Hawthorne's Young Goodman Brown – Poverty in the Tale and in the Life of the Author

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“Young Goodman Brown” – the Poverty in the Tale and in the Life of the Author Henry Seidel Canby in “A Skeptic Incompatible with His Time and His Past” mentions of Hawthorne that “human failures and their causes were more interesting to him than prophecies of success, one might truly say than success itself. …He was not, I think, really interested in escape, except in moods of financial discouragement. . . . (57). Nathaniel Hawthorne’s “Young Goodman Brown” embodies traits of the modest lifestyle which the author had to subject himself to because of inadequate finances through most of his life. In addition to the monetary impoverishment there was an additional artistic impoverishment which sorely restricted the materials from which he could choose for his literary works. Hawthorne’s financial impoverishment probably began with the untimely death of his father, and continued for most of his life. Gloria C. Erlich in “The Divided Artist and His Uncles” states that “Robert Manning made the essential decisions in the lives of the Hawthorne children and is well known as the uncle who sent Hawthorne to college” (35). After graduation from Bowdoin College, Hawthorne spent twelve years in his room at home in an intense effort to make something of himself literarily. The Norton Anthology: American Literature states: Hawthorne’s years between 1825 and 1837 have fascinated his biographers and critics. Hawthorne himself took pains to propogate the notion that he had lived as a hermit who left his upstairs room only for nighttime walks and hardly communicated even with his mother and sisters (547). Sculley Bradley, Richmond Croom Beatty and E. Hudson Long in “The Social Criticism of a Public Man... ... middle of paper ... ... Press, 1996. Erlich, Gloria C. “The Divided Artist and His Uncles.” In Readings on Nathaniel Hawthorne, edited by Clarice Swisher. San Diego, CA: Greenhaven Press, 1996. Hawthorne, Nathaniel. “Young Goodman Brown.” 1835. http://www.cwrl.utexas.edu/~daniel/amlit/goodman/goodmantext.html James, Henry. Hawthorne. http://eldred.ne.mediaone.net/nh/nhhj1.html Lewis, R. W. B. “The Return into Time: Hawthorne.” In Hawthorne – A Collection of Critical Essays, edited by A.N. Kaul. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1966. “Nathaniel Hawthorne.” The Norton Anthology: American Literature, edited by Baym et al. New York: W.W. Norton and Co., 1995. Swisher, Clarice. “Nathaniel Hawthorne: a Biography.” In Readings on Nathaniel Hawthorne, edited by Clarice Swisher. San Diego, CA: Greenhaven Press, 1996.
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