Despite the observation Claudia Johnson makes that "Qualifications, contradictions and disjunctions intimate that Hawthorne has not been completely successful in idealizing the commercial, work ethic of his day, that he often seemed to favor," she also presents us with an idea of how the world might look to Hawthorne if his idea of virtue were ever to truly take hold. There is in Hawthorne a vision of harmony growing from humility that attracts him even as he may understand that it is impossible in real life.
Here David Kesterson comments upon the fact that it was Hawthorne's fascination
with and exploration of the idea of evil that so captivated the younger Herman
Melville. In Melville's comments, Kesterson captures Melville's idea that
no "deeply thinking mind" is ever completely free from a consideration of