Symbolism In Hawthorne's Custom House Surveyor

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Author Nathaniel Hawthorne's use of mental imagery and symbolism creates a sense of immorality, death, and decay to the reader. Throughout his novels and poems, Nathaniel Hawthorne continually uses literary devices for sin. Hawthorne’s symbolism paints such a vivid picture of physically showing each person’s sin. This creativity and such a unique writing style could only be produced by a master like Hawthorne.
Nathaniel Hawthorne was born on July 4, 1804, in Salem Massachusetts to Nathaniel and Elizabeth Clark Hathorne; their only son. (Hawthorne later added the “w” to his last name to distance himself from an ancestor of his who was a judge in the Salem Witch Trials.) In 1808, Nathaniel's father, a sea captain, died of yellow fever while …show more content…

The novel is written from the point of view of a unnamed Custom House surveyor, or chief executive of the Custom House, who somehow seems to know more about the characters then they know about themselves. He is telling this story approximately two hundred years after it happened. The Custom House surveyor also seems to have much in common with Hawthorne but the novel should not be taken as a direct mouthpiece of the author's opinions. The narrator seems to be all knowing, yet he is also subjective because he voices his own opinions. Throughout the novel, the Custom House Surveyor is clearly sympathetic to two of the main characters, Hester, the protagonist, and Dimmesdale. The narrator’s tone varies somewhat throughout the novel as he appears to be bitter in the introduction, but also fairly straightforward and thoughtful. Throughout the book, he is tinged with …show more content…

In all of society’s drama and solitude which is shown throughout this novel brings out the sympathetic side in all of us. Hester’s being an outcast is inflicted on her rather than her willfully seeking it out. Throughout the rest of her life, she is constantly seeking after relationships with other human beings on a base of honesty. She is isolated and an outcast but is still able to function as a human being and is not alienated from humanity. The blame for this tragic predicament in which she finds herself in lies squarely on the shoulders of the Puritan judges of her destiny.
Another novel by Hawthorne,The House of the Seven Gables, a romance and gothic horror novel, takes place in Lenox, Massachusetts. The narrator tells this story in the third person as though omniscient (all-knowing), but occasionally slips into telling the story from the point of view of three main characters, Clifford, Holgrave, or Pheobe. He tends to vary between more of a straightforward narration and gloomy disposition, but also has a sarcastic take on a number of issues., The narrator also tells the story immediately after it

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