By covering the story about Hester and describing his surroundings, the narrator covers two hundred years of American history, from both philosophical and factual points of view. And to say the truth, an appetite, sharpened by the east-wind that generally blew along the passage, was the only valuable result of so much indefatigable exercise. Many considered her an angel, but there were people who found her nosy. And here, some six months ago,pacing from corner to corner, or lounging on the long-legged stool, with his elbow on the desk, and his eyes wandering up and down the columns of the morning newspaper,you might have recognized, honored reader, the same individual who welcomed you into his cheery little study, where the sunshine glimmered so pleasantly through the willow branches, on the western side of the Old Manse. A tenderloin of beef, a hind-quarter of veal, a spare-rib of pork, a particular chicken, or a remarkably praiseworthy turkey, which had perhaps adorned his board in the days of the elder Adams, would be remembered; while all the subsequent experience of our race, and all the events that brightened or darkened his individual career, had gone over him with as little permanent effect as the passing breeze. Looking at him merely as an animal,and there was very little else to look at,he was a most satisfactory object, from the thorough healthfulness and wholesomeness of his system, and his capacity, at that extreme age, to enjoy all, or nearly all, the delights which he had ever aimed at, or conceived of.
It is essential, in order to form a complete estimate of the advantages of official life, to view the incumbent at the in-coming of a hostile administration. In one case, however, it is real sunshine; in the other, it more resembles the phosphorescent glow of decaying wood. His fellow workers custom hold lifetime essay secured by family connections. In the introduction to the novel, he describes the Salem Custom House and pretends to find the story among the papers of a previous surveyor. It is my belief, however, that, had I attempted a different order of composition, my faculties would not have been found so pointless and inefficacious. They spoke with far more interest and unction of their mornings breakfast, or yesterdays, to-days, or to-morrows dinner, than of the shipwreck of forty or fifty years ago, and all the worlds wonders which they had witnessed with their youthful eyes. That is, Hawthorne is more concerned with feelings, thoughts, and emotions than with the unfolding of a real-time story, reflecting a romantic turn after the classical prose of the late eighteenth century.
In accomplishing the main purpose, it has appeared allowable, by a few extra touches, to give a faint representation of a mode of life not heretofore described, together with some of the characters that move in it, among whom the author happened to make one. From the picture gallery I went to the reading-room of the Athenæum, and there read the magazines till nearly twelve, thence to the Custom-House, and soon afterwards to dinner with Colonel Hall, then back to the Custom-House, but only for a little while. By and by the world found me out in my lonely chamber, and called me forth,—not indeed with a loud roar of acclamation, but rather with a still, small voice; and forth I went, but found nothing in the world that I thought preferable to my old solitude till now. The narrator says this discovery formed the core of the story that he will now tell in The Scarlet Letter. An effectwhich I believe to be observable, more or less, in every individual who has occupied the positionis, that, while he leans on the mighty arm of the Republic, his own proper strength departs from him. This is the story that Hawthorne claims is the basis for The Scarlet Letter. First, he feels that his Puritan ancestors would find it the, and indeed he is not able to write until he has been relieved of any real career responsibilities.
The merchants,Pingree, Phillips, Shepard, Upton, Kimball, Bertram, Hunt,these, and many other names, which had such a classic familiarity for my ear six months ago,these men of traffic, who seemed to occupy so important a position in the world,how little time has it required to disconnect me from them all, not merely in act, but recollection! I shall do better amongst other faces; and these familiar ones, it need hardly be said, will do just as well without me. Every book on your English syllabus, summed house in quotes from The Office. First, he feels that his Puritan ancestors would find it frivolous, and indeed he is not able to write until he has been relieved of any real career responsibilities. Nevertheless, looking at the old warrior with affection,for, slight as was the communication between us, my feeling towards him, like that of all bipeds and quadrupeds who knew him, might not improperly be termed so,I could discern the main points of his portrait. Page 2 of 21 Who's On Your Reading List? It is the last of 13 Custom Houses in the city. Nor did it quit me when, late at night, I sat in the deserted parlour, lighted only by the glimmering coal-fire and the moon, striving to picture forth imaginary scenes, which, the next day, might flow out on the brightening page in many-hued description. When no longer called upon to speak, or listen, either of which operations cost him an evident effort, his face would briefly subside into its former not uncheerful quietude.
