and a belief in man's 

perfectibility ran counter to the pattern which had grown rigid in 

Hawthorne '8 mind, "His amusement over the Brook Farm venture, his 

attitude toward slavery and the Civil War, and his 'laissez faire' 

theories in general, reveal him as a hardened realist.''5'6 i^ can be 

seriously doubted wliether the schemes of reformers bring about 

anything worthwhile. Not only are the results of reform questioned, 

but the effort itself is looked upon askance. Plawihome was 

suspicious of men vdth a devouring causej he was distrustful of 

<;««• -. f^"f ^ff^ord Parkos, »Poe, Hawthorne, lielvillei An Essay in 
Sociological Criticism," Partisan Review . XVI (February 19U9), 161. 

^^chneider. The I-uritan lUnd. p. 260. 


visionaries and zealots} above all, he was skeptical of man's ability 
to alter life. He saw that ain had nwre perman^ce than those who 
TTOiild fight aeainst it. He realized, too, that a superintending 
larovidence held firm control, and that to neddle with its rdnistrations 
was to invite disaster. Since Hawthorne did not believe in progress, 
it is unreasonable to request his trust in reform— (which is itself 
but the ineffectual instrumait of progress. 


Hawthorne's theory of brotherhood has caused such consternation. 
Bi(^raphers have pointed to it as evidence of optimism on the 
novelist's part, Thou^jh Hawthom© professed the principle of 
brotherhood, though h© ranked it anrong the most praiseworthy of human 
appetites, he did not find the principle at work in the rhenoaenal 
world. Hunianity is drawn together hy the spiritual bond of the hunan 
heart. An intelligent humanity should acknowledge this brotherhood 
and act according to its dictates. HaEwthome intensely desired the 
comsuimnation of this ideal. "And the truth ^diich JIawthome perceived 
perhaps more profoundly than any other was that of the brotherhood of 
njan. By inheritance and training he tended toward exclusiveness; but 
both his heart and his intellect shovred him the siiallowness of such a 
scheme of existence.''^? Unfortunately unselfish examples of the 
doctrine of brotherhood in operation w?re rare^j- if ever observable in 


5*7 Julian Hawthorne, "Hawthorne's Philosophy,"* Century. XXXII, 


vaartal life. 

The feeling for brotherhood is intuitive. In essence, it is 
little different ft-om inan's desire for society. Unlike that desire, 
the appetite for brotherhood has not yet been sxirrendered to an 
artificial actmUzation. In truth, the principle is rarely acted 
upon at all. nth the social appetite as a foundation, nan, working 

through his intellect, constructs an artificial order. To the urge 
for brotherhood, which is cloae^or allied with the social appetite, r^ 

pays little h«ed. Thus, while the principle of brotherhood haa within 

it the force for an inneasurable good, njar.'s nature denies that force 

an opportunity to prove its worth. 

«^e there any two Hving creatures who have so fev. sympathies 

that they cannot possibly be fWend8?"(530) Concurrent with the 

synpathetic bond connecting all humanity, there is inherent in the 

very pattern of life a darker aspect of brotherhood. 

t>,«f ^?h^ thouf^ts sadden, yet satisfy rcr heart, for they teach me 
^TJint £?°''k''''1^"' ^''^' ^^^' weather-beaten hovel, Sy caU 
!f hnf h . ? brother,-brethren by Sorrow, who must bel^ inmate 

botht oJher Lr:!(53lr''''''^^ '" '''''' '-''' '^^ ^^ ^'-^ 
In sin and sorrow, man encounters the nost formidable levelers. There 
are no exceptions, all men— no matter what their talent, rank, or 
wealth— nmst, to a like degree, confront an inflexible life pattern 
iihich directs the course of man, and is, in return, nowise shaped hy 
him. Religiously speaking, man is of a brotherhood in that he shall 
eventually dwell in a connnon spiritual realm no natter what his 
material worth and circumstance in the earthier one. 


Kasrthome nevei- hai'dened himself against the entreaties of his 
fellow laenj he was a comparatively *ea^ touch" for beggars, or for 
anj'-ono in distress. Contact v/ith humanity — the warn feoLing vrliich one 
gets frora aiding his fellavr creatures — is assuredly wortiBrhile. "There 
is so much want and wretchedness in the world, that we laay safely take 
the word of any inortal, \!hesi they say they need oui- assistance; and 
even should we be deceived, still the good to oxir selves, resulting 
from a kind act, is worth Hsore than the trifle by ■R^ich we purchase 
it. "{^32) 

But the true faculty of doing good consists not in wealth nor 

station, but in the energy and wisdon of a loving heart, tiiat can 
syiapathlze with all mankind, and acknowledges a brother or a 
sister in every unfortunate man or T/oman, and an own child in each 
neglected orj*ian.(533) 

Individual charity. Individual contact, is preferable to the thin, 

cold efforts of organiaed groups. In an optindstic nroraent, Hawthorne 

points out the ntssr to a good life, Tne acknowledgement of an abiding 

and binding brotherhood with cme's fellow meai— a d^slaration from the 

heart— stands as a starting point froTn which all manner of goodness 

may afterwards flow. 

It is possible, of course, for a man to so live that he not 

only fails to advance, but somehow actually hinders, the onward course 

of events. Yet in a greater sense, few men succeed in eluding, even 

iiK>raentarily, the extensive ties of humanity. In his very existence, 

man is forced to work within humanity's circle and contribute, in 

spite of himself, to a form of prosress. Each individual has an 

ordained function in tiiis life, ithether or not he chooses to assume 


the duties of that function, ntill he frequant^ contributes, 
not^thstanding his stubborn waywardness, to the progression of life. 
-Hcnr many >rho hare deemed ther^selves a.Tta.onists will andle hereafter, 
irhen they loolc back upon the world's vide harvest field, and perceive 
that, m >^consclon3 brotherhood, they were helping to bind the 
.elfsa^e sheafl«(53U All ™.n are reduced to an equal status by the 
cor^^ound Into .n^ich they are bom. Distinctions for:ned upon material 
criteria are neaningless beside this soleim truto. 

Dispositions more boldljr speculative raay derive a stem 
SrlT'^L?'^''; dir^ovcr,-, since there rLtlTe.ll^^'^t^ 
loir one. A -vTirier scope cf view, and a ^eer^r- iuX-h^ Zl 

universe were thereby tmnbled hcad-l'one Inloo^o^Asf 

-^t an Intlmte brotherhood is thia in which we dwell, do 
^t we may to put an artificial re:TK>ten«s between the high creature 
and the low onel»(536) Ifu:nan nature is invariable; life itself Is 
equally constant. Only mterlal absurdities separate inan from nan. 
"How superficial are the niceties of such as pretand to keep aloof! 
I^ the Td,ole r,orld be cleansed, or not a inan or woman of us all can 
be clean.«(537) Go where ho will, nan is fastened i^ a Icinship of 
i«perfectibility to Ms fellow beincs. Aristocracy, or any other 
apparent criterion of inequality, is but a fabrication of the 
intellect. Different and better physical conditions do not bring forth 
different and better nen. 

If man would but reject the materialistic set of values to 
which he now adheres, and take up spiritual ones, then m^ht he coine 


Into a lasting brotherliood. The £rat©rzial bond odots, but It is 

cccQtinually denied, for isaa is not yet alive to its pcssitdlitieB. He 

persists in vwrking fclirougli lus debased and juasnificently inperfect 

intellect, "'-ere ite once to rely fully on the heart, ihen and only 

then could he expect a blossojaing of lo'otherhood* Need tor reform 

would be past. Tnmx and only t^ian, would progreas, in a dQspei' sense, 

have tak«a place. 

Thare nay cQ:ae a tiine, even in this frorld, when we shall all 
understand that our tendency to the individual appropriation of 
gold and broad acres, fine houses, and such good and beautiful 
things as arc equallir enjoyable by a nultitude, is but a trait of 
iinperfectly developed intelligence, like the siagsleton's cupidity 
of a penny. Itnen Vnat day daivns,— and px-obably not till then, — 
I imagine that there ^vill be no more poor streets? nor need of 
almshouses. (538) 

Brotherhood, both as a principle and as an ideal, leavea littlo 

to be desired. Once put into effect, it might well prove itself a 

panacea ftx* manldnd's ills. The trouble is ttiat huiaanity seems 

incapable of changing its ways* Instead of evidences of brotherhood, 

one sees everywhere its veiy antitliesis* Ikvvthorne, wli®a tliinJang on 

ma abstract level, tends toward optiraisra. Ti-je principle of 

brotherhood, no matter how warjaly the novelist advocates it, reiaains 

an abstract principle* V*hm he stops to look alxjut hin, v^en he stops 

to study tlie scene from which all soimd obaervationa arise, 

brotherhood, however laich raan Rd^t need it, is no longer evident. 

The Lack of Brotherhood 
Since ?nan is brutish in his desires, since sjnapatliy is not 
present in his original nature, brotherhood, though noble in principle. 


finds no actualization in life, 

IJoat men— end certainly I coiad not arrays claim to be one of 
t,ie exceptiona—have a natural indifference, if not an absolutely 
hostile feeling toward those isfhcm disease, or weakness, or 
calamity of ar^ kind causes to falter and faint anid the rude 
jostle of our nelfish existence. The education of Christianity, 
it is true, tlie ayrapathj^ of a like experience and the exargxLe of 
women, T:ia;/ soften, and, possibly, subvert tliis ugly characteristic 
of our sexj but it is ori,-inally there, and har: likewise its 
analocy in tiie practice of our brute brethren, who hunt the sick 
or disabled nienAier of the herd ftom among them, as an enein^. It 
is for this reason that the stricken deer goes apart, and the sick 
lion Grimly withdraws hiraself into his den. Except in love, or 
the attachments of kindred, or other very lonr- and habitual 
affection, we really have no tenderness. ($39)' 

In truth, life's unfortunates are sonetimes rewarded with abuse vh&x 
aid is requested. Thou^^ the divine ndniatrations of woman may 
partially soften man's outer nature, his primal lusts remain latent 
and unrjodified. 

"I wonder how many people live and die in the workhouse, having 
no other home, because other people have a great deal more than homo 
enoughl^CSliO) Brotherhood depends on mutual aid, but man is 
inherently selfish and grasping. Thus, brotherhood gives viay before 
man's unending sinfulness. Although brotherhood exists as a "reality" 
to Hawthorne in the sense that all of Ufe's elements converge so as 
to level humanity into a oneness—still it does not exist as an 
observable fact, for the selfish and in^wrfoct nature of man refuses 
noble principles an opportunity to operate. 

Not onlj' is man indifferent to the suffering of his fellow 
human beings, but he fl-equently delights in adding to the woes of those 
in distress. He takes a sadistic pride in his strange talent for being 
inhuman, "It was certainly one of those crises that show a man how few 

real fri«ids he 1ms, arKi the tendency of nenkind to st^d aside, at 
leasts Old let a poor devil flgbt his own troubles, if not assist them 
in their attack."(51|l) Man's nature is unquestionably debased* Until 
it is radically amended, there can ba no brotherhood. Sine© hiiraan 
nature has always hem the massg since it efvidmces no trend toward 
iraproveaaent, brotherhood, thou|^ it exists as a noble appetite of 
ima&nsG potential, has faint substance as a discernible fact, 
Hawthorne proposed the primjiple of larotherhood in all sincerity^ he 
searched longingly for overt evidence that Ms desire had an earthly 
actuality. He was forced to conclude, however, that brotherhood 
belonged, as of his mooaent, to an abstract realm* 



It is ironical, perhaps, that a study of JJairthome's ideas 
should begia with "sin" and end with "war." Yet, this seeias to be the 
pattern. In lieu of the novelist's over-all concept of mortal life, 
TPiar rather than peace provides a aore fitting cliiaax f<a" his pliilosophy. 
Indeed, Hawthorne had little or nothing to reanark on the subject of 
peace. Had he written upon it, doubtless he irould have suggested that 
peace msty come throu^ a universal brotherlwod, -Bhich comes, in ttirn, 
from listeninf; to one's heart. Actually, peace remains a remotely 
distant possibility. 

