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Fair. Noticeably used book. Text is legible but may be soiled and have binding defects. Heavy wear to covers and pages contain marginal notes, underlining, and or highlighting. Possible ex library copy, with all the markings/stickers of that library. Accessories such as CD, codes, toys, and dust jackets may not be included.
One of the salient facts about Nathaniel Hawthorne, author of The Scarlet Letter, is that one of his ancestors was a presiding judge at the witch trials in Salem, Massachusetts. Toni Morrison believes that this accounts in part for what Herman Melville called the "power of blackness" in Hawthorne's work. His Puritan relative persecuted the Quakers, and these guilts haunted Hawthorne throughout his life.
Take, for example, his story, "Young Goodman Brown," which can be read as an allegory like John Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress. The title character, a "good man," departs for a journey into a dark wood, abandoning his wife Faith (nice that Puritan names can personify abstract virtues), and encounters all manner of strange beings, including the figure of a man who resembles his father, bearing a staff that appears to wiggle like a snake, and Goody Cloyse, a pious woman whose broomstick has vanished. Later, "as if from the depths of [a] cloud," Goodman Brown hears a chorus of voices, "both pious and ungodly," and encounters an awful meeting that will alter his own character and his view of the human character forever.
Read this story and others such as "The Minister's Black Veil" for Hawthorne's penetrating vision of hypocrisy, duplicity, appearance, and evil.
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