In short, unpleasant as was my predicament, at best, I saw much reason to congratulate myself that I was on the losing side, rather than the triumphant one. Not only does this parallel description of the former and the present state of the building give a vivid description of the office and represents the flow of time, it also depicts the political situation in the country. Meanwhile, there I was, a Surveyor of the Revenue, and, so far as I have been able to understand, as good a Surveyor as need be. With the customary infirmity of temper that characterizes this unhappy fowl, she appears, by the fierceness of her beak and eye and the general truculency of her attitude, to threaten mischief to the inoffensive community; and especially to warn all citizens, careful of their safety, against intruding on the premises which she overshadows with her wings. The first time was three or four years since, when I favored the readerinexcusably, and for no earthly reason, that either the indulgent reader or the intrusive author could imaginewith a description of my way of life in the deep quietude of an Old Manse. He wants to write his own version of this incredible story, but has major writer's block—until he gets fired, finds himself scorned and rejected by his former employees, and suddenly feels a connection Hester Prynne. There has been a Custom House in Salem since 1649, collecting taxes on imported cargos first for the British Government during the Colonial period, then for the American Government after the establishment of the in 1789.
Here and there, perchance, the walls may remain almost complete; but elsewhere may be only a shapeless mound, cumbrous with its very strength, and overgrown, through long years of peace and neglect, with grass and alien weeds. From that moment, the narrator cannot stop thinking about Hester and her life, intrigued both by the story and old forgotten urge for writing evoked after reading the manuscript. The Inspector is the most light-hearted of the workers, constantly laughing and talking in spite of his age. The Custom-House: Introductory Summary: The Custom House Introductory to The Scarlet Letter A writer of story-books! The rest of the manuscript contains the information about her life and sufferings, as the novel will reveal later. Nor must we forget the captains of the rusty little schooners that bring firewood from the British provinces; a rough-looking set of tarpaulins, without the alertness of the Yankee aspect, but contributing an item of no slight importance to our decaying trade. Macbeth as told in summary series of texts. He describes the custom-office as a building in Salem, located at the entrance of the former busy wharf that was teeming with people once, but is now a bit shabby and desolated, with only several bored gentlemen working there.
For these three or four days I have been observing a little Mediterranean boy, from Malaga, not more than ten or eleven years old, but who is already a citizen of the world, and seems to be just as gay and contented on the deck of a Yankee coal-vessel as he could be while playing beside his mother's door. The Collector's offices were furnished with rich colors and fine furniture. Related Links: To link to this The custom-house introductory to 'The scarlet letter' Summary page, copy the following code to your site: The custom-house introductory to 'The scarlet letter' Summary. It is good for me, on many accounts, that my life has had this passage in it. Although this narrator seems to have much in common with Nathaniel Hawthorne himself—Hawthorne also worked as a customs officer, lost his job due to political changes, and had Puritan ancestors whose legacy he considered both a blessing and a curse—it is important not to conflate the two storytellers.
To observe and define his character, however, under such disadvantages, was as difficult a task as to trace out and build up anew, in imagination, an old fortress, like Ticonderoga, from a view of its gray and broken ruins. In this case the narrator, despite his torpid slumber of insipid duty to job and country, has been awakened to his mission, and he accepts it, revealing to us the mystery of the letter, no matter the consequences for him and his community. In his case, it is his relative youth and vitality that custom him from the the customs officers. They were documents, in short, not official, but of a private nature, or, at least, written in his private capacity, and apparently with his own hand. On some such morning, when three or four vessels happen to have arrived at once usually from Africa or South America--or to be on the verge of their departure thitherward, there is a sound of frequent feet passing briskly up and down the granite steps. The real human being, all this time, with his head safely on his shoulders, had brought himself to the comfortable conclusion, that every thing was for the best; and, making an investment in ink, paper, and steel-pens, had opened his long-disused writing-desk, and was again a literary man. The narrator spends his days at the customhouse trying to amuse himself because few ships come to Salem anymore.