When the fractions of Hawthorne's thought are totalled, it is 
not surprising that war should, in keeping with feat intecration, 
appear inevitable, "It is the beauty of war, fc<r men to comnit mutual 


havoc undisturbed good-humor," (52*2) Man, since he will not 

accept his bonded brotherhood, since he remaljia greedy and vain. Uvea 

in a state of continuous strug-le with his fellow beings. History is 

little -nore than a clironicling of ceaseless warfare. 

It is a sad thought, that men of the sword, whether as 
individuals or in arndes, should hitherto have filled so large 
space in the annals of evQiy nation, mil the tijne never come, 
when all, that pertains to war, shall be nerely a matter of 
antiquarian curiosity? (5^3) 

There can be no ojd to war as long as huiaan nature and the 

life pattern in which it is caught up continue unchanged, 

ffill the tine ever coirie again, in Aaerica, vhen we aay live 
half a score of years without once seeing the likeness of a 
soldier, except he be in the festal narch of a conipany on its 
suOTier tour? Not in this generaUon, I fear, nor in the next, 
nor till the I&llenniuiaj and even that blessed epoch, as the 
prophecies seera to intiinate, will advance to the sound of the 
trumpet. (5lili) 

"There is no renoteness of life and thought, no hermetically sealed 

seclusion, except, possibly, that of the grave, into which the 

disturbing influences of this war do not penetrate," (51*5) On3y death 

provides a final escape. Only partial exits from life's harshness— of 

which actual warfare is but an overt synbol— «re open to ran. 

Prtmitive man was by nature vicious and bloodthirsty. Modem 

man, though he has refined his r»thods, retains the same primordial 

urges. "Set men face to face, with weapons in their hands, and th^ 

are as ready to slaughter one another now, after playing at peace and 

good-will for so many years, as in the rudest ages, that never heard 

of peace-societies, and thoUf;^t no wine so delicious as what they 

quaffed from an enei^^'s slcull.«(51*6) Hawthorne would agree with 

Thoffitts Hobbes' statement t "it cannot be denied tout tlmt the natural 

state of men, bsfore the;-/ entered into society, iraa a mere war, and 

that not siTTiply, but a war of all xaem against all iaen»"^^ Hobbes, 

thoush a pessiisist in regard to huaan nature, vras quite cocgjlacent 

concerning tho nxoral qualities of a political state; he felt that a 

state founded upon reason -B-oxild control raan's natiare. Hawthorne did 

not believe that man ^as capable of ruling himself by reason, nor did 

he have faitli t?iat political and tsocial institutions truly inodify man's 

orijjinal nature. Though laan's nature laay be restrained tgr the soeial 

order or softaned by the doraestic one, it retains intact its native 

potearbial for evil. 

War aaxi its attendant glory are repugnant. 

ftat, in tjnith, the ishole system of a people crowing over its 
j^litary triui^s had far bettei- be dispensed with, both on account 
of the ill-blood that it helps to keep fennenting aoong naticais, 
and because it operates as an accunulative inducement to future 
geaierations to aiia at a kind of glory. Urn gain of vlAch. has 
generally proved nore ruinous than its loss. I heartily wish that 
every trophy of victory laight cruiablo av;ay and that every 
remniscence or tradition of a hero, from the becinning of the 
T?/crld to this day, could pass out of all raen's memories at once 
and f orever • (5U7) 

Heroes, when Hawthorne failed to appreciate in the nanner of rsaierson 

and Carlyle, raay be vieiTed as symbols of man's decadence. Since tmr 

has neither victojrj^ nor ^d, man would be Kiser if lie would play down 

the meiaorials to his viciousness rather than glorying in them. 

IIa(wthome'e conclusi(»is on the possibilities for true progress, 

reform, brotherhood, and peace resemble ideas •R-hitdi H6bbes, Voltaire, 

^^Thofflas Hobbes, The English vVorks of Thorns Hobbes. ed,, Sir 
William Molesworth (London, 18ia;, II , 11. 


or S^fb irl-ht Imve expounded. Hawthorne differs from other gloony 
proGnogticatora on nan 3ji that he would go beyond the limits of mortal 
life and propose a spiritual ex}.stonce as conpensation. He differs, 
too, in adTdtting a pro-.-idontial T^rlch in itn own due 
time salves the w>unds of adversity. 

In contrar;t to an apparent similarity ^th the thought of a 
select croup of rrriters Trho savr life in somewhat the same tones, 
Hobbea, Voltaire, and Ssift, the total Hawthomian pattern has a 
decided uniqueness. First of all, the nature of huiaanity is heavily 
clouded by a long standing propensity for evil. Second, nfo itself 
is rendered nK>re odious by the harsh and rigid constitution of the 
pliysical coapound in which man etemaUy dwells. Third, laan has 
iflthin him, normally in a weakened state, the instruments for his own 
improvement, but his nature forbids his relying on them. Fourth, 
there is c pervading morality wJiich gives to all life a spiritual 
sicniflcanoe. Fifth, tlie spiritual life is taken en faith, it is 
elaborated but little, for it is assumed that the mortal life is of 
more imr.ediate concern. There is no advice regarding the marker in 
which physical life should be led in order to obtain spiritual rewards. 
The enphasis is not on a good life, but rather on tlie nature of life 
itself. Sixth, in considerinc earthly life, Hajrthcme constantly 
returns to sins, evils, blendshes, iniperfections. Han is seen to be 
both vain and vicious in his original nature. Seventh, and last, 
Hawthorne proposes the obligation of living life, of living with 
blemishes— of accepting them-rataer than blinking one's eyes at them. 


He affirms the necessity ox living Tfd.tliin society and of contributing, 
in one's o»n way, to the pat'ogress of tliat society. Vftiile he severely 
eriticiaes the falseness of certain ;:Bn-aade institutions, ho does not 
deny tlie necessity for their existence. He accepts life for -what it 
is, and wges tliat man, vdthin lAs am liExltations, make the best of it« 



In attempting to ai-nthasiao the tho'osht pattern ol a given 
individual it is nccessaiy to introduce the eaotional phase of his 
beinsj for, in truth, tiie distinction between so-callod jaental and 
oi^tional reactions is often an artificial one. '^he eaiotions of so« 
individiials reaain in subservience to a fixed rjental orientation to 
life; tliis stability seeas to have been true of liathaniel Hawtiiorne. 
Bttt a aan is never pure ndnd. i;vsn in the instance of those rare 
beings ^10 attempt a oental regulation of their oaotional life, 
certain tei^ramantal oddities force their way into the pattern. 
ilsjTthorae, like laost oortals, was possessed of prejudices and 
characteristic neatocsscs, as well as niore praisewortl^r attributes. 
In short, his thought is liniitad by and intimately related to his 
uniqueness as an individual, A aere cold recording of the life 
details of a biographical subject fails to re-create a personality, 
neither ;vill an exclusive stu<fy of a man's ideas evoke a warm-blooded 
inage. It is wll, therefore, to seek out a brief profile of 
Hawthorne as an emotional being in order that the workings of his mind 
may be better comprehended. 

The Emotional ixiuation 
Had }Ia»rthome followed the pattera established by his ancestors 


he vfould probablsr liave becoiae a sliip's obtain, Keithsr Ms heredity 

nor ;d.s envii-cauaeat suXXiclently account for liis dssira to -urita. ilad 

the novalist absorbed and repiiriwued otiasr ami'Q idaas, his philosopiiy 

jaif^t well be understood ia teras or its som'ces, laatead, the ^ature 

constitution of '.iawthomo's total b«ing dtixies an aagy analysis, liis 

early reading habitis, iioia© eavirosMffint, aiKi heredity undoubted]^ 

explain the raaii ia part, but t'osy do not adeqiiatsly explain luai. A 

person with a keen and iasaginative aiiid misy iorisailato an original 

orientation to life, liiis is not to suggest that the prbbl^as 

Hawtiiorne i*eflected on were neif probl-jas, or iiiat tlae answers he 

offered -ifere new misvers, but i^rely that they were the aore or less 

waique answers of a diatinct personality, 

Haarthome was essaitially a raan of alight emotional pressure. 

Since he acknowledged the natxire of the life coqpoiand, iie realised the 

futility of ffliittcing e&ger dasaands upon it. iHa interest lay in thoughts- 

not in thinking upeaa the af^aaront surfaces of life, but in milling 

about anong the deep and abiding currorAa of esdstence. Too oft^i 

tiiese tliotights caae to hia -aith a disturbing force all their own. 

Lights and eliadoars are otmtinually flitting across my inward 
sl£y, and I Imcw neither whenco tiiey eoiae aor v/hither tliey goj nor 
do I itiquire too closely into thesi. It is dangerous to look too 
HiLnutely at such j^onoKKaia, It is apt to create a substaaice, 
where at first th«re was a aere shadow, (51|8) 

Ht^peatedly, Havitharrje refOTs, alaost wLtli paride, to Ids native 

aversion for labor, "Oh, belovedest, labor is the curse of the world, 

and nobody can rneddle >dth it, without becoming poroportionably 

brutified,"(51iS>) It is questionable whether tiie desire for coagxLete 


indolence was genuine or feigned. It in true tfiat the time spent in 
uninaginative and aestheticariy unsatisftrlng work— the kind Hairthorne 
waa continually forced into for his livelihood— takes something out of 
a nan. Especially is this true when ths individual concerned is 
prodded fey an artistic appetite for creating, 

i?hai plagued with difficulties, liawthome was capable of 
evidencing a tenper shockingly in contrast to his tradiUonal restraint. 
"Always when I flounder into the midst of a tract of bushes, which 
cross and intertwine themselves about n^ legs, and brush rcr face, and 
seize hold of ngr clothes with a nultitudinous r>ripe— always, in such a 
difficulty, I feel as if it were aL-nost as well to lie down and die in 
rage and despair, as to £o one step further. "(550) Notwithstanding 
an occasional flare-up, the ess^tial disposition was a reserved one, 
though far from timorous. From college days onward, there was great 
difficulty in getting the writer to speak in public. "As ndght be 
expected, his theces and foraisics v,-ere beautifully written, although 
the argunaits in then are not always logical; but it is significant 
that he nsver could bs prevailed upon to make a declamation. "^9 Quite 
late in life, during his stay at Liverpool, Hawthorne finally 
accustomed himself to public speaking. After returning to Araerica, he 
lapsed again into a native reticence. He preferred to listen at "The 
3at\u*day Club," though he might have been a center of attention had 
his disposition so inclined hijn. 

^^Frank P. Steams, liathaniel Ha^Ttliome (Ifoston, 1906), p. 69. 


^&n Hawthoiti© did spealc it T?as -srith a finmeas not to be 
li;^t3y discounted. "Alcott, riho iras Ms nearest neighbor at the 
Wajsrside, once reranrl-ced that there was onlir one tuU in the Hawthorn© 
family, and that mas Natlianiel's. lEs will was law and no one thought 
of disputing it.*^^^ During the engagement period, Hasithome felt 
obligated to notify SofMa of the intractable nature of her beloved. 
"But I forewarn the©, sweetest Dove, that tb^ huslsaaid is a most 
iBBnalleable manj— thou art not to siqppose, because his spirit answers 
to every touch of thine, that therefore every breeae, or even every 
whirlwind, can upturn hixa trom his depths. "^^ Hawthorne rtaed his 
hose -ivith a tender finmeasj he regulated his ami life with a surer 
handi but he did not seelc to interfere in the life of his friends. 
He tended Fds crnn gardrai, g^iarded his fences, and never traiagpled his 
neighbor's land. 

