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Lectures and Articles Related to Hawthorne and Good and Evil

Lectures and Articles Related to A Framework of Faith

Adam & Eve Fireback at the House of the Seven Gables Historic Site
Adam & Eve Fireback at the House of the Seven Gables Historic Site (courtesy of The House of the Seven Gables Historic Site)
 

"Figurations of Salem in 'Young Goodman Brown' and 'The Custom-House,'" lecture by Dr. Rita Gollin, SUNY, Geneseo: delivered at Phillips Library, Peabody Essex Museum on September 23, 2000.

Issues of faith and religion, that is, issues of the spirit, so permeated Hawthorne's thinking as to shape nearly everything he wrote. He did not merely grow up in Salem, but, as Rita Gollin suggests in "Figurations of Salem in 'Young Goodman Brown' and 'The Custom-House,'" absorbed Salem's past, especially the dark history of his ancestors' participation in the persecution of Quakers and later of those accused a witchcraft.

"Hawthorne and Melville," lecture by Dr. David Kesterson, University of North Texas delivered at Phillips Library, the Peabody Essex Museum on September 23, 2000.

Hawthorne's friendship with Herman Melville, as David Kesterson points out in his lecture "Hawthorne and Melville," was characterized by the fascination both writers had with the unquiet depths of the human heart and mind. It is almost impossible to look deeply into any aspect of Hawthorne's life or writing and not encounter his concern with this framework of faith.

Full text of Anthony Trollope's article "The Genius of Nathaniel Hawthorne," The North American Review. Volume 129, Issue 274, September 1879 (courtesy of Library of Congress and Cornell University Library; the American Memory Project)

British novelist Anthony Trollope finds a quiet drollery even in the darkest passages of Hawthorne's work and suggests that even our deepest sufferings are not so important as to elevate us above others. If Trollope is correct, this might be due to Hawthorne's modest unwillingness to exalt anything, even sin and its suffering, to a place where it might invite pride.

"The Secular Calling and the Protestant Ethic in the Scarlet Letter and The House of the Seven Gables" lecture by Claudia Durst Johnson at the (Turner) House of the Seven Gables Historic Site on October 20,2000

By identifying Hawthorne's rejection of an equation of prosperity and virtue, especially in the money-centered novel The House of the Seven Gables, Professor Johnson demonstrates the author's reaction against some elements of his Puritan heritage as well as their evolved variations in his own bourgeois milieu. Specifically, she notes the tension between the Puritan doctrine of secular calling and Hawthorne's profession as a writer of fiction, and she makes clear that his depictions of the so-called Protestant Ethic tend to undermine aspects of that concept's validity. Hawthorne's "Framework of Faith," therefore, clearly includes not only the echoes of seventeenth century Puritan beliefs but also their consequences in the materialism of his own times


Page citation: http://www.hawthorneinsalem.org/page/10261/


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