Questions tagged [nathaniel-hawthorne]

Questions about the works of Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804 – 1864) and his life as a writer.

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Symbolism of the name Red Rose in Chapter 8 of The Scarlet Letter

In Chapter VIII of Nathaniel Hawthorne's novel The Scarlet Letter, The Elf-Child and the Minister, the name Red Rose serves as a symbol of their shared passion and love. "Pearl?—Ruby, rather—or ...
0 votes
1 answer
138 views

In The Scarlet Letter, did Hawthorne misuse the word prolixity?

The passage is beautiful, but I simply can't make sense of the descriptor "unpicturesque prolixity" where he writes Soon, likewise, my old native town .. with only imaginary inhabitants to ...
1 vote
0 answers
193 views

What is the meaning of this excerpt from "The Scarlet Letter"?

What is the meaning of this excerpt from chapter 3 of The Scarlet Letter (1850) by Nathaniel Hawthorne? They were, doubtless, good men, just and sage. But, out of the whole human family, it would not ...
25 votes
4 answers
9k views

What is a Daniel?

In Chapter Three of The Scarlet Letter we find the following as a response to a question of who the father of Hester’s child is: Of a truth, friend, that matter remaineth a riddle; and the Daniel who ...
1 vote
1 answer
47 views

Meaning of "seldom anything but"

These old folks, you must know, were quite poor, and had to work pretty hard for a living. Old Philemon toiled diligently in his garden, while Baucis was always busy with her distaff, or making a ...
4 votes
0 answers
38 views

Antecedents for Hawthorne's Dr. Rappaccini

In the short story Rappaccini's Daughter by Nathaniel Hawthorne, Dr. Rappaccini uses his own daughter as a subject in his great experiment, resulting in her living a life of isolation and eventually ...
9 votes
2 answers
9k views

The woods as a symbol in Young Goodman Brown

In the short story "Young Goodman Brown" by Nathaniel Hawthorne, the main character spends a great deal of the story traveling through a "dreary road, darkened by all the gloomiest trees of the forest"...
2 votes
0 answers
198 views

Near the end of The Scarlet Letter, is it plausible that Hester Prynne and Arthur Dimmesdale will marry?

Near the end of The Scarlet Letter, Hester Prynne and Arthur Dimmesdale meet in the woods and talk. At the end of this conversation they seem intent on returning to Europe to marry. Is this plan at ...
-1 votes
1 answer
135 views

Understanding passage from Scarlet Letter about "keeping with the scene"?

I am reading this part of the Scarlet Letter in the Custom House: It would be too much in keeping with the scene to excite surprise, were we to look about us and discover a form, beloved, but gone ...
13 votes
1 answer
934 views

What does the physical Scarlet Letter represent?

I love The Scarlet Letter, but I surprised to find out that I did not even know what it was supposed to represent. Its significance seemed to change throughout the book. Is there one central symbol ...