Throughout bis lifetime, liasfthome chrcmicaUy coaplained of 

the hard isork which i»riting necessitated. The s3!iooth2c/ flo^dnc 

sentences to be found in publi^ed prose were not easily conte by. "I 

Iiate all labor, but less tliat of the hands tiian of the head." (551) 

Yet Hawthorne never shirksd aental efforts, and in tl» end he must 

have found them rewajrding. As long as he was physically and mfflitally 

able, he could not stop writing— no inatter hour grating the task. 

Could I have the freedom to be jjerfectly idle now — no duty to 
fulfil— no jnental or physical labor to perform— I could be happy 

^O Olbid. , p. 210. 
^Q ^Love Letters . I, 158, 

as a squash, and imich '.n the sa'ne inode. 13ut the necenrity of 
keeping ny 'wrain at work eats into my comfort as the squash-bugs 
do into the heart of the vines. (552) 4"«» i-wiga 

^en, after tho novelist's return fror. Europe, ttie ability to cotnpose 
fiction left him, he was the first to realize his loss. There rras 
mch vet to be saidj the sanie faniliar ideas wore haunting his ndnd— 
perhaps Tdth a nore disturbing vigor than ever before. .VMle the 
practiced talent for sracefu.1 witinc remained very much intact, 
Hav,-fchome had lo^^^t the knack of inbedding his thoughts in organized 
and sicnlficant narrative. Although he never lost liis interest in 
people, his ability to create a living set of fictional characters 
was greatly shak^i. 

In his fiction, liawthome wrote about people. Ln life, he 
liked thera in spite of the wayrordness of hujHan nature— ?Thich, after 
all, can not be remedied. "tM.es8 people are nore than commonly 
disagreeable, it is r^ foolish habit to contract a kindness f.»- 
them." (^$3) V.'ithln his fandly, the attachioent yrhich the young 
Havthome held for his aother and sisters was undoubtedly tender. As 
a youth, he had TOltten wr^nOy of his -^her. "Oh how I wish I was 
again with you, with nothing to do but go gunning. But the happiest 
days of r^r life are gone, .i^y was I not a girl that I ndght have 
be«i pinned all ir^r life to s^r Itofcher's ap^^>n.»102 j^ ^Later years, 
the accidental death of louisa, the novelist's younger sister, was 
acknowledged as true tragedy. 

l^f^'^^^S ilawfchome, "Nathaniel Hawthorne Prepares for 
College," New England ^juarterly . XI, 70. 


Hawthorne hsd perhaps a half' dozen inti.Tjate friends j the 
political threesoEje of Bri(%©, Cilley and H^ce fron college days 5 
Br' '-• ■-■rlnn the peidod in aiglandj TicI:rior and Fields, his 
publishers, late in lifo. Araong wlters, Ilassthorne fonaed close but 
not overly intimate jPriendships with 'moreait, Imgfelloir, and Ifelville, 
It is significant that the cojJipanioriship of practical nen like 
JVaaklin fierce and Horatio Bridge was preferred to that of the 
iiaerson and Alcott variety. ^'Pierce, Cilley, and iJrldg© w@r© all bora 
politicians, md. it was this class of aen tdth vjhcm it tmiad seen that 
Ilawtliorae naturally assiiailated.''^^ Keither a lifelong associaticai 
tslt!! pontlcallj td.nded coErades, rjor the salaried poaitions which 
Flavrthome obtained through his i)oliticiil li-iendships, were sufficient 
to pronrote a gcsirdne interest in politics, Julian Hasthom© records 
a letter Sron his aimt ishich tsstifies to his father's characteristic 
apathy f'ni" political concerns, «In the evaiing ws dlsicussed political 
affairs, upon which we differed in opinion^ h© being a Democrat, and I 
of the opposite party* In reality, his interest in such tilings vms 90 
sLt-ht that I think notiiing would have kept it alive but ny oontentioua 
spirit. ♦•^'^ 

Rarely if evor did Hawthorne fail to laake a strildng and 
favorabl© impression on those t«*io cams to know id©. Flersnan Jcelville 
had written to the effect tliat "I shall leave the world, I feel, with 
Kiore satisfaction for having conje to knoir you. Knowing you persuades 

^*^3steams, Ptothome . p. 6h, 

10^ Julian iiasrthome, Hatrthorn© and Hia Wife . I, 125. 


than the Bible of ojt inHrortality."^^^ In the course of his 
lifetime, ?l2T?thorne received nore ?d.ndnos3 iVon hi? friends thaii he 
coiad evc:r repay. Bridge, wM.le reoainin- ancnyaous, had backed the 
publication of Hairthome's nrst voluiae of short stories. Tearn later, 
JVanklin Pierce had granted him the most choice of political windfalls— 
the Uverpool cons'olship. Both K.cknor and ?ierce de\'oted thcaaselvee 
to the novelist in the year of his death. Tlcknor, in fact, died 
quite unexpectedly while atteraptins to nurse Tlairbhome bad: to health. 
The enthusiasm tdth irfiich these ftdondships were held is not easily 
overstated. The respect wloich both friends and acquaintances 
accorded Hasrthome stands as a mcnumont to liis character. 

"I wonder if ever, and how soon, I shall get a Just cstimte 
of how rasny Jackasses there are in this ridiculous srorld.^iSSh) 
People disapixiinted Hawthorne iiajaensel;.^. In spite of his fondness for 
individuals, the stupidity of the creat oass of hurasnity was vexing. 
Indeed, the aristocratic side of Harrthorae's nature was prone to 
regard mankind as soniethin- of a buinpldn. /ji open bitterness sonetines 
cot the best of a native kindness, Peaiiaps the strangent ore remark 
he ever nade in this connection appears in a letter to Horace Conolly, 
"Certainly I nust say it for myself, there is tho least gall and 
animosity in ny nature and the greatest and sweetest quantity cf the 
milk of hunan kindness that ever existed in any son of Adasi. I ar. a 
true Christian and the onl;r one I ever net wlth."^^ 

p. 159. 

lO^Rose Hawthorne Lathrop, I'eaorles of ^IaT.-thome (Boston, 1897), 


fbe renown nhtah the rc«aano©r rec^ved nevtir qait© ccnvinced 
hiffl th&t his life was a success. It la^ be that the inability to 
solve probleias ratlier than marely ppesont them— the apparent 
iij^jossibility of finding a a©t of tenable prescriptions— contributed 
to that feeling. "How strange that it should coiae nc«r, when I raay 
call sgrself faasous, and prosperousl— when I am hai^jgr, tool— -still that 
nsjm dreea of life hopelesslj « failarel**($55) Bcmvmr mich he wrote, 
however laich he analysed, tlj® papoblease w^© atill there. %iting 
helped to clari^ them, but it could not remove thm» Ihile the 
transcend^talista were finding brighter and brighter msnera, 
Hasrthome continued to depict the several aspects of tlae saiM dark, 
ancient problesa. 

"If each cXoan would but Iceep within itself, and show it» 
respect for itself Isy aiEiiji^ at iiothiag he^srm^f Hheiy would all be siore 
i*espectablo. But this kind of fitness ia ©videaatly not to be escpected 
in the future? and s<a5»}thing else aust be substituted for it.*($5>6) 
Although Hawthorne belienred in deiaocracjr and brotherhood as principles, 
hiB emotional teiaperacaent was not always in harmony with his ideal. 
It is possible that Haw1^ome*» aristocratic and frcquentJy bigoted 
observations have a theoretical basis. If it ia assumed that each 
individual hag a designated function in an ordered world, then the 
overstepping of the llraitations of that function— as was the habit of 

^^JKSanning Hawthorne, "liawthome and the Man of God," Colophon . 
Ho. 2, II (Inter 1937), 231. Conolly was a sliriit acquaintance of 
whom flawthome was not overly fond. 


■public women"— «dght well bo interpreted as an insult to Providence. 

Moreover, it would constitute an unwarranted intrusion into the apherm 

of one's fellow mortals. Theoretical reasonins nay partially account 

for these aristocratic leanings. Still, an aestlietic squeanc rmess— 

the sane wiiich railed against fat Tromen—appears central to Hajrthome's 

very nature. "It is not good to see musicians, for they are usually 

coarse and vulgar people, and so the auditor loses faith in a^y fine 

and spiritual tones that they might breathe forth. "(557) 

Beneath the stem and decidedly fonrddable countenance which 

liawthome doubtless presented, the centle quality was e?ver present. 

"Whoever has a kindness for rae may be assured that I have twice as 

BMch for hira.»($58) .hen strangers appealed to his generosity, 

F^sfthome fi^uently aided them. He was always Tdllinc to help his 

friends. At the sane time he was cold toward organized philanthropy. 

For the nost part, the novelist strove to practice the principle of 

brotherhood in daily life. It is true enough, however, that the 

slave's plight failed to iraprese himj Hawthorne did not go along with 

the abolitionist in claiming the negro for a brother. Still, ho was 

often moved to action by individual instances of distress. 

>.hen the Rev. Mr. Cheever was knocked down and flogged in the 
streets of Salem and then inprisonod, listrbhorne came out of his 
retreat and visited hia regularly in jail, showing strong 
syn^iathy for the nan and great indignation for those who had 
maltreated him. 107 

I^&jney is always an insaediate cancern for a family man. "If I 

107 James T. Fields, Yesterday with Authors , p. 69. 


ireore but & imndred tii^s richer tham I am, htyv very coof ortable I could 
b©#"(559) For Ms otoi part, Hawthtaiie was not selfishly attached to 
those pleasures which woney can buy. In one of SojMa's eulogistic 
■^tdbutes to h^* hu^^and she po^ts to his rather simple taste* 
". • • 1» is as severe as a stoic about all personal comforts, and 
never in his life allosed hirasolf a luxury. "^^° Fortunately, Sophia 
ms not the type of wife triio pushes her husband onward to roonetary 
goals. Nor was Haafthome the type of husband vho was easily pushed. 
"We are very happy, and have nothing to wish for except a better 
flUed purse— «ad not iaprobsbly gold would taring trouble with it|, at 
least cy wife says so, and th^«f<»^ exhorts bib to be content with 

Writers can becoae quite disgusted with those readers who 
attack their literary |a-oductions out of bias and stupidity. Ihe 
unfavorable criticisms which Hasthome's writings o« Bhglawi prov<^ced— 
and the novelist fait that he had rejaresenfced the £hglish fair3y— 'irked 
hia considerably. Hawthorne inforraed his publisher. Fields, of the 
diaappointi^^nt he soiaetimes felt «fcon con£pcmted with such criticisms. 
'n?hat a terrible thing it is to try to let off a little bit of truth 
into this laiserable hiaifcug of a world." ( 560 ) Kan's social order, as 
well as the set of values upon irtiich it rests, is so artificial in its 
niake-up, and so indecently vain in its righteousness that it tends to 

^Julian riawthoame, >Iaythome and His iVife » I, 372. 
lO^Horatio Bridge, Pex-sonal Recollections , p. 90. 


castigate truth. Haarthorae urate »hat he felt to be the truth about 
llfei it waa not his custom to placate his reading public. 

"/^hat right have I to complain of any other nan's foolish 
impulses, when I cannot possibly control r^r own?" (561) Although 
Ha«rfchome iras temperate in his drinking and sacking habits, he was 
capable of unloosing a substantial oath upon the proper occasion. 
Horace ConoUy waa disnayed by Hairthome's proficiency at wearing. 
Conolly and Hawthorne had Just left Longfellow's corr^^any, when it 
became evident that the novelist was disturbed by the events of the 
laeetinc. "Hawthorne, if great in nothing else, was transcendently 
great in profanity and swearing, and on this occasion he gave full 
scope to his powers in this direction. »^0 The point is that 
Hawthorne was not free from the typical characteristics of a robust 
male. He had been in sUght trouble at college over gangling j he had 
a temper which occasionally got the best of hinj he was quite fond of 
a cigar and a good drinkj he had a discerning eye for cocwly raaidensj 
and he was more than adequate aa a profaner. In spite of the 
intellectual and artistic turn of his mind, Hawthome was veiy much 
alive as a nale animal. Although he took life quite seriously, he waa 
scarcely a pnide. 

