Nathaniel Hawthorne's "The Ambitious Guest"

            Similarities in the works of Nathaniel Hawthorne.

             The Ambitious Guest is a short story bye Nathaniel Hawthorne that presents deadly irony. Residing in a notch in the mountains of New Hampshire, a cottage sits on the side of a steep mountain. In the house lives a family whose contacts with the rest of the world are from the travelers that pass by. One night when the family was huddled by the fire, a traveler stopped by. The family was happy to have a guest and the guest was happy to have people to talk to. The stranger, normally a quiet person, revealed his desires about life and death. The stranger wanted to be known and to have someone to love him and grieve of his death. The family agreed with him and they all talked about how nice it would be to live in a small town and get to know all the people living in the town. They then started talking about death and how they want to die with people remembering them when suddenly there is an avalanche. They all run out of the house and get killed by the falling rocks. The rocks completely missed the house but the people were never found in the rubble around the house.

             Most writers have a style in which they write and they follow this style through all their works. Nathaniel Hawthorne is no exception to this. In the Scarlet Letter and in The Ambitious Guest Hawthorne uses the same writing style for both so they have many similarities. Some of these similarities include references to symbols such as the forest, death, solitude and light. Although the plots are very different, main themes shine through in both stories.

             In both stories, the forest is a place of solitude. In the Scarlet Letter Hester and Dimmesdale talk freely to each other in the forest because the forest is a lonely place where no one will hear them talk. The forest is also portrayed as an evil place where the devil and his followers meet and live. The Indians live in the forest and Miss Hibbins wanted to meet Hester and the devil in the forest.

Related Essays: