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Sunday at Home (From "Twice Told Tales")   By: (1804-1864)

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Sunday at Home is a collection of short stories by Nathaniel Hawthorne which takes readers on a journey through vivid descriptions, thought-provoking themes, and an exploration of the human psyche. Though the title may imply a leisurely, cozy day spent within the confines of home, Hawthorne's tales delve into the depths of human emotion and the intricate complexities of the human condition.

Throughout the book, Hawthorne weaves a tapestry of characters who grapple with various moral dilemmas, societal expectations, and inner conflicts. One story that particularly resonated with me is "The Minister's Black Veil," in which the protagonist, Reverend Mr. Hooper, dons a black veil that covers his face, causing widespread speculation and unease among his congregation. By wearing this symbol of secrecy and sin, Hooper brings to light the hidden imperfections that lie within each individual, challenging the idea of personal purity and forcing society to confront its own hypocrisy. Hawthorne's exploration of the human inclination towards judgment and the fear of confronting one's own flaws is both thought-provoking and haunting.

In another standout story, "The Gentle Boy," Hawthorne delves into the complexities of forgiveness and redemption. The tale centers around Edgar, a young man who mourns the loss of a loved one and seeks solace by befriending a Native American named Septimius Felton. As their friendship deepens, Edgar must confront his own bigotry and prejudices, ultimately learning the power of empathy, forgiveness, and understanding. Through this story, Hawthorne highlights the importance of acknowledging the inherent goodness within all individuals, regardless of their background or appearance.

One of the most remarkable aspects of Sunday at Home is Hawthorne's beautiful prose, which captivates readers from the very first page. Hawthorne's descriptions are vivid and evocative, painting vivid pictures of the settings and characters, and immersing readers in a world that feels both enchanting and eerie. His mastery of foreshadowing and symbolism adds an extra layer of depth to the stories, encouraging readers to reflect upon the deeper meanings hidden beneath the surface.

Despite its age, Sunday at Home remains relevant to modern readers, as it tackles timeless themes such as guilt, redemption, judgment, and the complexity of human relationships. Hawthorne's ability to weave these themes into captivating narratives is a testament to his literary genius. From start to finish, this collection of short stories captivates the imagination, leaving readers with a lingering sense of introspection and a newfound appreciation for the power of storytelling.

In conclusion, Sunday at Home is a masterfully crafted collection of stories that showcases Nathaniel Hawthorne's intricate storytelling abilities and his deep understanding of the human condition. This thought-provoking and hauntingly beautiful book is a must-read for those who appreciate timeless literature and immerse themselves in the mysteries of the human psyche.

First Page:

TWICE TOLD TALES

SUNDAY AT HOME

By Nathaniel Hawthorne

Every Sabbath morning in the summer time I thrust back the curtain, to watch the sunrise stealing down a steeple, which stands opposite my chamber window. First, the weathercock begins to flash; then, a fainter lustre gives the spire an airy aspect; next it encroaches on the tower, and causes the index of the dial to glisten like gold, as it points to the gilded figure of the hour. Now, the loftiest window gleams, and now the lower. The carved framework of the portal is marked strongly out. At length, the morning glory, in its descent from heaven, comes down the stone steps, one by one; and there stands the steeple, glowing with fresh radiance, while the shades of twilight still hide themselves among the nooks of the adjacent buildings. Methinks, though the same sun brightens it every fair morning, yet the steeple has a peculiar robe of brightness for the Sabbath.

By dwelling near a church, a person soon contracts an attachment for the edifice. We naturally personify it, and conceive its massive walls and its dim emptiness to be instinct with a calm, and meditative, and somewhat melancholy spirit. But the steeple stands foremost, in our thoughts, as well as locally... Continue reading book >>




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