The fact that Hawthorne preferred «ie back seat to the rostrum 
is misleading. Only a steady and vigorous strength could carry a man 
through a twelve-year apprenticeship at his trade—especially when 

r 9 TT ^^^^ 'Hawthorne, "Hawthorne and the I'an of God," Colophon . 


neither moae^ nor recognition vrore forthccMlng frost the outside irair34» 
Then, too, Haxrthome was no enbtmsiastj he lacked that se^ T^lch 
sometijaea sustains a man in the face of such odtte* It can only be 
assuraed that he was avidly c<fficernGd ^th wtdting of life as he 
understood it— not that he had a message to bring, but that hs needed 
to find an eicppeasion for those shadows which peopled his silnd. 

That detersdned strength iihiJBih. kejit Ha^rthorne at his pen stands 
in contrast to another side of his nature, in innate sl^ess vaa 
always pres^it* Hawthorne did not desire to intrtKte his thou^ts on 
others, nor did he invite advise from the outside world. "I have 
aljfays hated to give advice, especially i^en there is a prospect of 
its being tak^.**(562) If the notion of an op^ brotherhood irith aan 
gripped his ideal longings, it was actualized only in a handful of 
friiaidshijs. It is doubtful thai he talked ov«r his initaast thouj^ts 
even td.thin this intisaate group, 

j^iotionally, Hawthorne was quite like other men» He was not 
especially Broody and jasrosej he was certainly not a hermit in any true 
sense. If he was not talkative, persuasive, arKi dynamic, his infinite 
strength of chajractMr arsply con|>ensated for his reticence* Bven thouj^ 
Hawthorne has been erroneously described as an ernotional oddity by 
several of his biograjAiex^s, he assuredly did not lack individuality* 
That individuality, that unique esTiotional equation which laakes of each 
man an entity, relates definitely to tlawthome's philosophy. Sone men 
are laore free from their einotions than others— ^ilawthome cjvidences 
remarkable control in this respect— yet no aan is totally free. It is 


in a fusion of the Dontal and enotional constitution of a nan that the 
total being eoerges. 

As writers fade into the past, their personalities are lost 
into time. Art replaces the nan. Flato is no longer an individual,- 
ho is but a s-/sten of ideas, l^enever possible, it is desirable to 
knoir the eajotional uniqueness of an artist as well as Me mental 
pattom. In Hawthorne's case, the elemwits of his «aoui;ht were given 
in detail, not alw^s consciousHy, by the artiat himself, ^s mental 
approach to ILfo— thou[^ it deals frequently with v.iiat are normally' 
tnouciit of as intangibles— is notably clear, mere&s Itorthome did not 
embrace all the aspects of living, he defined enough of them to 
elucidate quite specifically ]^J.8 mental equation—his orientation to 
life. Still, in drawing conclusions concerning that orientation, it 
is Tfell to keep in cdnd the emotional being— though he is less well 
lOTOTm than the mental one—for it is in synthesiaing the tiro eleiaenta 
that the Haaarthomian philosoj^jy approaches conipleteness. 

The 5:/nthegis 
An imaginative writer necessarily expresses his private 
interpretation of the society in iiliich lie finds hiiaself j but some 
writers, Hawthorne aiaonc the number, are n»ro concemed with depicting 
those phases of Ufe which are present in varying degrees to all 
specific societies but liraited to none. They probe, eometiraea 
successfully, the very texture of life. Alttiough these writers are 
somewhat restricted by tixo tenor of their own society, tliey advance 
b^ond that restriction by portraying the seeningly eternal aspects of 



Subjects iTi-fch & limited application failed to dia3-leng© 
?Ia?thonie; onl;y those imiveraal situations n&ilch offered ©i^orttmity 
for a broid tmr&l oxpanaion troly interested liiia. Indeed, a reader of 
Hawthorn© often suspects that tha encoimtered f^-cticaxal characters are 
personifications of Ideas rather tiian mere people, sissrtliome began and 
ended with ideas* Ms notebooks are dotted vdth idea gero®, many of 
•sfhich ware later devs^oped in fictioxu It is in their art form, 
fiction, tliat these ideas reach their grandest actuality. Tms, irhile 
a studrr of Hawthorne's thought pattern is a world in and of itself, an 
application of that study to his mritinga provides a backgromid— one 
i3i many "wso^s superior to a biocprapliical listing of the surface events 
of a man '3 life— against which the fiction stay bo better understood. 

The Hstrfehornian thought pattern se€salng3y has no b^imiing, 
no laiddle period, and no orxd^ It evolves by feedii^ itself on nor 
obsei-vations, but tlist evolution consists of elaboraticw aad 
solidi float Icm rather than charge. An interpretation of the Harthome 
ndnd which -srould ccanvenientl;/ compartuBntaliase its developntent into 
different chronological perioda has Uttle basis in fact. Certainly 
the Hdnd matured, b\it It advanced in an almost predetermined fashicai. 
TIio overpowering ononess of HssrthtMme»a thought cannot be ignored. 
The chmgeis iwhich imrriagc and literary recognition brought abotrb need 
not be BitnlT'd.Jsed, birt they v^ere not of sufficient iniport to 
substantially alter the fundaiaaital thought pattern. Those aspects of 
life which Havrthome accentuated wore set down with a thorou^going 

consist ency. 

Sin does net exist as a latent or slunbering beast, but as an 
active and observable manifestation of the hard fact that it is not 
onV native but central to all life. Coupled ^th the endless 
acttiality of sin, wMch inay nowise be evaded, the physical texture of 
life itself-t'ie onjnipresent aarble and aad— prefaces and deter^^ea 
the possibilities of aortal life. If a witer disagreed '^th 
Hawthorne's prinia.- assu:^ption that evil eocLsts^-cn assu.-nption uJuch 
Ifelville, for exaaplo, understood— there was scant likelihood of a 
aeetins of the ndnds. Accordingly, Ilatrthoine wus not coafortod by the 
stiiT-ing messages of optiaisa current in his day. Nature, ftom Trhich 
the Transcendentalists drew strength, held Hanthome's attention not 
as a irhisperinc of God, but as a hi^ocOyph of cold and unbondin- 
directional forces, 

"•an is never tlie shapor of his om universe, but rather tha 
follower of a providentially assigned course. .Thile froa God's 
vantage point the individual ."»rtal functions as an infiniteainal 
Inaction of an over-all prograa, front raan's liraited view, life 
approaches cDaos. EapecialOy is tidis true when nian seeks to shape the 
life materials to his ovm liking, or when he anywise attenpts to move 
contrary to his allotted daatiny. The fact tliat rnan can neither see 
nor coinprehend providential guidance does not lessen its absolute 

Thus, tfic life pattern vrlth which laan nuat ever contend is 
harsiil^' constituted of sin, the jd^^sical coi!?K>und, death, and an 


Insensitive and often, frcaa ebbeh's point of view, brtttal ppovidenea, 
Pfovidenee, vrhlla it, ig iLLtiraately end necessarily go<rf, since it is 
the activation of God's divine plan, appears qtdte rmali^nant •'ji 
individual instances. ?&n*s best proni'an— in fact the only 
intellljieaat prosras which rm^ bo followed In the light of the 
■mjdeniablo and tin<diangeablo conditions into T*ioh he is bom— ^?w«ild 
begin Tfith a resignation to the actnal ?rctbstance of life. Within that 
liEdtation it behooves isan to act cat hia role to the f?ill extent of 
his capabilities. Earthly life, th«i, is a niaturinn; pilgri!!Ki<»e— • 
norraally a solemn one* While the life pattern e?d.sts in all its 
jtrs3'tiess, there are other aaptects of the total scheiae yet to be 
considered* Althou^. therr do not s-aper sede or deny that grac'ness, 
they do provide a to^'rporar:^'' relief. 

Society requires '::mn to participate as a raesjber of the group; 
thus the social force Is of inescapable concern throughout earthly 
life* Though sensitive and soHtary persons rebel against that 
jMur^iicipatlon, they arrive nowhere, as in the experi^ce of Thoreau at 
WaldfBi, by separating theiaselves from raseikind. The wiser cotirse is to 
accept the social order regardless of its artificiality. The sH^t 
pleasures -which it inay afford are prefarable to the iclness of 
isolation. In truth, it is only as laan functions within the group 
that he ratay be said to ejdst. 

The manner in 'cvhich Hawthoiwc arrived at his religion ia 
debatable. His faith in GkxJ may have its origin in the recognition 
tlxat the actual terbtire of life doHarnds an eventual balancing* In 


other .vorcis, out cf a lolt aoed £ov order, riasrthorM bbj- have evolved 
a suprooo dcit;^-. Ii,re probably, iie iiold a convaitional and 
unquestio.-ii.-:- faifch ia God-one cliractl;,' ir.tuited-ono ;vkLcii was far 
aore than a ratianalized croatica of :iis oim iatoLlsct, Third, it Is 
possible that the spottj and shadovo' beauties of this life led 
Katrthome to rscocaiae tiae existence of tiiat spirituality of which 
they were but i^pei^iect siiaasrings, iiegardless of the reasons behind 
Iaa»thome's roli^ion-aad it is not certain that tlio novelist hXaaelt 
could liave stated thon-hia faith ^ aa pure and as permnont ua was 
/iis belief ir: evil. It is only in tlio iaoorbal state that aan finds 
a f ul2i' natured "reality-wthat ho is no longer liaited by the liiysical 
coiapound. But that life, XThilo it is certain, is far in the futurej it 
13 ba^/ond Juan '3 prizai^- concern— iiio o^n: iaperfect world. Taa religion 
to T/Mch •la'jthomo adiieared did not peroLt mn to function as a noble 
Edcrocosa of God; instead, it lod to lusitod and ia^5«rfect actions 
beneath th.e djiscinitable ^-uidance of a divine will, 

Ilajsrthome's laind was not carried forward by the external 
niirniurinGS of life. Wars, elections, the headline events of the de^, 
failed to intrisue him, for iae was thoroughjy aagnotiaod by those 
"realities" .vhich regain stable ba-.eath eruptive surfaces. l-Vom this 
pattern, v/hich grows more nanifest '.vitl: each additional glance at the 
life scene, nan has no perraanent relief. For creatures of this earth 
only partial pleasures are available. In proposing a donestic 
relationship founded upon love, Hawthorne forwards an ideal vhich 
observable life never quite attains. V/omanhood and art are envisioned 


in a pirc and untramaoled state* In their Idshost respective 
developBKjnts, both JLva evidence of ethereal or spiritual beauty. In 
this rrorld, howovor, nan is liniited to imperfect and corruptad 
representations of the ideal. Ilonce, raoarfcal life is a dlaappointi.'jarjt--' 
a depressant— in that \*at is atanda as a i^laring contract to wliat 
our] it to be. 

