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Derby Wharf and Salem Harbor shoreline, painting by Fred Freeman, c. 1803

Freemanís painting offers a powerful image of human beings harmoniously engaged in a common pursuit. According to Claudia Durst Johnson Hawthorne saw these moments and both valuable and fleeting. To work with others toward a common goal is to subordinate the self to the welfare of the larger whole, an attitude in direct opposition to the damaging pride that aflicts so many of Hawthorne's villains. The attitude has a humility in it that brings to mind Hawthorne's virtuous figures such as Earnest of "The Great Stone Face" or The Scarlet Letter's Hester Prynne in her moments that approach selfless charity.
(courtesy of Salem Maritime National Historic Site)
citation: http://www.hawthorneinsalem.org/images/image.php?name=MMD212