Custom House Essay Hawthorne

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Toward Salem itself, the narrator of this introduction, who seems to be Nathaniel Hawthorne, professes to have something like affection, despite the fact that the town seems rather haphazardly planned and its people leave something to be desired.

He believes this good feeling toward the place probably arises from the fact that his ancestors came to Salem so long ago, so he has roots there. Toward Salem itself, the narrator of this introduction, who seems to be Nathaniel Hawthorne, professes to have something like affection, despite the fact that the town seems rather haphazardly planned and its people leave something to be desired.

Ticknor, Reed, and Fields published the novel in 1850 and issued 2,500 copies in the first printing.

The Scarlet Letter was not a best seller, but the publicity surrounding Hawthorne's dismissal as surveyor at the Custom House was the equivalent of an interview on the "Today" show and boosted initial sales.

I think Hawthorne does this to prove he has gone to great lengths to research for his writing before he put it in context.

He hopes to validate and give credibility to the expertise he has in creating a historical novel for we the readers.

An interest in local history led Pue to write an account of events taking place in the middle of the seventeenth century—a century before Pue’s time and two hundred years before the narrator’s.

The narrator has already mentioned his unease about attempting to make a career out of writing.

While they toil away, he is drawn to write this story, a story he seems to believe they cannot appreciate; Salem is not the "genial atmosphere which a literary man requires, in order to ripen the best harvest of his mind." Thus, he feels relatively unneeded by the people of Salem (as he's lost his job anyway), and admits the people of Salem hold him back intellectually anyway.

This section of the site focuses on the "Custom-House" sketch, the first chapter of Hawthorne's romance, The Scarlet Letter, which was written just after he was fired from the Salem Custom House in 1849.

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