Again cmd again, IfeTthome ixjtvrng to his cliaractoristic 
concerrtion of hivmri natiire. Ikm is bom vdth a stignia trhich lie is 
povrcrless to rectify. IHs pritial naiTiro is not onl^- deficisait in 
goodness and nobility ^ it is active .In its appetite- for evil. 
Althouch the bimta in nmi m^ be consftrained h^ g^sitle forces, it 
reinains latontlj' preeeftt. V/hat |>asses for sin isjay be little more than 
aji obandoniacnt of kk^ji to his primitive nature* 

llhile raan's mind ja-ovidSiS a dlatingui^i^llng Riark froia the lower 
anlTnal.s, it Is the heart rather than the mind vvhidi wekes of Kan an 
litffnortal being. Unfortxinately, hutasn nature operates too often on 
tho prejJiise that nian's intellect Ifias a divinity all its cmx^ Despite 
the nature of huraanityj Flasfthorna cher3.shed a faint hop© for an 
eventual brotherhood of the heart. He did not proffer brotherhood In 
the raanner of an svangellst offering salvation to sinners* Indeed, 
there is no panacea for iuortal ills. Religion, oven though it is a 
ccnsolinc medium, doojs not niitlgato the jAysical hardness of life. 
Art and Tromen, though they are definite forces for good, are at best 
partially effective in providing moments of release from the 
ever-present pattern. A state of brotherhood is now, and probably 


always '.fill be, a dreara of tlie future j for nan's very natui^c forbids 
its coj:ainG, A aan uay find ccafort oalj' by contsntiDg Idnrelf -.rLth 
lire's liiiiitatioruj. 

iljwthome's inconaisteaciec, tliough extraaely rare, are 
uaderstandable, Tor U-uth i'-self is ixu^-sided. He soecs to have seen 
life in ama^^in-li' clear outlines. He is pessiiaistic, alaost ciid-cal, 
izi rogai'd to ivum's eiJorts to altcar the course irfiich life has folloired 
since tii;© bo^an, let :Iai!fthonie iTas conlldout that aan irould eiovg 
into a better roala upon death, 'Lis jjattei-n for mortal life, hcxrever, 
is invariably interlaced evil, 

Kanthome's pliilosopljtr of life Jias no axe to grind. It 
crusades neither for nor a{jainst specific theories, fihen the novelist 
critf.cizos vanity, hypocrisy, a::d artificiality, ho does so in terns 
of a "reality" r; Us had couw to knovr tiu-ough a long and inBt,lnativ« 
study of the life scene. IIo nearoly states his pilvate interpretation 
of life. If anyone had referred to Kmrthome as a pliilosophor, no 
doubt ho would have siiuddered. .Vhilc Haarthome's personal philosophy 
Wi' not bo great thought in and of itself, while KaBrthoine is little 
rencvmed for Ids ideas, still that ph-ilosophy has a lasting 
significance in that it presents clearly :xid con5>letel^' tliat 
orientation to life w=:iich found itself no richlly manifest in his 


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Lathrop, Rose iiawthome. Ifemories of Hawthorne. Boston: Houf^hton, 
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cif ATioH OF mBSAm soxmim 

The quotations used as the prbaaiy source for ttls bodkr are 
id«ntifi©d here, tlrat is given the standard footnote entry j second, 
the title of the novel or short stoiy if the quotation is takmi frcm 
Hawthorne's fiction? thirds the date of first publication. Yearly 
dates are given for stateiaents quoted from the letters and the 
notebooks. The abbreviation ibid, is u^d with the T/orks onlj when 
tiie stoxy or novel is the same as the one given in the preceding 
footaotej ibid, is used with the notebooka and letters, btit the date 
is given if it is not the same as in the preceding footnote* 




The Mature of 3in 

(1) Nathaniel fia-rthorne. The Goaplete -orks of Hathaniel '^;>wtborne 

(Boston, lb82;, I, 3k5 v"'rae Haunted i.nd," l33^), ;q2. 

references are to the 1882 edition, tho ItLversido edition, 
wiiich will hereafter be cited as Vcrks. 

(2) Works . IX, 13 (The American >Jote-Books, I836), 

(3) >/orks . I, 250 ("Fancy's Shojr Box," I837), 

ih) -Vorka, III, ^90 ("John Inglefield's Thanksgiving," I8I1O). 

(5) Randall Stervfart, ed.. The .^erican Note-Bookg l?y Natha niel 

.Hanthome (New flaven, 193?.i» p. l^<i (l5i,3;. 'I'his volume will 
hereafter be cited as Stewart, Aaerican Motebooka. The 1382 
edition of The /unerican Note-Books ig cited only i^.en it 
contains passages wiiicii Stewart waa forced to omit for lack 
of an original nianuBcript, 

(6) Works . II, 286 ("The New Adam and Evq,« 181,3). 

(7) V'orka . V, 21a ( THie Scarlet Letter . 1850). 

(8) Ihidj., 7, 253. 

(9) Horks, III, 276 ( The Houae of the Seven Gables . 18^1). 

(10) -orka, X, USl ( The French and Italian liote-Books . 1858). 

Brotherhood in Gin 

(11) V/orks . I, 257 ("Fancy's Show Hox," I837). 

(12) Randall Stewart, "flawbhome and Politics » Dhpubllshed Letters to 

williani ti. Pike," New airland :^iarterly . V (April 1932), 25U 
(from a letter, I853). 

(13) Vorks . VI, 208 ( The ?iarble Faun , i860). 
(Hi) Ibid.. VI, 2it7. 


Concealed Sin 

(15) Works. II, 2hh ("The l^ocassion of Iife,« 18^3)* 

(16) Works J II, 377 ("Feathertop: A Ibrali-sed Legend," I81tit)< 

(17) I'/orks, V, 177 ( The Scarlet Letter « l8SD), 

(18) Ibid. , V, 258. 

(19) jToite, VI, 210 ( The Marble Fam> i860). 

The Devil and EyJX 

(20) Works, II, 100 ("Young Goodmn BroRn," 1835). 
^21) Ibid. , II, 102. 

(22) -aorks , V, 500 ( The BUthedale Rcgaance , 1852). 

The 'iPransEassdon of Sin 

(23) Wcarka. Ill, 11*7 ( The House of the Sevtaa Gables, 1851) # 
(2ii) Ibid., in, 36. 

Sin and Parity 
^25) Workg , I, 3h ("Stmd^r at Home," 1837). 

(26) Works, VI, Ula ( Tlie i^ble Faun , i860). 

(27) Ibid., VI, li39. 

(28) Ibid. , VI, 375. 
(25?) Ibid, , TI, 239. 

(30) Ibid. , VI, 375. 

(31) Ibid. , VI, 238. 

(32) ^.'orka. XI, 33 ( Kie Dolliver Bomance, 186W. 

The Ijffects of Sin 

(33) -^orka , I, 52ii («iSdward Fane's Rosebud," I837). 


(3l) ^orks. V, 180 ( The Scarlet letter . 1850), 

(35) Ibid,. V, 103. 

(36) -'orks, TIT, 20h ( The Houae of the Seven C-ablefl ). 

(37) Dorics . VI, 207 (TheJ^rblejETm ) • 

(38) Ibid., VI, 201. 

(39) Ibid. . VI, 211. 
iho) Ibid. . VI, 111;. 

Ifepardonable Sin 
(la) Works . IX, 2hh ( The /aierican Note-Pooks ). 





The Approach 

(12) Nathaniel Hawthorne, Tlie Love Inters of Nathaniel I bartMnr^^. 
preface hy Koswell b.eid (Chicag o, 1^7), I, M il%6). 

iU3) \iorks, n, 2la ("The iVocession of Ufe,» I81i3), 

ihh) is:ks, III, 177 ( The Ho-jse of the Seven Gables. I85l). 

(Ii5) "'orks . VI, ]i9U ( The larble Fcun. 1360), 

The ConiTx>iUTd 
(li6) v7ork8 . IX, 21 ( The American liote-Bpoks. 1835). 
ih7) Vorks, III, 5? ( The :-bu3e of the Seven Gables . 1851), 
(as) loid. . Ill, 31.8, 
{h9) H^ks, V, U19 { Tno Blithedale aoiaance . 1852). 


(50) Randall Stewart, cd,. The i-^r:llsh Notebooks by IlathaiiJGl 

Piaistaorne (New York, 19lil), p» 551 (1857/ . This volms will 
hereafter be cited as Stewart, ^iglish Koteboc^s * 

(51) 'iarksa VI, 21 ( rue UarbXe Fa'cu^^ 1360). 

(52) Ibid. , VI, 503. 

(53) Ibid., VI, 261. 

The Spheaeral Qualit:/' of Life's Tegfcia^ 
(5U -^orks. Ill, 532 ("Old Ne»B,« 1835). 
{B$} Works, I, 2liO ("The Toll-Gatherer's D^," 1337). 

(56) Works, I, 503 ("Footprints on the Sea-Shore, « I838). 

(57) Stev/art, American notebooks, p. Idit (18U2), 

Obeervaticats on the Texture of Life 

(58) Works , I, I51i ("Waicefield,** 1835) • 

(59) v^orks, I, 33 ("Simday at Vioms,» 1837). 

(60) Stewart, teerican Notebooks , p. 1.97 (I8I48), 

(61) vrorks . III, 197 ( The House of the Seven Gables , l05l). 

(62) v.orka . V, 107 ( Tlie Slithedale lioaanoe, 1852). 
^^>^ SSElSI* V-> ^71 ( The Marble Faiin, 1O6O). 

(6^) Ibid., VI, U67. 


(SB) Works , K, 36 ( The Asierican Kote-l^ooks , 1336), 

(66) Ibid. , IX, 33. 

(67) "Vorks , n, 17ii ("Btids and Bird Voices," I8U}). 


(68) Works . V, 67 ( The Scarlet Letter . 1850). 

(69) Stewart, American Noteboolca . p. 139 (1851), 

(70) Works. Ill, 366 ( The House of the Seven Gables . l85l), 

(71) Ibld> , ni, 367. 

(72) Stewart, Aiiierlcan Notebooks , p. 230 (1853). 

(73) jVorks, vn, 156 ( Our Old Home. 1863). 

Grief and Sorroy 
(7li) Works. I, li62 ("ChiiTOings with a Chisel," I838), 

(75) Ibid. . I, U56. 

(76) Works. II, 224I ("The Procession of life," I8h3), 

(77) fortes, II, 338 ('The Christms Banquet," l8Uh)» 

(78) fforka . Ill, 286 ( The Ifouae of the Seven Gables. 1851). 


The Nature of ?brtun« 

(79) V/orks. I, 160 ("-v^afcefield," I835). 

(80) ;forks . I, 211 ("David Swan," 1837). 

(81) Works, II, 235 ("The Procession of Life," 181j3). 

(82) Works, II, 127 ( "Rappaccini ' s Dauchter," iQhh), 

(83) ctewart, American Notebooks , p. lUO (1851). 
(81i) V.orks . VI, 33 ( The ;/arble Faun , i860). 
(85) Ibid. . VI, 5lli. 

The Governing Powei' of Fortune 
(88) .^orks . I, 218 ("David Swan," 1837). 


(89) Works , H, $i$ ("Xlae Artist of the Bea»tifta," l8ljl»)« 

(90) Ibid*, n, 526. 

(91) .orks > V, 188 ( The Scarlet Letter , 1850). 

(92) Works , V, I43O ( The Blithedale Rcaaance, 1852)* 
if^y) aorks, H, )M (The l%rble Faun , i860). 

As God'g Poetry 

(914) Works, II, "ih {"1?he Old Itanse," 1856). 

(95) Works , X, 5ltl} ( Tlie Frenoh and Italian Mote-Booka , 1859) • 

As a Goddesg 

(96) Works, IX, 97 ( The American Note^Booka , 1837 )• 

(97) Works , II, 50 C'Rie Birthiaark," I8li3)* 

(98) Stewart, Aiaerican Notobooka , p. lOS (l8ii5). 

(99) Ibid., p. 118 (I8I46). 

(100) Works , V, 595 ( The Blithedale lloaance, 1852). 

(101) Works , XI, 252 ( Septifflius Felton. 1863 ). 

Nature as Rgfuge 

(102) Jaraes T. Fields, Yesterday with Authors (Boston, 1900), p, 62 

(from a letter, iS5l)V 

(103) Works, II, 36 ("The Old Mans©,« 1856). 
(lOU) Stevjart, Axaerican Notebooks , p. 517 (1857). 

Mature a^ Sr/abol 
(105) Works, II, 180 ("Buds and Bird Voices," 1810). 


(106) ITorkat, X, 21^6 ( The French and Italian Note-Books. 1358), 

(107) 'Vorka , XII, 320 ("Chiefly about '.ar iiatters," 1862). 



The S^tsitive Soul 

(108) Worica. I, 150 ("little Annie's Rani)le," 1835). 

