Excerpt from Edwin Haviland Miller's book, Salem Is My Dwelling Place,
in which he discusses Hawthorne's ambivalent feelings toward Robert Manning.
(courtesy of University
of Iowa Press)
"Toward the conclusion of the letter [to his sister, Elizabeth, after a visit to Raymond, Maine, in the summer of 1825], for the first time, at least in extant documents, Hawthorne commented on his relationship with Robert Manning. 'I did hope,' he wrote, in irony and no doubt ambivalence, 'that Uncle Robert's opinion of me was nearer to the truth, as his deportment towards me never expressed a very high estimation of my abilities.' Although he never accepted Robert Manning as a substitute father and clung to the Hathornes, his diction would appear to indicate that half of him wanted approval while the other half accepted his uncle's devaluation" (75).