Nathaniel Hawthorne was born in Salem, Massachusetts in 1804. Descended from a staunch Puritan family, Hawthorne?s father was a presiding judge over the Salem Witch Trials. Hawthorne?s father died when he was young and he spent much time alone during his childhood. He had an introspective nature and was an avid reader. He began to write while he was in college and following graduation, returned to Salem where he entered a twelve-year literary apprenticeship. His first collection of short stories, Twice-Told tales, was published in 1837. Soon afterwards, he joined for a short period an experimental utopian community outside of Boston called Brook Farm in 1841. In 1842, Hawthorne married Sophia Peabody and they moved to Concord, Massachusetts. There Hawthorne wrote many pieces including his next collection of stores in 1846 called ?Mosses from an Old Manse.? From 1846 to 1849, Hawthorne worked in a Salem customhouse. Following his dismissal was a two-year period of intense productivity after which he wrote very little fiction, although he did keep notebooks. Hawthorne died in 1864 following several years of inability to complete any of this writings. Much of Hawthorne's work is set in colonial New England and many of his short stories have been read as moral allegories influenced by his Puritan ancestry. He believed that the misfortunes of his immediate family were the result of d...
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...esides over a funeral and a wedding, providing no one with any explanation as to his unusual appearance. The only character not afraid of the veil is the minister?s fiancé but she does ask him to remove it and how his face if only for a single time. He refuses to do so, explaining that the veil must stay on forever in recognition of the time when we will all cast aside our veils. She finally breaks off her engagement with Mr. Hooper since he refuses to remove it. When the minister dies, he is buried with the veil unlifted.
Nathaniel Hawthorne?s best known short stories including Young Goodman Brown, The Minister's Black Veil, and The Birthmark, should be considered some of the great works of American literature because their exploration of enduring American themes of moral struggle. The short stories demonstrate a masterful command of symbolism and allegory.
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