(109) Workg , I, 231 ("The ToU-Gatherer's Day," 1837). 
(no) :vorka. I, 1^78 ("Kigjrt Sketches," I838), 

(111) Love Letters. I, 216 (181^0). 

(112) Stewart, Anorican Notebooks , p. 102 (181^2). 

(113) iiorks, ni, 297 ( The Mouse of the Seven Gables. l35l), 
(llU) Ibid. , in, 102. 

(115) ••'orks, X, 311 ( The French and ItaUan I>'ote«J>ook3 . 1358). 

The Solitary Soul 

(116) ..orka, I, 220 ("Sights fi-on a Steeple," I831). 

(117) yorka . IX, ^Q ( The .\merican Note-Books. 1836). 

(118) yrorka. I, 250 ("Fancy's Show Box," I837). 

(119) ■Vorka , I, 207 ("The IVophetic Pictures," 1837). 

(120) .Vorka. II, 282 ("The N«r Adam and I>e," iSij), 

(121) Works . II, 250 ("The I^ocession of Ufe," lBh3), 

(122) Vorics , II, 518 ("The Artist of tlie Beautiful," iBlOi). 

(123) V-orks . Ill, 170 ( The House of the Seven Gables . 1851). 
(I2ij) Horks, V, hiSh ( The Bllthedale tonance. 1852). 

(125) V/orka . XI, ii98 ( The Ancestral Footstep . 1858). 


(126) Works, VI, 365 ( The Itoble Fam , 1B60)* 





(127) V'Orks , IX, 109 ( Tne American Hote-Books , 1837 )♦ 

(128) Love I.etters , I, 122 (l8iiO)» 

(129) Ibid. , I, 225. 

(130) Works, XII, 68 ("Graves and Goblins," I8h0), 

(131) ^^rka, xn, 88 ("The Book of Autographs," l8l^), 

(132) Works, II, 173 ("Buds and Bird foices," I8li3). 

(133) Works, n, 311t ("EgotisEij or, the Bosoa S«rp^t,« I81i3), 
(13lt) Work? , II, tt9 (""Kxe Hot Ada© and lve,« I3ii3). 

(135) ^^'orks, II, 139 ("Rappaccini's Daughter," 1810}). 

(136) Works , V, W9 ( The Flithedale Roaance , 1852). 

(137) Works , II, 277 ("Feathortop: A Ibralized Legend," l852)« 

(138) ^/orks, V, 332 ( The Blithedale Roinanee , 1852) » 

(139) Stewart, Ehglisli Motebooks, p. 6l7 (1852). 

(lljO) Works, II, 271 ("Feathertopj A IJoraUzad Legend," 1852). 
(Ha) y/orks , Xin, I5li i ^r, Grirtalmwe's Secret, 1863). 
(Iii2) Works, Vll, 165 ( GUI' Old Home, 1863), 




(lij) Arlin Turner, Hawthoime as ixiitort Sclectiooa rrora iiis -/ritinfrs 
l£ The Amwrican Vias&zine of Useful and Qiterbaining fiiowledge. 
TUniversiby, Louisiana, 19hX), p. 100 (1336). 

(llJi) Love Letters. I, 169 (iSliO). 

(ll<5) Ibid. , I, 1^3. 

(1146) .^orks , 7, ^h ( The Blithedalc Romance . 1852). 

(11^7) Ibid. , V, ShO. 

(US) Ibid. , V, 596. 


(lli9) 'Tl/.abeth Chandler, "Hawthorne's Soectator," The Kear aTg:land 
Quarterly , IV (April 1931) 313 (1820). 

(150) T^imer, riawthome as I^iltor . p. I69 (I836). 

(151) Works , IX, 107 ( The /aaerican Note-Books. I837). 

(152) -'-orks , I, 513 ("Footprints on the Sea-Shore," IO38). 

(153) '<orks, I, Wh ("Kig^t Sketches," I838). 
(I51i) Stev^art, Ainerican Notebooks , p. 92 (l8i(2). 

(155) V<orkB , II, 69 ("The Birtiiiaark, " I81j3). 

(156) Works, II, 526 ("The /j-tict of tlie Beautiful," l8Ui). 

(157) Cte\-;art, -\aerican .'iotebooks, p. 210 (181^9) , 

(158) Ibid. , p. 133 (1850). 

(159) ttewsrt, £hglish L'otebooks. p. 101 (1855). 

(160) ^.orks, II, 38 ("The Old 'ianse," 1856). 

(161) A arks , X, li31 ( The French and Italian Note-Books. 1853). 

(162) >.orks. XI, 2liO ( Scptialus Felton . I863). 



(163) Works > xn, 188 Cmographical Stories," 1838). 

(161») Vtorks , XI2, 107 (»A Book of Autographs," iSIjO), 

(165) Stewart, Ataerican Notebooks > p» lltO (I8li2). 

(166) Ibid, , p. 97. 

(167) ^orkB. II, 252 ("The I¥ocession of Ufe," l8it3). 

(168) ?;orks , in, 201 ( The House of the Seven Gables, 1851) • 

(169) Stewart, Engtllsh Notebooks, p. 606 (1857). 

(170) Works , X, 193 ( Tl:ie French and Italian ffote-^ooks , 1858)* 

Aspects of Religion 

(171) Works , IX, 37 ( The /inierican Note»Books , 1836). 

(172) ^^orks , II, 285 ("The Hew Adas and ^re,« I8I43). 

(173) Norman Ifelaes Peas<sj, "A Sketch l^ rJasfthome," MB5 , VI {Uarch 

1933), 139 ("A Good Msaa's mrsel*," I8li3)* 

(I7ij) Stewart, Anterican Hotebooks , p. 108 (18Ij5). 

(175) Works. X, li53 ( The Prenoh and Italian Hote«.Booka , 1858). 

(176) Ibid.. X, 205. 

(177) fforks , VI, 3li3 ( The l^arble Faim , i860). 

Formal Relif^lon 

(178) Works , I, iiO ("Sunday at Home," 1837). 

(179) SteTjait, American Notebooks , p. 165 (l8ii2). 

(180) ?/orks . II, 2l;6 ("The Procession of Ufe," I8ii3). 

(181) >Vbrk8 . II, 29 ("The Old Manse," 1856). 

(182) .Vorks. X, l81t (The tYench and Italian Note-Books. 1858). 


(183) »^orka. VI, 183 ( The l^arble Faun, i860). 
(I81i) Ibid., VI, 3IJ. 




(185) V/orks , V, 27 CThe Scarlet Letter « I850). 

(186) Ibid. . V, p. 26. 

(187) ?/orka . III, 110 ( The :;ou3e of the Seven Gables. 1851), 

(188) Ibid.. Ill, p. 18. 
(1S9) Ibid. , in, p. Hi. 

(190) Ibid., Ill, p. 31. 

(191) Stewart, Snglish Notebooks, p. 127 (1855). 

(192) r.-id., p. 2ii2. 

(193) Ibid. , p. 29li (1356). 
(19U) Ibid. , p. $B9 (1857). 

(195) Works , VI, 3I16 ( The llarble Faun, i860). 

(196) VJorlcs , XII, 317 ("Chiefly about ?.'atters,» 1862). 

Society at Larne 

(197) Chandler, "ilairthome's Spectator," Ng^, IV, 293 (1820), 

(198) Idem. 

(199) ^Yorks , XI, 202 (J^nshawe, 1828). 

(200) 7/ork8 , I, I6ii ("Wakefield," 1835). 

(201) VJorks, III, 562 ("Old News," 1835). 

(202) works, I, iJ7 ("Peter Goldwaite's Treasure," 1333), 


(203) Workga 11, 279 ("fh© Hew Adaia and Sv©,* I8li3). 

(20li) Stewart, American Motebooks^ p. 218 (l350), 

(205) ITosrfcS s III, 55 ( The House of tlm Seven Gablos, l85l). 

(206) Ibid. , in, p. 209. 

(207) forks, V, 583 ( Yhe Bllthedale Roiaanoe^ 1852). 

(208) Works , VI, 275 ( The liarble Faun , i860). 

(209) liorks, VII, lit? ( Our Old Home, 1863 ). 

(210) Works , XI, 299 ( Septimius Felton , I863). 

(211) Works, VII, 2ii2 ( Our Old Home, 1863). 

Political Society 

(212) Ijyve Letters, I, lij? (XSIiO)* 

(213) ^Vorks , V, 52 ( The ^^oarlet Lett&r » l850)* 
(21ii) Ibid., V, 53. 

(215) Ibid., ?, 59. 

(216) Works, III, 32li ( Tne liom& of the Seven Gables , I851), 

(217) Works , VII, 53 ( Cur Old Hoae, I863). 



The Function of Women 

(218) Works'. XII, 217 C^s. Ilutchinaon," I830). 

(219) Works , XH, 53 ("'J^be Antique Ring," I8UO). 

(220) Y/carks , V, 311 ( The Scarlet Letter , 1850). 

(221) Boid. . V, 105. 


(222) Ibid. . V, 107. 

(223) orka, HI, 178 ( The Houae of the f>evcn Gables. 1851), 
(22li) •■7or?c9 , 71, 55 ( The Marble Faun, i860). 

(225) Ibid.. VI, liliO. 

Young "iiaai&a 

(226) .orks . I, 2U9 ("The Vision of the Fountain," 1835). 

(227) "orkB, V, 1^02 ( The Bljthedale Ronance , 1852). 
(^25) Ibid., V, li03. 


(229) ^carka . III, 395 ("A Childish I^iraole," 1850). 

(230) ^Vorka . XIII, 115 ( Dr. Griin8ha?/e ' s Secret. 1863). 

Old v;, 

(231) Vcrks, I, 517 ("Edsrard Fane's Rosebud," 1837). 

(232) rtevrart, "Hawthorne and Politics," NE^, V, 258. (Fron a letter, 



(233) "orks , Xil, 217 ("ilrs. Hutchinson," 1830 ). 

(23U) Ibid. . XII, 218. 

(235) works, V, 200 ( The Ccarlet Letter. 1850), 

(236) ..orks. V, 1:57 ( rae Blithodale i^^raanoe . 1850). 

(237) Caroline Ticknor, llatvthome .irA His Publisher (Boston, 1913), 

p. 119 (froia a letter, I051i). 

(238) Ibid. , p. li|2 (ft-on a letter, 1055). 

(239) Love Inters , II, 2kS (1356). 


(210) Worka , ?I, 72 ( Hie ?%rble Faun , i860). 

Women in General 

(2la) Turner, Hgvvthorae as mitor , p. 2lih (1836). 

(2U2) iiarka, I, 36 ("Sund«er at Home," 1837). 

(2I43) Works , V, 70 ( The Scarlet Letter. 1850). 

(2Ui) ^Vorks . V, 339 ( The 31ithedale Romance . 18^2). 

(2li5) Ibld« . ?, 356. 

(2i{6) Ibid., V, 55^3. 

(2ii7) Stev/art, aiglish Notebooks , p. 52 (l851i). 
(2U8) -orics. VII, 68 ( Otir Old Home, I863). 

Mar-riage and the llom 
i2h9) Turner, Hgwthome as Editor, p. 252 (I836). 
<2^0) Ibid., p. 116. 

(251) ..orks , 11, lii9 ("Mrs. Bullfrog," 1837). 

(252) Ste'^yart, American Notebook, p. U5 (I838). 

(253) Ibid. , p. 179 (18I43). 

(251i) Stewart, laiglish Notebooks , p. 557 (1857). 


(255) Works . I, 152 ("Wakefield," 1835). 

(256) '^;orkB , I, hS ("T}ie Wedding Knell," IO36). 

(257) -.orks . V, 31 ( The Scarlet Letter . l850). 

(258) Ibid. . V, 272. 

(259) ■■'orkg. r/, 2h ( A Wonder Book for Girls and Boys . 1851). 

(260) .vorks. Ill, 350 ( Tlie House of the Seven Gables . I85l). 


