Nathaniel HawthorneDr. Heideggers Experiment
Nathaniel Hawthorne 1804-1864Born in Salem, Massachusetts Puritan BackgroundAncestor of John Hathorne one of the three judges in the Salem Witch Trials
Hawthornes BackgroundBegan writing after college at Bowdion College in MaineSpent many years in seclusion starving artistHeld many jobs including writer, publisher, working at a custom house, and consul in England
Hawthornes BackgroundNathaniel's father, a sea captain, died in 1808, leaving his wife and three children dependent on relatives. (Nathaniel was four years old).A leg injury forced Hawthorne to remain immobile for a considerable period, during which he developed an exceptional taste for reading and thinking.
Hawthornes BackgroundThe only son, he was adored by both his mother and his two sisters.Returning from Bowdoin, Hawthorne spent the years 1825 to 1837 in his mother's Salem household. Later he looked back upon these years as a period of dreamlike isolation and solitude, spent in a haunted room. During these "solitary years" he learned to write tales and sketches that are still unique.
Hawthornes BackgroundRecent biographers have shown that this period of Hawthorne's life was less lonely than he remembered it to be. In truth, he did have social engagements, played cards, and went to the theatre. Nevertheless, he consistently remembered these twelve years as a strange, dark dream, though his view of the influence of these years varied.
Hawthornes BackgroundBy his own account it was Hawthorne's love of his Salem neighbor Sophia Peabody that brought him from his "haunted chamber" out into the world. His books were far from profitable enough to support a wife and family, so in 1838 he went to work in the Boston Custom House in hopes of finding a pleasant and economical home for Sophia and himself.
Hawthornes BackgroundHawthorne obtained in 1846 the position of surveyor (one who maps out new lands) in the Salem Custom House, but was relieved of this position in 1848 because of his political ties. His dismissal, however, turned out to be a blessing, since it gave him time in which to write his greatest success,The Scarlet Letter.
Hawthornes BackgroundHawthorne formed a memorable friendship with novelist Herman Melville (18191912). The association was more important to Melville than to Hawthorne, since Melville was fifteen years younger and the much more impressionable (easily influenced) of the two men. It left its mark in dedication of hisMoby-Dick,and in some wonderful letters.
Hawthornes BackgroundIn 1852 Franklin Pierce was elected president of the U.S., and Hawthorne, who wrote his campaign biography, was appointed to the important overseas post of American consul (advisor) at Liverpool, England. He served in this post from 1853 to 1857.In 1857 the Hawthornes left England for Italy, where they spent their time primarily in Rome and Florence. They finally returned to the United States, after an absence of seven years
Hawthornes BackgroundHawthorne's health began to fail him. Since he refused to submit to any thorough medical examination, the details of his declining health remain mysterious. Hawthorne died on May 19, 1864. He had set off for the New Hampshire hills with Franklin Pierce, an activity he had always enjoyed, hoping to regain his health. But he died the second night in Plymouth, New Hampshire, presumably in his sleep.
More BackgroundMarried Sophie Peabody in 1825Was friends with Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, Herman Melville, and President Franklin Pierce
His Themes in WritingMoral allegoriesThe sinful manHypocrisyThe Dark side of Human NatureReligionOften based on the history of his Puritan ancestors and the New England of his day.
His Most Famous WorksNovelsThe House of Seven GablesThe Scarlet LetterShort StoriesThe Ministers Black VeilYoung Goodman BrownDr. Heideggers Experiment
And Now, Nathanial Hawthorns Short Story
Dr. Heideggers Experiment
Some BasicsCharactersDr. Heidegger, a scientistHis friends: Colonel Killagrew, Mr. Medbourne, Mr. Gascoigne, and Widow Wycherly
The Fountain of Youth
Fountain of Youth & Ponce de Leon
Juan Ponce de Len (1474-1521) accompanied Christopher Columbus on his second voyage to the New World in 1493, and became the first governor of Puerto Rico 16 years later. There he was said to have heard from the local tribes about a remarkable place called Bimini where a natural spring bestowed youth and prosperity on those who drank from it. His search for these miraculous waters was said to have been one of the reasons he sailed north from Puerto Rico on March 4, 1513 on a voyage of exploration. He had in his pocket a grant from the King of Spain giving him the right to rule whatever lands he should find.Sailing northward along islands in the Bahamas, he then turned west and crossed open water until he reached what seemed to be a large island that he named La Florida, the land of flowers. What he had found was the future United States of America. So perhaps it could be argued that he did indeed find the promised land of youth and prosperity. He is believed to have reached Florida in the vicinity of St. Augustine or somewhere further south. This is also the site of one of the claimants to possession of the actual Fountain of Youth.Ponce de Len's Fountain of Youth National Archaeological Parkcan be found at 11 Magnolia Avenue, St. Augustine, FL 32084, and stands on 15 acres of parkland. It even has a fountain, where people dutifully drink the water. Whether that has done them any good is not known.
Dr. Heideggers Experiment as an Allegory What is an allegory?A story where everything is a symbol to create a 2nd layer of meaningUsed commonly to instruct especially in religious mattersThink about names, colors, people, events, objectsIn other words, you name it and it could be a symbol for something
One Last ThingSome other literary terms to consider:Imagery: words and phrases that re-create vivid sensory experiences for the reader. Usually imagery is visual, but often it is written to the senses of smell, hearing, taste, and touchForeshadowing: A writers use of hints or clues to indicate events that will occur later in a storySimile: a figure of speech that compares two things that have something in common using like or asMood: the feeling or atmosphere that a writer conveys with his or her words
AssignmentRead Building Background on page 501.Read Dr. Heideggers Experiment on pages 502-513.There will be a basic quiz on the PowerPoint and the story (PowerPoint is online for your viewing enjoyment)Underline in pencil examples of literary elements