(261) Y/orks. IV, 53 ( A Wonder Book for Glrlg and Boya. 1851), 


(262) Morks, U, 133 ("Rappaccini's Daughter," l3hh), 

(263) '^^'orka. V, 2li3 ( The Scarlet I<3tter. 1850). 
(26!i) Ibid.. V, 212. 

(265) Ibid.. 7, l$lt, 

(266) Ibid. , V, 30? . 

(267) '^orks, V, 561 ( The Jlithedale Icooance . 1852). 

(268) Stewart, /irnerlcan rjotebooks . p. 280 (1853), 

(269) Stewart, Ihgllsh Hotebocks . p. 112 (1355). 

(270) -orks , XI, 3Bh ( SerAindus Felton > 1863). 




(271) Gtewart, English Noteboolcs . p. i;i3 (1056). 

(272) VjOTka, X, 31j3 ( The Ireiich and Italian Note-iiooka. 1853). 

(273) Ibid. . X, IfOO. 

(27^) £oric8, VII, 153 ( Our Old Home . 1863). 


(275) Stewart, English Kotebooka . p. 223 (l855). 

(276) Hud., p. 393 (1356). 

(277) Ibid. , p. 609 (1857). 

(278) wortcs, X, 171 (The P^ench and Italian Note-Books. 1053). 


(279) Ibid., X, 399. 

(280) Ibid.. X, 111. 

(281) VYorks. VI, 163 ( The ?larble Faun, i860). 

(282) Ibid. , VI, 159. 


(283) Stewart, ^^lish Notebo<^a . p. 392 (1856), 
(28ii) Ibid. , p. 517 (1857). 

(285) Ibid., p. 5^. 

(286) Ibid. , p. 6lii. 

(287) Worfca, X, 122 ( The French and Italian Note~Booka . 1858). 

(288) Ibid. , X, 111. 

(289) Ibid. . X, 300. 

(290) Ibid., X, 181, 

(291) Ibid.. X, 123. 

(292) Ibid.. X, 331. 

(293) Worka . VI, 389 ( The l%irble Faun , i860). 
(29U Ibid., VI, 382. 


(295) Works , III, h33 ("The Great Stone Face," IO50), 

(296) V/orfc8. Ill, 171 ( The House of the Sev^ Gables. l85l). 

(297) £«rtc8, IV, 107 ( A V/onder riood for Girls and ^oya , IS 51). 

(298) Ste-.^^art, ii^RHsh Notebooks , p, 62 (l85U). 

(299) ^orks . VII, 223 ( Our Old noae. I863). 

(300) Ibid. . VII, 315. 


(301) Ibid. , ?n, 235. 

(302) IMd.. VII, 318, 


(303) V.orics, xn, 69 ("C3raves and Goblins," I81j0), 
(30li) Stewart, /\iaerican Notebooks , p. 105 (181»2), 
(3O5J) Ibid. , p. 93. 

(306) Harold aodgett, "Hawthorne as Poetry Critic: Sl:c Unpublished 

i.«tters to Louis I.iansfield, " Amsrican Uterature. XII (May 
19U0}, 177 (from a letter, IQ'BT. 

(307) ^Vorks . V, 17 ( The Scarlet Letter. 1850). 

(308) Ibid. , y, 5it. 

(309) IVorkB. Ill, 15 ( Tho House of the Seven Gabli^r.. I85l). 

(310) V'orks , III, 388 (ii-eface to The Sno^-Iaage and oth er Tuice-Told 

Tales , 1851). — ■ 

(311) £orks, VI, 15 ( The ?iarble Faun , i860). 

Hawthorne and fiction 

(312) Saiapjel Longfellow, Life of Henry ifadsworth Lon.^f ello7r {Key York. 

1887), I, 265 (from a letter, 1(337). 

(313) Fields, Yesterday with Authors, p. 56 (fron a letter, 1850). 

(31i4) Horatio Bridge, Personal Recollections of iiatlianiel Hairthome 
(iJeAT York, 1693), p. Ill (from a letter, 1850). 

(315) Ibid., p. 125 (1351). 

(316) Ticknor, .iavfthome and lis Publisher , p. 116 (fi-om a letter, 


(317) vorks . II, hh ("The Old ifeaise," 1856). 

(313) rielda, Yesterda;:,'- vdth Authors, p. 87 (froa a letter, 1360). 
(319) Ibid. , p. 88. 


(320) Ibid, , p. 109 (1863). 
on) Ibid. , p. 116 (I86]i). 


(322) Stewart, English Kotebooks . p. 'j^ (1857). 

(323) Ibid., p. 558. 

(32if) Horfra, XI, 5D7 ( The Ancestral Footstep , 1858). 

(325) Works , X, 317 ( Tlie Fraich and Italian Note-Bookg , 1853). 

falent and Gaiiu^ 

(326) Stewart, itaegrican Notebooks, p. 156 (I8I42). 

(327) Works , II, 2U0 ("The i^ocession of Idfe," 18^). 

(328) fitowart, aiRlish Hotebooba , p. 2la (1855). 

(329) Ibid. , p. 235. 

(330) l?rorks , II, 31 ("The Old Lfanse," 1856>» 

The Audience 

(331) Worlcs, X, 307 ( The French md Italian Note-Books, 1858), 

(332) Ibid., X, 332. 

(333) Ibid., X, IjOlj. 

(33h) •Mra, 71, lU ( The Ito-ble Faun , i860), 

(335) Ibid., VI, 382. 

Fam e 

(336) Works , IV, h^ ( The Whole Histoid/ of Grandfatl->or's Chair . 181^1). 

(337) ^orks, XII, 151 ("Biographical Stories," 131)2). 

(338) ^<orkg, V, J.i09 ( The Blithedale Rontance, 1852). 


(339) Stewart, Ihgllsh Notebooks , p. laS (1856). 

(3ljO) Fields, Yeaterda;^ ^th Authors , p. lOlj (from a letter, I863). 

The iirtist's Ideal 

(3la) V>^orks. II, 535 ("The Artist of the Beautiful," l8Ui). 

(312) Ibid. . II, 512. 

(3)43) Ibid. . II, 5t>7. 

i3hh) Stewart, ai^lish Notebooks , p. 352 (1856). 

(3li5) Ibid. . p. 570 (1857). 

(3l<6) Ibid., p. 6ll4. 

(3h7) ■orks, VI, laU ( The Marble Faun, i860), 

(3h^) Ibid., VI, 158. 

{3h9) Ibid. , VI, 2h9, 

lArbhods and Probleaa of Art 

(350) >/orka. XII, 227 ("t:ir V/iiiiam Phlps," I830). 

(351) Stewart, American Notebooks, p. 168 (131^2). 

(352) Ibid. , p. 130 (1850;. 

(353) "orks . III, 58 ( The House of the Seven Gables. l85l). 

(351i) 'orks . III, 386 (Preface to The Snovr-IoaHe an d other Twice-Told 
Tales , 1851), — 

(355) Stewart, uiprlish Notebooks , p. 212 (1855). 

(356) jiorks, VII, 306 ( Our Old Home . I863). 

(357) roid. , VII, 310. 



Idmltationg on ^lankind 
(3^8) Works > in, 371 ( TI>e kmse of the Seven Gables . 1851). 
i3B9) works , IV, S3 ( A Zander Dook for .-rirls and loya. 13 5l). 
(360; Stewart, iJigHsh Notebooks , p, hBk (l857). 

(361) vorks. vn, ]i6 ( Qitr Old Hoiae. 1863)» 

(362) Works . XI, 281 ( Septi^isLus Felton. 1863 )• 

Man's Nature 

(363) ^otks, XI, 201 ( Fanshaffe. 1828). 

(361)) Works, IX, 3lj (The American Note-Sooks, 1836) • 
(36$) Works , I, 251 ("Floy's Show Box," 1837). 

(366) Works, IS, 107 ( The Aaorlcan Hote-Books. 1837). 

(367) orks . I, 257 ("Fancj-'s Show Box," 1837). 

(368) Works. XII, lh3 ("Biographical £tories,« iSiiO), 

(369) Works , IV, 525 Cfhe ^Jhole .^listory of Grandfather's Chair . l8Ul). 

(370) Works, II, 171 ("Buds and Bird Voices," I8ij3). 

(371) Stewart, American Notebooks, p. 118 (I61j6). 

(372) vVorks . V, 231. ( The Scarlet Letter . 1850). 

(373) Ibid. . V, 61. 

(37 Ij) Works . Ill, 273 ( Tiie House of the Seven Gables. 1851). 

(375) Ibid. . Ill, 215. 

(376) Ibid. . Ill, 38. 

(377) Ibid. , Ill, 150, 

(373) Works. XII, 365 (Life of Franklin Pierce. 1852). 


(279) 'Vorka. V, 190 ( The Bljthedale Romance . 1852), 

(380) Ibid.. V, U9^, 
(331) Ibid. , V, 37li. 

(382) Stewart, American Notebooks , p. 2h7 (1855). 

(383) Ibid. , p. 190. 

(381) Ibid., p. 275 (1856). 

(385) ^Vorks . VII, 12I4 ( Our Old Home. 1363). 

(386) Ibid. . VII, 386. 

(387) orks. XIII, 20li ( Dr. Griroshgro'B Secret . I863). 

(388) ->ork8. XI, 31 ( The Dolliver Hoaance. I86I4), 

Individual Natures 

(389) tforka . I, 199 ("Kie Prophetic flcturos," I837). 

(390) £orks, II, 367 ("The Intellieonce Office," iGlh), 

(391) Idem. 

(392) Stewart, /jnerican Notebooks , p. 106 (iSljlj), 

(393) liorks, V, 199 ( The Scarlet Letter . 1850). 

{39h) ''orks. III, 218 ( Tiie Ilouse of the Seven Gables. I85l). 

(395) Ibid. , ni, 85. 

(396) ..orks, IV, 118 ( A V/onder Book for Girls and i^oys . l85l), 

(397) ;^prks, XIII, h6 J Dr, Grinshage's oecrot . I863). 


(398) .^orks . I, 157 ("Vvakefield," 1335). 

(399) "orks. III, 62 ( The iouse of the Seven Gables . 1051). 
(IjOO) .7ork3 . V, 398 ( The Blithedale Itoraance . 1352), 


(iiOl) -<kaks^ VI, U83 ( The F^bXe Farm, i860), 

(li02) joricg, VII, 3it3 ( Our Old Home, 1863)* 

(]i03) orks. XIII, yik ( Dr. Grimshgire's Secret, 1863). 

(IjOli) ^Vorks, VII, 279 ( Our Old Hoiae , 1863). 

(1P5) V^orks, XI, 271 ( Septimlus Felton . 1863). 

The Hatiire of the Public 

(lj06) V>ork9 , IX, 37 ( rhe Jm&rlcm Mote-Books, 1836). 

(itO?) Turner, ?ia->'.thome as Editor , p. 75 (I836). 

(I1O8) Moiics, V, 196 ( The Scarlet Letter. 1350). 

(I4O9) Ibid. , V, 155. 

(lao) Stewart, EngUsh Kotebooks , p. 236 (l855). 

(iai) Ibid., p. 595 (1857). 

(IA2) Ibid. ^ p. 601, 

The Mature of the Sick 
(^J '^orka, II, 309 ("Egotisinj or, the Bosom Serpent," 18^3). 
(hlW aorks. V, 152 ( The Scarlet Letter, 1850). 
^^^^ ^i^rks . III, 173 ( The ilouae of t^ie Seven Gables, 1851). 
^^) BS& V^^* 3i{6 ( Our Old Hone . 1863 ). 
(ia7) ■■^orfcs , XIII, 162 ( Dr. Grimshav^e's Secret, 1863). 

The 'Twiligtht Zom 
(la8) ?fork8, II, 52 ("The Birtfaaark," 18)43). 
(I4I9) Ibid. , II, 51. 

(Ii20) rtewart, An«rican Notebooks, p. 106 (iSljJb). 
(Ii21) Worka . Ill, 88 ( The House of the Seven Gables. 1851). 


(U22) Ibid.. Ill, 191,, 

(ii23) Works, y, 372 ( The Blithedale Roaance , 1652). 

Purpose and Poirer 
(i»2li) :ioTkB» III, hP ( The House of the Seven Gables. lOgl), 
(ii25) Ibid. . Ill, 207. 

(Ij26) orka. V, 399 ( The Blithedale Romance. 1852), 
(ij27) Vorks . XIII, 12 ( Dr. Griaghavfe « 3 Secret . I863). 

The Nattire of a 'lero 
(Ii20) Chandler, "Hawthorne's Spectator," NE^, T\l, 323 (1820), 
(li29) Stewart, AniKriLcan Notebooks, p. 251 (1850). 
{130) "lorka , V, 331 ( The Blithedale Rosiance. 1852), 
(ii3l) Stewart, xlh?;lish Notebooks , p. 60 (l85U, 
(U2) Ibid., p. $h9 (1857). 

firoverfas on Human Nature 

(li33) Chandler, "Hairthome's Spectator," N^, IV, 316 (1820), 

(U3h) -Vorkg . IH, 603 ("The .Vives of the Dead," I832), 

(lO^) '.forks . I, 367 ("The Ambitious Guest," 1835), 

(1j36) Turner, Fiav.-thome as I^tor . p. 195 (I836), 

(lt37) uoTka, IX, 37 ( The .^raerican Note-Books . I836). 

(1i38) Turner, rIayH;horne as Editor , p. 2li5 (I836). 
0i39) orks . I, 239 ("The Toll-Gatherer's Lay," I837). 

(iUiO) Works, I, li33 (":.'i^t Sketches," I838). 

(Ua) •Vorks , y, 13 (riae Scarlet Letter. 1850). 


(1Uj2) Ibld, M V, 62. 

ihh3) Works , III, 287 ( !ghe House of the Seven Gables, 1851) • 

(.hhh) "iiorka, IV, 121 (A Wondcy Book for Girls and F^ys , 1851). 

ihhS) Stewart, Ehftlish Notebooks , p. 186 (1855). 

im) Ibid., p. 595 (1857). 

(I4li7) Works , X, 226 ( The ^^ch and Italian IIote^Books. 1858). 

ilM) Ibid.. X, 512 (1859). 

(ijli9) Worka . VI, h3 ( The Iferble Faun, i860}, 

(150) Worka. VII, 3h ( Cur Old Home , 1863)* 

(^^) M^» ^^^> 261. 


■me QaKliafa 

(i;52) Stevrart, £hglish Hotebooks , p. 62 (l85!i). 

(ii53) Ibid. , p, 50. 

iWh) Ibid., p. 89. 

^^5) Ibid. , p. 102 (1855). 

(156) Ticlcnor, -Ha:i,rthome and lils Fubllshar , p. 1^ (from a letter, 1855). 

(ii57) Ibid. , p. Iit3. 

(Ii58) Sarauel Lcaigfellow, Life of Kenry uoAswarth Longfellour , II, 28? 
(from a latter, 1855). 

(Ii59) Stewart, ai^llah Notebooks , p. 353 (1356). 

(h60) Ibid. , p. 385. 

(ij6l) Ibid., p. la.6. 


(162) Ibid. , p. S63 (1857). 

(U63) -lOTks, X, Ia9 (The IVench and Italian riote-Dooks , 1358), 

{h(>h) >.orks. VII, 372 (Our Old nome. I863). 

(Ii65) Ibid.> VII, 37li. 

(U66) orka , XIII, 210 ( .T, Grlmhairo's Secret. I863). 

(U67) iVorks . VII, 123 ( Our Old lome. 1363). 

(I46O) Ibid. . 1/11, 363. 

(Ii69) Ibid.. VII, 23U. 

(1^70) orka . XIH, 207 ( ])r. (^diaahawe'g Secret. I863). 

(U71) Ibid. . XIII, 298. 

Tbe Scota 
(li72) 3te?/art, Eng;ll8h L'otebooks. p, 339 (1856). 

The French 
(Ii73) Turner, Hawthorne aa Editor , p. 36 (I836). 
{hlh) "orks . X, 19 ( The i-lrench and Italian xiote~3oo k3, 185^3), 
(U75/ Ibid.. X, 553 (1359). 

The Italians 
(li76) Ibid. . X, 221 (1850). 
(I:i77) ■orka. VI, 21 ( The I.larble laun. i860). 
(^73) Ibid. . VI, 309. 
(Ii79) Ibid. . VI, h63. 

The .Americana 
(U80) Turner, Mawbhome aa editor , p. 63, (I836). 


(U81) Stmart, libglish Notebooks, p, 96 (l851t)» 

(ii82) Ticknor, Haaafthorne and Kls PubllgaieT. p. 125 {from a letter, iSSli), 

(h83) Stewart, Sngtllsh Hotebookg , p. 82 (iSSh)* 

ihBh) Works, X, US6 (The French and Italian Nots-^Books , 1858). 

(1^6) Ibid. , XII, 313. 

(US?) Ibid. , XII, 311i. 

(ij88) ^^rks, XIII, 203 ( Or* Gritns>iaTi7e«a Secret, 1863). 

(h.B9) arks , VII, 16 ( Our Old Horn, 1863). 

(1-90) Ibid., ?n, 83. 

<^1> Mil* ^^^> 3J46, 

The Puritans 
(ii92) orks , ?, 282 ( The Scarlet Letter, 1850). 
ih93) Ibid. , V, 277. 
(iiPii) Ibid., ?, 275. 
(Ii95) Ibid.. V, 13lt. 
(Ij96) Stewart, Ehglish Notebooks, p. 1;51 (1857) 

Hgw lihgland 
(Ij97) Works, XII, 8? ( Dr. Bttllivant , 181^0). 

(1j98) Bridge, Personal Recollections, p. 155 (from a letter, 1857). 
(Ii99) >^orks , X, I|20 ( The French and Italian Kote^l^ooks , 1358). 
^^°°^ ^oy^» XII, 326 ("Chiefly about vfar ^.fetters," 1862). 

Similarity of Natures 
(501) V/orks, X, ii7 ( The I'^ench and Italian !.'ote»Book8 . 1858). 





(502) Turner, Hawthorne as Editor , p. 168 (1836). 

(503) ^^orks. I, 2la ("The Toll-Gatherer's Day," 1837). 
(50li) iorks . I, 336 ("Snow-Flakes," I838). 

(505) Works, II, 159 ("Fire iiorship,« I8ii3). 

(506) Ibid.. II, 160. 

(507) '^tewart, Qiglish Notebooks, p. 82 (l8>'i). 
(500) Ibid., p. 1j5. 

(509) Ibid., p. 233 (1855). 

(510) .orks, II, 29 ("The Old ^anse," 1856), 

(511) Stewart, Bnr;li3h Notcbooka. p. ^S9 (1857), 

(512) ..orka. X, 162 ( The French and Italian Hote-g^oks . 1858), 

(513) ■Vorks. XI, hSS ( The Ancestral Footstep. 1053). 
(51I1) 1/orks , VI, 276 ( Tlie Marble Faun . 1360). 

(515) works, VII, 212 ( Our Cld Home. IO63), 

(516) Ibid. . VII, 111. 

(517) Ibid.. VII, k6, 

(518) Ibid. . VII, lOh. 

(519) Ibid.. VII, 336. 

(520) Ibid.. VII, 79. 


(521) Stevrart, Aiaerican liotebooks, p» U8 (I838). 

^i^2) Works I II, 2h6 ("The IVooession of Life," l8i43). 

(023) Works, II, 206 ("The Hall of Fantaey," 181)3). 

(52I4) Works . V, ItSO ( The Bllthedale Eoraance , 1852). 
^^25) orka. lU, kU ( Tlie lAfc of I'^anklin aercQ. 1852). 

(526) Stewart, Sinlish notebooks, p. 2li3 (1855). 

(527) ^orks, II, lilt ("The Old Manse," 1856). 
^528) Works. VII, 328 ( Our Old Home . 1863). 

(529) Ibid. . VXI, 327. 



(530) ^orka . I, lh9 ("Idttle Anni©»s Hastole," 1835). 

(531) '.Vorks . I, it83 ("Ki#it Sketches," I838). 

(532) Stewart, Aroericaii Notebooks , p. 166 (l81i2). 

i$33) Pearson, "A Sketch by Hcs^rtihome/ NE^, VI, lit3 ("A Good Man's 
laracle," 18ij3). 

(53li) Works . II, 2it7 ("Th© Procession of Life," ISB). 

(535) Works . Ill, 161 ( The House of the Seven Gables . l35l). 

(536) Works. ¥11, 351 ( Ctir Old Horoe . I863). 

(537) Idem. 

(533) Ibid.. VII. 359. 


The Lack of Brotherhood 
(539) ^<orlC3. V, 367 ( The BUtJiedale l.onance . 1352). 
iShO) Stewart, English Notebooks « p. ?7? (1856). 
(5iil) "orks, XIII, 56 ( Dr« Jrinshaffe's Secret . 1363). 


(5it2) Worics . Ill, 562 ("Old News," 1835). 

(51i3) Turner, Hai/thome as utltor. p. IOI4 (I836). 

i^hh) Hojrtcs, xn ("Chiefly about .ar Matters," 1862), 

(515) Ibid.. XII, 299, 

(51i6) Ibid. . XII, 320. 

(5li7; Works. VII, 30lt (Cur Old Hone, I863). 

The H&otional £quatioD 
(5I48) Love Letters . I, 192 (l8iiO). 
(519) Ibid. . II, 25 (I31a). 

(550) Stewart, Anerican Notebooks , p. 159 (I81i2), 

(551) Ibid. , p. 135 (ISU). 

(552) Idea. 

(553) orks. V, 31 ( The carle L Letter. 1350). 

(551i) i-ields, YestciHiay with Authors , p. 60 (from a letter, l85l), 

(555) Stewart, lA'^lish Notebooks, p. 93 (l851i). 

(556) Ibid. , p. 117 (1355). 


(557) Ibid., p. h5l (1857). 

{$SQ) Fields, Yesterday vdtli Authors , p. 83 (i^ora a letter, 1858), 

(559) Ibid. , p. Bk (from a letter, 1859). 

(560) Ibid. , p. 98 Urcu a letter, 1362). 

(561) .orkg, Xn, 328 («Chlefl^/ about '.ar l^latters," 1862). 

(562) T/ork3, m, It6 ( Otrr Old Home , I863). 


The author was bom in Nashville, Tennessee, on October 11, 
1926. iie received his seccmdary education in JJashville, and then 
entered the Univeirsity of Alabama in 19hh under the Army Specialised 
Training i'rograa. Dorinc '-orld /sar II, he enlisted in the Arncr and 
served abroad for eighteen months in the IMlippLnes and in Japan* 

Upon discharge from the service in 15i»6, he entered 
Vanderbilt Ihiversity at liashville, Tennessee, where he received hie 
B, A. i»ith a major in English in 19U9 and his M. A, in 1950. 

In Septeraber of 1950, he be' an graduate Trrork in tiiglish at 
the University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida. During the three 
years of study at florida, he held a graduate assistantship and a 
fellowship from the Lftiiversity of tl-orida for work in linglish. 

B^inning in September 1953 » be ?d.ll be a laember of the 
aiglish faculty at Virginia Polytechnic Institute, Blackaburg, 

This dissertation ims prepared under the direction of the 
chairnan of the candidste's supervisory eonndttee and has been 
apia^jved ty all laejabors of the conadttee. It tos submitted to 
the Dean of the Collese of Arts and Sciences md to the 
Graduate Council and was approved as partial fulfilment of the 
requirenents for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy. 

June 8, 1553 

Dean, College of Arts and Sciences 

Dean, Graduate School 

sum?visoRr oomsntEEt